Waitangi Tribunal tribute to Deputy Chairperson Norman Smith
Last month marked the passing of Judge Norman Francis Smith, former deputy chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal and deputy chief judge of the Māori Land Court. Judge Smith served as deputy chairperson from 1993 until his retirement in 1998. During these years, he presided over many urgency and remedies judicial conferences. Having grown up in Cromwell, central Otago, during the 1940s, he brought a direct and engaging manner to his Tribunal work. He was prone to give his decisions, viva voce, at the end of a three-hour conference. Nobody was left in any doubt about where Judge Smith stood on any issue. He was also very loyal to his Tribunal staff. In recognition of this loyalty, staff member Turei Thompson composed a wonderful farewell waiata for the judge in 1998. It brought him to tears, and he will be sorely missed by all those who remember him fondly.
E te ihorei, kua takahia e koe te ara whano ki te pō. Tomo atu rā koe ki roto i te whare matapōrehu o Hine-nui-i-te-pō. Haere atu rā koe e te uri o paheke: e taku kuru hauhunga, e taku āhuru mōwai. Nei mātou, tō tira o Te Kooti te Kooti Whenua Māori, o Te Roopu Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi e tangi apakura ana ki a koe. Waihō mā muri nei ō kaupapa e kōkiri – kia mau, kia ita. Hui ē, tāiki ē!