January 24, 2017
Tipene dug out place for Maori growers
One of the co-founders of Maori organic growers organisation Waka Kai Ora says a lot of its success comes down to the effort put in by Percy Tipene.
Mr Tipene died on Sunday after a series of strokes. He was 64.
Massey University's Nick Roskruge helped organise the first Maori organics hui at Ratana Pa in 2000 when the roopu was set up.
He says Mr Tipene's passion for the kaupapa and his willingness to participate meant he built up a huge network around the country.
His background in farming and as an adviser in the sheep and beef sector had given him an understanding of how the the primary sector works and what needed to be done to change things.
"In agriculture and horticulture and all of that, Maori are there but their presence is pretty marginalised, and that's how it was way back then, certainly for organics but just generally for agriculture and horticulture so part of the kaupapa was to raise that profile to ensure that Maori were noticed and the opportunity to be Maori in that sector was real," Dr Roskruge says
Mr Tipene was able to get Waka Kai Ora a place at the table when new standards were developed for organic growers, and to develop the Hua Parore standard for Maori organics.
Percy Tipene is lying in state at Ngati Hine's Motatau Marae.
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