20 Dec 2010

Tribute paid to late Tom Newnham

6:48 am on 20 December 2010

Anti-tour activist Ripeka Evans has paid tribute to anti-racism campaigner Tom Newnham who died late last week, aged 84.

As the secretary of the Citizens for Racial Equality organisation, Mr Newnham played a pivotal role during demonstrations against apartheid from the "No Maoris No Tour" campaign in the 1960s to the 1981 Springbox tour.

Ms Evans says he was a pakeha who gained huge respect among Maori for the quiet, but strongly assertive way he focused people's attention not only on racism in South Africa, but within New Zealand.

"He understood what mana was. He walked (the talk)," she toldWaatea News. "He had a good message to the world and he lived it."

Ms Evans said Mr Newnham campaigned tirelessly for human rights for more than 50 years.

A funeral service is being held at the Mt Eden war memorial hall at 10 am on Tuesday for him.