As a renowned champion for constitutional change and transformation, Dr Jackson played a critical role in bringing greater recognition of documents such as Te Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi whilst also advancing Indigenous rights in law, resulting in work such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori Professor Meihana Durie says that his loss will be felt throughout Aotearoa and at Massey as well.
"Dr Moana Jackson was a remarkable academic and a formidable intellectual force who championed Māori and Indigenous rights. The impact of his work will forever speak for itself but he also made time to support the development of many Māori academics, including our Pūkenga Tiriti Associate Professor Veronica Tawhai and others on groundbreaking work including the Matike Mai Project and the establishment of the Te Ata Kura Te Tiriti Educators programme. We also have members of staff who are whānau pani, and our thoughts are with them at this time, including Cam Te Paa, the mokopuna of Moana's tuakana, the late Syd Jackson."
Professor Durie says Dr Moana Jackson also contributed to Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa in other ways.
"In 2018 at Takaparawhau Marae in Tāmaki Makaurau, he delivered an inspirational yet challenging and thought-provoking presentation to members of our University Council and leadership team on honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Those messages must continue to remain at the forefront of our work in this space.”
It has been a week of significant loss for Māori and also the university and Professor Durie says it is important to pause and to take the time to reflect on the contribution made by Dr Jackson and others.
"In challenging times like these, it is important to take a moment to reflect upon the contributions made and rich legacies that remain, so that these can be appropriately honoured and celebrated.”
Dr Moana Jackson is to be farewelled at his marae of Matahiwi in Heretaunga and Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa staff will be in attendance to represent the university.