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Poroporoaki ki a Patrick Wikiriwhi Thompson

Poroporoaki ki a Patrick Wikiriwhi Thompson

Minister for Disability Issues, Tariana Turia says it has been distressing to hear of the untimely passing of Patrick Wikiriwhi Thompson (Ngāti Pāoa/Ngāti Whangaunga).

“Patrick has been an amazing advocate for Deaf Māori. He has worked with the Deaf Māori community for more than twenty years as an educator, social worker and advocate including his most current role as an educator associate for the Kelston Boys' High School Deaf Unit. He has made an enormous contribution in the fight to ensure that New Zealand Sign Language as an official language is given much more recognition," says Minister Turia.

"Patrick was awarded the Queens Service Medal for services to Māori and the Deaf community in 2012."

“I have relied on his expert advice and lived experience as Kaiwhakahaere for Ngāti Turi o Aotearoa and as a key member of a number of organisations including Te Roopu Wairoa Trust and an experts advisory group working with government agencies on how to promote and maintain NZ Sign Language."

“Patrick had recently championed the NZ Relay which provides telecommunication relay services for people who are Deaf, hearing impaired, and speech impaired with hearing people who want to communicate with them."

“He has played a key role in breaking down barriers for whānau hauā. As a trilingual signer he had the ability to communicate using sign language, English and te reo Māori. I will never forget the day Patrick came to my office. Following his mihi he performed his waiata using sign language and not a sound was heard. It was deeply moving."

"His sudden death is hugely shocking and I send my sincere condolences and aroha to his whānau, hapū and iwi for the loss of this wonderful man."

"Nā reira, e Patrick, e te rangatira, moe mai rā ki tō moenga roa.”

ENDS

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