Repatriation Trip Cancelled

  • Tau Henare
Maori Affairs

The Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Tau Henare, today announced the cancellation of a planned overseas trip to repatriate moko mokai.

Mr Henare said it was a difficult decision to make considering there was widespread support amongst Maori for it.

"But how can I stare the whanau of Rau Williams in the face knowing that he will die shortly because the clinicians have decided in their wisdom that he does not fit 'some' criteria."

He said he would continue to press for the repatriation of moko mokai and taonga Maori. "I think though it's going to be, literally, a paper war.

"Repatriation of moko mokai, taonga Maori and tupapaku are issues that cut to the heart of every Maori. But they also impinge on non-Maori in that this issue is about ensuring ones loved ones are brought home to one's whanau and accorded the dignity and respect they deserve," said Mr Henare.

"Health, and ensuring the system is there to care for, nurse and deliver quality of life till the day you die, is an issue that affects all New Zealanders, not just people like Rau Williams.2

"It is hard to justify bringing someone who has been dead for over a century home when you have a living constituent who is battling the clinicians so he can receive dialysis treatment."