The passing of Dame Margaret Mahy Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party

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E te whaea, kuia rangatira, moe mai ra, moe mai ra i to moenga roa.

The Maori Party joins with others in this House, to express our great sadness at the passing of a dynamic and distinguished leader of literature; a magician of words; a painter of the imagination the uniquely colourful character that we knew and loved as Margaret Mahy.

Last week I purchased a selection of Margaret Mahy stories to give to the Bennydale School.

Her books reach into the hearts and imaginations of New Zealanders they give us permission to stretch the boundaries, to enter into a world of magic where the printed word opens our eyes to infinite possibilities.

When asked where she lived, Margaret once replied in her classic style: I live in a place called Governors Bay. It seems to me a mysterious place a still cloudy sea surrounded by sharp hills, rocky and bare but with dark bush in wrinkles and gullies.

For lovers of Maori Television, this landscape came to life in a recent rendition of Margaret Mahys story, Kaitangata Twitch. That story had all the ingredients that drew children and adults alike to its tale mystery, supernatural occurrences, fascinating characters; breath-taking scenery and a strong cultural context in the relationships between Maori and Pakeha; the association of tangata whenua with a sense of place.

This is what she has left for us a sense of place she has helped to shape our sense of who we are to define our own picture of our world.

There is something that all of us can relate to.

Id have to say I am partial to her 1993 classic, A busy day for a good grandmother.

Our heartfelt sympathies are with her children; her family and her enormous international reading audience who have treasured the talent and the creative genius of such a distinguished and distinctive New Zealander.

Tena koutou.

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