National | Death

Former Māori language commissioner dies

Waereti Tait-Wall (Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhoe), a former Māori language commissioner, has died after a long illness. She was 73.

Waereti was appointed to Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori in 1999, at the end of Sir Timoti Karetu's 12-year term as the Māori Language Commissioner. She served alongside Miria Simpson, Ruka Broughton, Quinton Hita and Dr Patu Hohepa.

As a social worker, Waereti supported her uncle, John Rangihau, and his work on the report Te Pua o te Ata Tū, which first advocated a Māori approach to the government's welfare policies in 1988.

Waereti is the daughter of Hori Tait, who composed The Bridge, the first Māori language song to reach number one in the New Zealand music charts.

She is survived by her husband Robbo Wall, four children and many mokopuna. Her tangihanga is being held at Tūnohopū Marae in Rotorua.