(Source | Taranaki Daily News) The man described as a “bridge between Maori and non-Maori” died in New Plymouth early yesterday morning.
Lindsay MacLeod, a respected Parihaka kaumatua, died aged 74 after an illness.
Mr MacLeod was well-known and respected in Taranaki and had worked for the New Plymouth District Council since 1999.
He viewed his role as building meaningful, effective and enduring relationships between iwi and the council, and the wider community.
Chief executive Barbara McKerrow said he had been uniquely suited to the role.
“He was an honest, humble man of great integrity who was able to walk in the two worlds of tikanga Maori and local government, and do so eloquently, with grace and good humour.
“Both Maori and non-Maori throughout the region would approach him for advice. He had a wonderfully calming influence and was able to speak to the heart of a matter, explaining issues very clearly.”
Mr MacLeod had been a role model, adviser, teacher and guide and good friend to many, she said.
In 2009 Mr MacLeod was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to Maori.
His involvement in Maori organisations spanned more than 30 years. He headed the fundraising campaign of Whaiora Trust to establish a self-contained unit at the Taranaki Base Hospital and was behind the fundraising for the establishment of Te Ranui Dining Room at Parihaka.
Mayor Harry Duynhoven said Mr MacLeod’s work with Fletcher Challenge, council, businesses, hapu and iwi was part of a substantial shift towards greater understanding of tikanga Maori in the region.
“Lindsay has long worked quietly but with humble authority on all manner of projects throughout the region, becoming the bridge between non-Maori and Maori,” Mr Duynhoven said.
“He has helped corporations and tangata whenua build a platform of understanding and a willingness to work together.
“That is a magnificent legacy for one man to leave behind, and something that will benefit Taranaki for decades to come.”
A carving outside the iwi relationships office at the council unveiled in 2000, is based on Mr MacLeod’s concept of a classical cultural reference to the prophets of peace, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi of Parihaka.
The carving symbolises a foundation of traditional Maori values and beliefs while embracing contemporary thinking and an ever-changing landscape of views and ideas.
Mr MacLeod has also mentored and encouraged young Maori in trade education, coaching rugby teams and kapa haka groups.