Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia is saddened by the loss of Teremoananuiakiwa Strickland Tahere, affectionately known to us all as Mama Tere.
"Mama Tere was a wonderful friend to many; an advisor; a mentor and a dedicated advocate" said Mrs Turia.
"Her work within the community was unique, particularly her support for transgender people and for younger and more vulnerable members of the sex worker community. She dedicated her life to making their lives better - taking her vans out late at night, working the streets and connecting them to wh?nau and to social supports".
"Our experience of Mama Tere in the outreach programme, Te Aronga Hou Inaianei, was very important in helping us to understand the significance of local solutions for local challenges.
"We were honoured to have Mama Tere stand for us in 2005, where she was placed 16th on the list and was a dynamic and articulate speaker at many political forums".
She was a vital link in South Auckland; her expertise being recognised in her role as an advisor to the Manukau City Council. She was also honoured with lifetime membership of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation for her courage and consistent commitment".
"Mama Tere was not afraid to be outspoken, to challenge but also always to act with compassion and love. We have had some very energetic conversations over the years, always delivered with great presence and dignity.
"We will miss her greatly. Our aroha and our sincere sympathies go to the wh?nau of Te Tai Tokerau; of the Cook Islands and the wider gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community for whom she worked so hard.
Popular competitions and giveaways from Gimme.co.nz: NZ's People Powered Guide to Free Stuff. Links will open on Gimme.
Join Voxy on Google+.