Whanau sends word that Labour MP Parekura Horomia has died

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Parekura-Horomia-PHOTOSPORTTW.com Eds: Nga mihi aroha whanau, as soon as we receive word as to tangihanga details we will be sure to post.Moe mai ra Matua Parekura.

(NZ Herald) Labour MP Parekura Horomia has died, the NZ Herald has confirmed.

The 62-year-old had been seriously ill and was resting at home with his family.

His family issued a statement earlier today requesting privacy and saying he was at his Mangatuna home convalescing.

“The whanau of Hon. Parekura Horomia is very humbled by all the love, support and kind wishes for their grandfather, father, brother and uncle.”

A whanau spokeswoman said “The family is calling for privacy at this time.”

It is understood the Ikaroa Rawhiti MP had been unwell for some time, and family members had travelled from overseas to be with him, and close colleagues were also visiting.

Neither the family nor the Labour Party would give the reason for his ill-health. Mr Horomia had struggled with his weight and previously revealed he was a chronic asthmatic and had an enlarged heart.

Mr Horomia was at Parliament a fortnight ago where he took part in a powhiri for a group of visiting Pacific Island Parliamentarians and spoke on the Waitaha Claims Settlement Bill.

He also travelled down for drinks hosted by Labour MP Shane Jones last month to celebrate his return to the front bench.

However, he has struggled with his health since the last election. He usually led the Labour contingent onto the marae at Waitangi but was not there this year. He was also absent at Ratana Anniversary celebrations, which he said was because he was attending a tangi.

Prime Minister John Key said earlier today that Mr Horomia was a “highly respected member of parliament”.

“He’s a thoroughly nice, gentle man …” Mr Key said.

Mr Parekura was first elected as the MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti in 1999 and is regarded as Labour’s `kaumatua’ in Parliament, respected for his widespread links to Maoridom. He was Minister for Maori Affairs between 2002 and 2008.

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