Condolences to the Whanau of Rau Williams

  • Tau Henare
Maori Affairs

The MP for Te Taitokerau and the Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Tau Henare, today expressed his condolences to the whanau of Rau Williams.

Mr Henare said Rau Williams had become a beacon of hope for people on hospital waiting lists around the country in a similar position.

"Rau Williams' death is a terrible, terrible thing.

"I've been told many things since this man's predicament became publicly known - mostly that the decision to take Rau Williams off dialysis treatment was sound clinical judgement.

"Well, now Mr Williams is dead and I hope the people that made that decision are happy because what's become blatantly clear over the past few days is that it was always a decision about rationing.

"For me this issue was always about the right to live. Dialysis treatment would have prolonged Rau Williams' life, even if it was for only a little longer, at least he would have still been alive today.

"I went to see Mr Williams last week at Whangarei Hospital and it was plain as day then he was coherent and had a strong desire to live.

"There are a number of lessons to be learnt here but instead of clouding the tragedy of what's happened here with political rhetoric can I say to the whanau of Rau Williams: ki mai koe ki au, he aha te mea nui o tenei a, maku e kii atu, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata. (Translation: If you should ask me, what is the most important thing in the world, I would say to you it is man, it is man, it is man.)