May 11, 2022
Pākehā champion for te reo Māori dies
Former Mana Māori Media and Māori Television journalist Andrew Robb is being remembered for his contribution to Māori media and the revitalisation of te reo Māori.
Andrew Robb died yesterday after a long fight with cancer.
Friend and colleague Derek Fox says Mr Robb was born in Australia but came to New Zealand as a child.
He studied Māori at Victoria University of Wellington, forming a strong bond with Koro Dewes and his whānau, and was active in the Wellington Māori Language Board, Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau i te Reo Māori and a stalwart of Wellington radio station Te Upoko o Te Ika.
“It was quite unusual because he was very pale, he didn’t look remotely Māori, but he was a fluent speaker of Māori, almost a fluent speaker of Ngāti Porou-type Māori. He was meticulous, sometimes pedantic I think, but he just needed to completely understand something fully before he would embark on it. He did a lot of the donkey work around the Te Reo Māori Claim. He just took to it – that was his cause in life,” Mr Fox says.