Moana Jackson tangi: Thousands pay their respects


Renowned constitutional expert and Māori advocate Dr Moana Jackson has been laid to rest at Matahiwi marae, beside his mother Hineaka.

Moana Jackson

Dr Moana Jackson has been remembered at his tangi as a softly spoken, modest man, who worked tirelessly for te ao Māori. Photo: Wikipedia

Thousands turned out for the Hawke’s Bay tangi of a man described as one of the country’s greatest intellects.

Of Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Kahungunu descent, Jackson was the son of All Black Everard Jackson and the younger brother of Syd, a founding member of Ngā Tamatoa.

For three days, mourners came from across Aotearoa, paying homage to a staunch advocate for constitutional reform, for Māori rights and for Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

They also remembered a gentle, softly spoken, modest man, who worked tirelessly for te ao Māori and was unyielding in his pursuit of an equitable Aotearoa.

Jackson studied law at Victoria University, which would award him an honorary doctorate in 2017.

After doing further study abroad, he returned to Aotearoa and co-founded the Māori Legal Service in the 1980s.

His report He Whaipaanga Hou: Māori in the Criminal Justice System, was published in 1988 and caused an immediate stir.

It was based on consultation with 4000 Māori, detailing their experiences of the justice system, describing discrimination and structural racism in state institutions.

Despite a political backlash and death threats, Jackson never wavered.

Again and again he described the effects of colonisation, and called for constitutional change – for adherence to Te Tiriti.

At his nehu today, those present were reminded of the challenges left by Tākuta Moana.

Ruakere Hond, who conducted the final service, said there were two ōhākī: to let women speak on the pae, and to reconnect with the funeral traditions of pre-colonial Māori.

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