The death of Eru Thompson marks the passing of a true leader of the Maori people, Labour’s MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare says.
“Matua Eru provided a strong consistent Maori presence in all our major community events in Taamaki Makaurau.
“He led the community prayers in the lifting of the tapu at the edge of the Manukau harbour waters after tragedy struck our families. He blessed sod-turning ceremonies for new community buildings or new roading infrastructures. He was the kaumatua that facilitated the annual opening powhiri of the ASB Polyfest for our tamariki.
“In all these events and more, Eru’s presence provided cultural dignity and mana which our communities appreciated so much.
“Eru was a staunch Maori, steeped in tikanga and the cultural practices associated with his role as kaumatua, yet he was inclusive of all cultures. His work with young people from all walks of life will be his legacy.
“He was also very political in pursuit of ways to advance Maori aspirations and support our community dreams for a better way of life.
“Eru was a close friend to us all. We are deeply sad to hear of his departure and we will miss him dearly.
“Kotahi tonu te kōrero haere atu raa koe ki oou maatua ki oou tuupuna.
“Nga mihi aroha ki te whaanau pani,” Peeni Henare says.