Maori leader Sir Graham Latimer dies at the age of 90

Maori leader Sir Graham Latimer dies at the age of 90

Sir Graham Latimer, a prominent Maori leader and former National vice president, has passed away at the age of 90 years. Sir Latimerrecently suffered from Parkinson's disease.

Sir Latimer worked to advance Maori rights and address historic grievances in the country and achieved great success during his leadership. He worked with the New Zealand Maori Council for nearly 40 years and most of the time worked as the institution's president. He was also one of the three members of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Sir Latimer also worked as chairman of the Crown Forest Rental Trust, and a member of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission as well as a spokesperson for NgatiWhatua. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1980. His daughter, Rayna Tuhimata said that he took the fight for the changes to the State-Owned Enterprises Act to the Privy Council and achieved huge success for the country. As a result, the act was amended to make land transferred from the Crown to state-owned enterprises that were available for Treaty claims.

Sir Latimer has five children and he is connected to more than 20 children altogether including those he fostered. Prime Minister John Key described Latimer as a great New Zealander and advocate of Maori rights and interests.