RIP Joe Hawke

Joe Hawke was the face and mana behind the resurgence of Māori culture and pride

Joseph Parata Hohepa Hawke (MNZM) was the face of a new resurgence in lifting the way Māori viewed themselves and what they were capable of.

I didn’t want to write this, after the heels of Moana Jackson and Dame June Jackson, the news of Joe’s death felt like such a body blow.

We have lost giants recently and it felt raw to add his name to that list.

The image of Police dragging protestors from Bastion Point has always hooded my earliest memories of NZ.

I was 4 at the time when Piggy Muldoon ordered the Police in, and that haunting imagery has been part of my first understandings of New Zealand.

Joe Hawke was the leadership of that moment of rebellion.

I bumped into him a few times throughout my life, but never knew him well. He was a titan of the protest movement and his calm vision of a more just tomorrow was a blessing and cure to our seething race relations.

We have lost leaders of true conscience impossible to replace, our only duty in remembering them is to keep pushing for justice.

Rest In Peace Joe. You were one in a million.

Kia kaha.

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