Former Awarua MP Rex Austin has died aged 91. I met Rex a couple of times – he was an MP from 1975 to 1987 and I joined Southern Young Nationals in 1986. He was a devoted representative of Southland and a very hard working MP.
Austin was only the second Maori New Zealander to be elected to a general seat. The first, Sir James Carroll, was first MP for Eastern Maori and then for Waiapu and Gisborne from 1893 to 1919.
There is a good biography of him here.