Horomia kept eye on Brownlee to ensure he prayed

Parekura Horomia

As Members of Parliament, Tuesday, dedicated the day to paying tribute to former Minister of Māori Affairs and Labour MP, Parekura Horomia, St Bede’s College Old Boy and National MP Gerry Brownlee told the house he remembered getting a note from Mr Horomia for not shutting his eyes during the House Prayer.

Brownlee recalled Mr Horomia used to send notes to MP’s he noticed didn’t have their eyes closed during the Parliamentary prayer.

He said Mr Horomia would sit with one eye shut and the other roving around the chamber. “And if you saw that eye, he would send you a note saying ‘I notice you didn’t have your eyes shut through the prayer. That’s very disrespectful.'”

Mr Horomia, a much loved MP by all members of Parliament, died ten days ago, and Tuesday was the first opportunity for the House to acknowledge him and his contribution to Parliament and the Country.

The New Zealand Prime Minister said Mr Horomia was a passionate advocate for Maori and that the House would remember him as a man who could fight and struggle for the issues he believed in, but do it in a way where he didn’t make enemies.

Marist priest working in the Whaia Te Whaea ministry based in Te Puna, Fr David Gledhill, also paid tribute to Mr Horomia.

“Whether you were the Prime Minister, Tribal Chief or a local he was having a beer with, Mr Horomia treated everybody the same.

“To the locals he was just an ordinary fella they voted for and who advocated hard for them. They were surprised at his Tangi to learn of his national achievements and the respect, the aroha, top people in the country had for him,” he said.


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