August 21, 2017
Meads’ Maori contribution remembered
Tributes are flowing in for rugby great Colin Meads who died yesterday of pancreatic cancer aged 81.
As well as the accolades, there have also been people critical of his support for sporting contacts with apartheid era South Africa, including his leadership of the sanction-busting 1985 Cavaliers tour.
But Maori broadcaster Willie Jackson credits Sir Colin with teaching him that Pakeha could play a valuable role in Maori institutions.
The pair crossed paths in 1992, when Mr Jackson was media liaison for a Maori All Blacks Pacific tour that Sir Colin was brought in to manage.
Mr Jackson says he had been sharply critical of the decision but that changed on tour.
"I tell you now, if Colin hadn't been the manager, that tour would have collapsed and that team sent home. There was trouble brewing all the time and he was the guy who managed to pull everything together and he changed my view in terms of the way Pakeha interact in terms of kaupapa Maori. If you have good Pakeha people like that who embrace our values, our principles, what is the problem with them running the ship," he says.
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