Joe Hawke laid to rest at Takaparawhau/Bastion Point

Source: 1News

"Ko Takaparawhau ko Uncle Joe, ko Uncle Joe, ko Takaparawhau." Takaparawhau is Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe is Takaparawhau.

Joseph Parata Hawke was on Thursday laid to rest at Takaparawhau/Bastion Point, the land he and his whānau fought so hard to keep.

Thousands of mourners have gathered at Ōrākei Marae to pay their respects throughout the week following his death on Sunday, aged 82.

Hawke led the occupation at Takaparawhau in the 1970s, a 506-day protest against a proposed Crown sale of Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei land.

The impact he had on so many across Aotearoa was heard through stories shared by whānau, friends and those who came from near and far to stand by his side at Takaparawhau.

He's been described as a humble, kind and generous man whose peaceful leadership in his fight for the whenua acted as a catalyst for many other Māori to follow suit.

Te Aroha Alec Hawke, his brother, was one of many who spoke during the service at the tangi on Thursday.

"He was our hero. We would have followed him anywhere. Because his fight was our fight. He drew a line in the sand and said no more to those who had trampled on our rights.

"We were landless, we had nothing to lose and we stood by him. We achieved together, with others in our iwi and those who came to support us, a magnificent win."

READ MORE: The 1977 Bastion Point occupation

Hawke's final resting place is at Takaparawhau, next to the memorial for his young niece Joanee, who tragically died during the occupation.

His whanaunga (family member) Marama Royal described the area as a wāhi tapu, a sacred place for him to rest.

"As we know and as Aotearoa knows, Ko Takaparawhau ko Uncle Joe, ko Uncle Joe, ko Takaparawhau.

"There was only one place for him to go, and it was back to the land that he fought for all those years ago."