National | Education

Māori academic Matiu Dickson passes away suddenly

Esteemed Māori academic Matiu Dickson (Ngāiterangi and Te Whakatōhea) has died suddenly.

Dickson was a senior lecturer at Te Piringa - Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato where he had been working for the past 20 years.

He dedicated much of his life to the teaching of Kaupapa Maori in a legal context. His main interests included legal education, youth advocacy and the the criminal system, resource management and local government law and Māori legal issues.

He was also the Chairperson of Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa and in 2011 was appointed by the Minister of Tertiary Education to the Council of Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Whakatane.

For the last seven years he was a sole practitioner. He was also a barrister and solicitor in private practice.

Dickson held the role as Tauranga District Councillor, chairing the Planning and Environment Committee.

In May 2010 Dickson was appointed by his iwi, Ngāiterangi to be one of three negotiators for the Ngāiterangi Treaty Claim. He was given the responsibility of dealing with the cultural and reo redress for his tribe.

Up until recently, he was the lead claimant in the Treaty of Waitangi Claim (WAI2100), filed on behalf of Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa Charitable Trust, seeking changes to the local government legislation.

In 2013 he was a judge at the Te Matatini Kapa Haka Festival in Rotorua where he judged the waiata-a-ringa section.

Dickson was dedicated to kaupapa Māori and has played an integral role in the development of the law faculty at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato.

He leaves behind his wife Helen, his six children and four mokopuna.

He will return to Hungahungatoroa Marae in Matapihi, Tauranga.