Sir Peter Tapsell, the first Maori Speaker of the House, has died at home in Ruatoria, aged 82.
Sir Peter, who entered Parliament in 1981 as the Labour MP for what was then the Eastern Maori electorate, held the role of Speaker from 1993 to 1996.
Before becoming Speaker, Sir Peter held the portfolios of internal affairs, arts, police, civil defence, science and forestry.
He retired from politics in 1996.
Sir Peter, who was an orthopaedic surgeon before becoming an MP, was awarded a MBE in 1968 for services to medicine and the Maori people.
Sir Peter was a very dignified Speaker, and a rarity – he was a Speaker from an opposition party.
An absolute gentleman, whom few people would ever have a bad word about.
Condolences as always to his family.