May 19, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Whanui say farewell to Dr Mark Laws (Ngati Awa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa)

2 min read

(Source | Daily Post) Almost 5000 people have paid their respects to Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi associate professor Mark Laws.

He died on December 30 while diving for crayfish at Te Kaha on the East Coast. His tangi was held on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Laws family, Pouroto Ngaropo, said the academic was known as a hunter-gatherer by those close to him. He loved fishing, hunting, cultivating food and diving.

“He was an experienced diver and we are grateful knowing he died doing something he loved,” Mr Ngaropo said.

Mr Laws, wife Karina and their three daughters were holidaying at Te Kaha between Christmas and New Year, staying at the home of Ngati Awa identity Sir Wira Gardiner.

Mr Ngaropo said 800 people went to the house to pay their respects.

His tangihanga at Iramoko Marae, Matata, saw at least 4000 people turn up to say farewell.

“Although born and bred in Kawerau and Matata, Mr Laws gained a PhD in information science from the University of Otago, a place where he also lectured for many years.”

He also spent time lecturing in Hawaii.

He had a long association with Touch New Zealand as a referee, gaining a black badge qualification and refereeing at the 1995 World Cup in Hawaii.

For the past six years, Mr Laws had been at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and was the founding head for the computer information science and technology faculty at the wananga in 2004.

His vision was to develop programs and support systems for staff and students around information communication technology.

A spokesperson for the wananga said all of Mr Laws’ plans had come to fruition in 2009 with the establishment of the Tokorau Indigenous Innovation Institute.

Mr Laws also sat on many of the management, academic, research, ethics and policy committees, while lecturing and supervising graduate research students.

“Karina has been humbled by all the people who came from near and far to say goodbye to her husband,” Mr Ngaropo said. “She had no idea how many hearts he had touched and says she has learned a lot more about him since his death.”

1 thought on “Whanui say farewell to Dr Mark Laws (Ngati Awa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa)

  1. Hello my names allanah marks.
    I am fimilia with mark laws , he is my uncle, he always use to come to mine and velvets birthday and bring birthday presants.
    He use to come to our family house and say hi to nana rita. He always had a open heart and really loved kids, he always use to take me out to the matata beach to do fishing or go sweimming with his kids. I never thought it be time for mark laws to go this fast.

    He will always be loved and missed from the marks family especially from nana rita, when she found out he had past away nana rita could’nt stop crying, she fell on the floor and let out all her tears.
    It was very sad to see nana rita do that…

    We will think of you all the time and keep thoughs memorys in our heat uncle. Much love to you, love and kisses…

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