Green Party mourns passing of SWAP leader Joe Harawira

The Green Party is deeply saddened by the passing of Ngāti Awa rangatira Joseph Harawira QSM, who led the Sawmill Workers Against Poisons (SWAP) organisation. 

Kua hinga he rangatira o Ngāti Awa, o Te Waiāriki. Kua hinga he tino pou o te hunga kaimahi me te hunga uniana.

Ka tangi ana te ngākau nā tēnei wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū Kākāriki ki te whānau pani me ngā tangata katoa huri noa i te whenua e tangi ana i tēnei wā pouri.

The Green Party is deeply saddened by the passing of Ngāti Awa rangatira Joseph Harawira QSM, who led the Sawmill Workers Against Poisons (SWAP) organisation.

"Joe was a real inspiration to us," said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

"He worked closely with Green MP Catherine Delahunty for many years to campaign for a clean-up of dioxin contaminated timber treatment sites and for the health needs of whānau poisoned by these chemicals.

“He showed the whole country that the Whakatane timber workers could not only expose the contamination they suffered, but that they could lead efforts to help other poisoned workers around the country and to pressure successive governments to fund the clean-up of the whenua.

"Joe Harawira was a true leader and friend," said Green Party toxics spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

"I worked closely with him for more than 20 years highlighting the dioxin issue.

“He was brave, loyal and creative in his leadership of SWAP. Although often very unwell he remained determined to make positive changes that would heal poisoned people and the environment.

“Joe, along with others, inspired me and assisted me to negotiate a National Register of Contaminated Sites with the National Government.

“It was an honour to work with this man of mana and our thoughts are with Joe's whānau and hapū and with all the members of SWAP,” said Ms Delahunty.

Ki a koe e te rangatira, e Joe, takoto mai, takoto mai, takoto mai rā. Takoto mai rā ki tō kāinga a Toroa. Ā te wā, haere tōtika koe ki ngā ringaringa o ō mātua tūpuna – nā tō mana rangatira kia taea.

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