Local MP for Te Tai Hauauru, Tariana Turia, has expressed deep sadness at the passing of Ngati Koroki Kahukura kaumatua, and the Chair of Taumatawiwi Trust, Wally Tioriori Papa.
“Wally was a humble leader of the people; a true gentle-man who always upheld the mana of his marae, Maungatautari and Pohara.
“I am told that his name came from the rangatira Tioriori who fought at Rangiriri and was a staunch supporter of the Kingitanga. It was a mark of that name, that Wally leaves behind a legacy of leadership, both in treaty settlements and environmental and cultural heritage”.
“Wally lodged WAI 443 in 1994, a claim concerning Ngati Raukawa, and was the Chair and driving force of the Raukawa Trust Board for many years. His distinctive management of the claim included the commitment to work with neighbouring iwi to agree to a Memorandum of Understanding before the claim was filed”.
“He was equally dedicated to the restoration of native bush, birds, and reptiles to the sacred maunga of Maungatautari. Through active participation in the Maungatautari Ecological Island Project, Wally worked relentlessly to ensure the protection and restoration of our taonga, including the rare and endangered bird species such as the North Island Robin.
“I had the utmost respect for Wally. My sympathies are extended to his Whanau, hapu and iwi who will mourn the loss of a man so central to their lives.