Prime Minister John Key today paid tribute to Ng?ti T?wharetoa leader Timoti (Timi) te Heuheu, who has passed away following a long illness.
"I was deeply saddened to be informed of Timi's passing today.
"Timi dedicated his life to service. He was a hugely respected figure - within Ng?ti T?wharetoa, Maoridom and throughout New Zealand.
"Timi was a great facilitator of relationships, a bridge between Ng?ti T?wharetoa and other iwi, and between M?ori and the Crown. His ceaseless work to further those relationships - always with great diplomacy - will be remembered by many.
"He was a great support to his brother, Sir Tumu. Timi's wisdom and experience will be greatly missed by all who knew and valued him.
"I would like to extend my condolences to Timi's wife, Georgina, my colleague for nearly a decade. Both Timi and Georgina have worked for Maoridom with great passion for many years, and together they were a formidable team."
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