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Maori lawyer John Chadwick dies in Rotorua

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/05/2017

The founding president of the Maori Law Society and its only life member, John Chadwick, died suddenly in Rotorua on Friday.

He was the husband of the city's mayor, former Labour MP and minster of conservation, Steve Chadwick.

Mr Chadwick was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Maori and the law in last year's New Year's Honours list.

Hawke's Bay born and raised, he had practised law in Rotorua since the 1970s and was still in practice as a barrister at the time of his death, specialising in criminal and family law.

The founding partner of three all-Maori law firms, he served on a wide range of New Zealand Law Society committees, advised the government on Te Ture Whenua Maori Act in 1993, established the Maori seat on the society's family law section and was a Waitangi Tribunal negotiator.

He was also the founding chairman of the Rotorua-based Kohanga Reo language nest in 1987 and founding trustee of Te Arawa Whanau Ora (health).

Mr Chadwick played a major role in youth matters, and was founder of Te Waiariki Purea Trust, established to deliver the Hillary commission's Movin' On programme in the Rotorua rohe (region).

Renowned for his wit and wisdom he contributed a weekly column to the Rotorua Daily Post for a number of years in which he referred to himself as Uncle Nig, later using the name Nig on his personalised number plate.

He was 72, the father of two sons and a daughter, and koro to a number of mokopuna.

Mr Chadwick's body will be taken to Tamatekapua meeting house, the premier meeting house of Te Arawa, on Monday after lying at his home until Monday morning. His funeral service is to be held on Papa-i-ouru marae in front of Tamatekapua on Tuesday

The cause of Mr Chadwick's death has yet to be established.

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