Politicians pay their respects to the late Sir Ngatata Love

Politicians are paying their respects to the late Sir Ngatata Love, Wellington's Māori leader who passed aged 81 years old on Wednesday.

A funeral service for his immediate family was held on Friday. His daughter, Catherine Love told Te Kāea it was Sir Ngatata’s wish that his funeral remain private.

Parliamentary MP’s were made aware of the news today. Labour MP Willie Jackson says "He was a strong supporter of the Labour Party who was in contact with Helen Clark on a weekly basis. It is only right his work is acknowledged."

Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says "Despite the controversy surrounding his last years, he was passionate about his people." 

Treaty Minister Andrew Little also expressed his condolences. "A champion who made a huge contribution to Māoridom.”

In 2016, the former treaty negotiator, academic, iwi trust chairman and one time leader of the Ministry of Māori Development was found guilty for defrauding his iwi of $1.5mil.

National’s Māori Development spokesperson Nuk Korako says "Ngatata did some amazing things in his life particularly for his iwi, for New Zealand and also for his whānau. As you know he had his fall from grace right at the end, but as Māori we actually we actually take his entire life into account."

Harete Hipango says "The service he has given over a course of a lifetime despite what may have recently surfaced, we need to bare in mind all that level of contribution and goodness that went with it."

Māori artist and cousin of Love, Darcy Nicholas, says Love was one of the greatest intellects of Māoridom with a vision for his people.

"He was often far ahead of anybody else in his thinking and his visions and when you have people like that, unless they are strongly supported with people around them it will go against you."

A memorial service for Love will be held at Pipitea Marae on Sunday 28 October.