Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.
“The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over five decades in the arts, tertiary and Māori development sector. Piri was a great believer in Māori realising their potential,” Minister Mahuta says.
“He was fond of the arts and worked hard to ensure toi Māori was given appropriate recognition here and internationally. He was a founding member of Tamatea Arikinui and would be a known face at kapa haka competitions held across the motu, being an astute composer of haka and waiata.”
More recently Piri served as a Pouwhakahaere at Te Puni Kōkiri where he would assist and advise the Office of the Governor General on matters related to and how to best engage with Māori. He would attend special events around the motu as the kaumātua for the office.
“He was fearless in the way he advocated for Māori issues, and always did so in a statesmanlike style.
“He was an iconic kaumātua and his passion for the arts, kapa haka were natural talents from his Kahungunu and Kāi Tahu lineage, he follows on from many great of leaders from that region.
“His sage words of wisdom and his practical and aspirational advice will be sorely missed throughout te ao Māori, I will miss seeing him around dearly,” Minister Mahuta says.
“Nō reira e te rangatira o te waka o Tākitimu, haere e te mana nui, ki tō iwi nui i te pō, haere.”