Regional | Environment

Tributes flow for Te Waka Kai Ora founder

Ngāti Hine elder and leader Percy Tipene has passed away aged 64. He was the founder of Waka Kai Ora, a Māori Organic Growers Group. He will be remembered for his work in revitalising traditional Māori practices with Māori medicine and his strong support of Māori rights in the Wai 262 claim.

Ngāti Hine spokesperson Waihoroi Shortland told Te Kāea, “I feel for his grandchildren who he has left behind. You would rarely see him without his mokopuna on his heels. For Ngāti Hine, it won't be easy to fill the gap left behind as he drew many people to his causes.”

Amongst his family, tribe and the nation, Percy Tipene is remembered as a leader who founded Te Waka Kai Ora, his expertise in Māori medicine and his strong stand and support for Māori rights to flora and fauna in the Wai 262 claim.

“He was committed to protecting the environment and our lands and believed in ensuring their protection under traditional Māori practices.”

Tukaha Milne says, “Percy was a person who considered our resources so Māori could own their own lands but also working within traditional Māori practices.”

Percy Tipene is currently lying in state at Motatau Marae in Kawakawa. The details of his service and burial are yet to be confirmed.