13 Jul 2012

Politicians pay tribute to Timoti te Heuheu

11:36 am on 13 July 2012

Politicians have expressed their sadness at the death of one of Maori's senior statesmen, Timoti (Timi) te Heuheu.

The Ngati Tuwharetoa leader is the brother of paramount chief Tumu te Heuheu and husband of former Cabinet Minister and National Party MP Georgina te Heuheu.

Mr te Heuheu died in Rotorua on Thursday, aged 68. The couple have two sons.

Prime Minister John Key says Mr te Heuheu was widely respected for dedicating his life to service and bridging the gap between Maori and the Crown.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Timoti te Heuheu personified the dignity, diplomacy and quiet leadership that has characterised Ngati Tuwharetoa.

The Labour Party says the iwi has lost a well-known and popular leader.

Mr te Heuheu has been taken to Waihi Pa on the southern shores of Lake Taupo where he will lie in state in the wharenui Tapeka.

Maori from throughout New Zealand are expected to travel to Waihi to pay their respects.