Joe Hawke remembered as kind, generous man who led peacefully

Source: 1News

Joe Hawke was a kind and generous man whose peaceful stand at Takaparawhau was a catalyst for Māori throughout the country to follow suit, says his niece.

The Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei kaumātua who led the Takaparawhau occupation at Auckland’s Bastion Point in the 1970s, died on Sunday, aged 82.

His niece Precious Clark spoke of his life in an interview with Breakfast on Monday. She said he was a formidable man who leaves a massive legacy.

“He was a man who stood against great adversity for a purpose that he believed in and that was the return of our beautiful whenua taurikura, our precious land here at Takaparawhau.

The former MP will be best remembered for his leading role in the occupation of Bastion Point.

“And in that leadership he acted as a catalyst for many other Māori throughout the nation, throughout the country to follow suit.

“But as an uncle, he was a generous, kind and caring man who was always on your side creating opportunity for myself, my cousins and his children and his mokopuna and he dearly, dearly loved our whānau, and he dearly, dearly loved our iwi.”

Clark said that as a young boy, Hawke was there when his whānau were displaced from their whenua, and watched as houses at their papakāinga (village) at Ōkahu Bay were burnt down by Auckland Council.

READ MORE: Bastion Point occupation leader Joe Hawke dies, aged 82

“That set a fire in his belly, come the 1970s under the guardianship of Dame Whina Cooper he became aware of the wider injustices suffered by Māori so come 1977 when Robert Muldoon attempted to build high rise luxury buildings up here on our beautiful land, Uncle Joe did say enough is enough."

It moved Hawke to start the occupation at Takaparawhau, setting up camp with his wife, his kids, and his dogs, inviting others to join him in their peaceful protest.

Clark said the key part of this occupation was that Hawke had the leadership to ensure it was peaceful.

“Uncle Joe has left a huge legacy for us, you be what you can see and what Uncle Joe taught us is that you can stand up, you can bring people along on a journey, and you can fight for what's right and you can achieve that.”