A servant for his people

By Tumamao Harawira

Ngāti Hau hapū and Ngāpuhi iwi are mourning the loss of long-time stalwart Allan Halliday, who died suddenly today at just 61 years old.

Born and raised at Akerama Marae in Northland, Allan Halliday was a fighter for environmental management and working for and on behalf of his marae and iwi in the Northland area.

Halliday recently rose to prominence as the chairman of the Ruapekapeka Trust, which received $8.5m from the Provincial Growth Fund, to help with improvements to the historic pā site.

Halliday was also involved with projects involving other environmental issues in the North. He was a long-time advocate in Waimāori and led the Ngāti Hau Resource Management Unit. He was involved in the fight against Evolution Mining to stop drilling in the Puhipuhi area of Northland.

He was instrumental in the establishment of Ngā Kaitiaki O Ngā Wai Māori. Ngā Kaitiaki O Ngā Wai Māori, together with NIWA and funding by Living Water, are undertaking a research project looking at how juvenile eels, which have been moved past the Omiru Falls, are surviving.  

Environmental mahi

Knowledge gained from the project will help Ngā Kaitiaki O Ngā Wai Māori and supporting agencies in their work to increase the eel or tuna population in the Hikurangi catchment. The project combines Mātauranga Māori and western science.  

Another area Halliday was prominent in was Te Wai Māori. Established under the Māori Fisheries Act 2004 it was designed to protect Māori interests in freshwater fisheries to ensure quality water. Freshwater fisheries include species, habitat, surrounding land, water column, water quality and quantity.

The plan is to have him lie at his marae at Akerama in Northland but further details are yet to be released.