There have been laughs and tears at the funeral of esteemed Maori academic Ranginui Walker at Auckland's Orakei Marae.

The funeral service is being held on the third and final day of the tangi for Dr Walker, who died in his home on Monday.

Dr Walker dedicated much of his life to promoting Te Reo Maori and history, with a particular passion for ensuring historical events significant to Maori were properly documented.

He also made his voice heard by writing several book - including "Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou - Struggle Without End", a radical history of New Zealand - and columns in The Listener magazine for nearly 20 years.


Ngati Ngahere hapu chairman and fellow academic Te Kahautu Maxwell has addressed the service, broadcast on Maori Television.

He said Dr Walker dedicated his life to making New Zealand a place where Pakeha and Maori both belonged.

"To change the thought of the Pakeha, our Treaty partners, to accept the Treaty, he aimed to encourage a truly bilingual, bicultural society."

Auckland University colleague Dame Anne Salmond said Dr Walker believed the job of scholars and journalists was to get to the hear of the matter and shed light on truth.

"Past all self-serving interests, past all misleading appearances, being a scholar takes courage as well as insight - he had both."

Recently Dr Walker was one of the top 10 contenders for the New Zealander of The Year award, due to his tireless efforts and contribution to the Maori community.

He passed away in his Auckland home, at the age of 83. He would have been 84 on March 1st.