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Doctor and MP Bruce Gregory dies

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Te Rarawa has lost one of its mighty kauri.

Former Northern Maori MP Dr Bruce Gregory has died in his 78th year.

He entered parliament in 1980 as Labour’s candidate in a by-election brought about by the resignation of Matiu Rata, and lost to Tau Henare of New Zealand First in 1993.

Another former Labour MP and relative Shane Jones says Dr Gregory was a major feature of Maori life in the far north in the 1960s and 70s, driving his landrover up 90 Mile Beach to run clinics in the various settlements.

His time in parliament was low key, but he subsequently played a role in gatherings of Tai Tokerau elders where he was known for taking often controversial positions.

"To give the guy his due he firmly believed in te ao Maori challenging the orthodoxy of the day, challenging themselves, challenging the crown and on a regular basis he spoke at Waitangi, he spoke at all our big hui about the importance of not only Maori heritage but learning about your rights, defending your rights and using your rights;" Mr Jones says.


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