Hauraki leader Toko Renata Te Taniwha (Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Whanaunga) passed away on Wednesday 29 November, at his home in Manaia, Coromandel, surrounded by whānau, aged 86. Hauraki Māori Trust Board member Harry Mikaere says Toko was a perfect leader for the tribes of Pare Hauraki.
Toko was the former chair of the Hauraki Māori Trust Board. The Hauraki stalwart spearheaded the tribes Waitangi settlement processes in 1992.
“He set the pace for Hauraki Waitangi Tribunal claims to be settled, which we hope to complete full and final settlement in 18 months, including neighbouring iwi boundary interests from Matakana in Te Tai Tokerau to Ngā-Kuri-ā-Whārei,” said Mikaere.
“He has paved the way for our young people to see their past, the present to plan tribes best interest in future."
The Hauraki stalwart was heavily involved in gaining rights for Hauraki and all other Iwi under the Māori Fisheries Act 1986-1989 to receive 10 percent in quota, cash and shares of the country's fishing industry.
He worked under group the Treaty Tribes Coalition, set up by Iwi to support the rights of Māori to fisheries ownership alongside the Waitangi Fisheries Commission. The settlement came into effect in 2004. He had fought through supreme courts in New Zealand and two Privy Council in England for urban Māori to gain property rights.
“He championed on issues such as social equity in the areas of health, education and Corrections for more rights and resources for not only his people but all Māori,” said Mikaere.
Toko represented Pare Hauraki on the Tainui Waka Alliance.
“He’s been a great community man within Manaia, and the Pare Hauraki man, a father, husband and grandfather and great-grandfather.”
Toko is laying in state at his marae at Manaia. He will be buried at his ancestral cemetery of Pumoko tomorrow, following a burial service at 11am.
He is survived by nine children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.