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Dame Te Ata a Great Leader of All New Zealanders

Media Release

16 August 2006

Dame Te Ata a Great Leader of All New Zealanders

Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu led her people into the 21st Century with grace, and will be greatly missed by all New Zealanders, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said today.

"Dame Te Ata was a great leader who achieved much for Maoridom and for New Zealand as a whole," Mr Peters said.

"She presided over significant gains for her people, and throughout her reign she was a tireless champion of the revitalisation and celebration of Maori language and culture.

"Dame Te Ata's dignity, compassion and warmth inspired respect from all who met her. Her sense of unity and the grace with which she expressed her views did an enormous amount to bring Maori and Europeans together.

"She played an equally important role in strengthening links right across the Pacific, where she was widely respected as a inspirational leader.

"Dame Te Ata's contribution to New Zealand also extended onto the world stage. She made a deep impression on the countless foreign dignitaries and diplomats she hosted, including world leaders such as the Queen, the Pope, Nelson Mandela and US President Bill Clinton.

"Her passing will be mourned by her family, her people, her country and a great many others around the world."


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