It was with heavy hearts that we learned of the unexpected passing of our long time Kaumatua, supporter and friend, Bill Wiki. Bill was many things including a former army gunner and territorial, Justice of the Peace, Board member on the Otara Community Board and he acted in an advisory capacity for many other organisations and groups. Bill had many awards for local participation and volunteer work, and in 2005 was recognised with the Queen's Service Medal. He was an extraordinary voice for those who were disadvantaged and couldn't speak for themselves, and his greatest joy was his whanau.
Our involvement with Bill went back to 1990's where he provided guidance in tikanga Māori for research and projects and our everyday activities as a community organisation. Bill was behind the whakataukī that underpins our activity, "He aha te kai o te Rangatira? He Korero, he korero, he korero. What is the food of the leader? It is knowledge, it is communication".
Bill will be remembered as an especially powerful voice for people with diabetes in the community. One of his achievements was advocating to ensure that the District Health Board diabetes presence in Otara wasn't removed when closure of the Alexander Crescent clinic was proposed, more than 20 years later Otara still has access to Diabetes services. Many memories are had of precious time spent in later years in his office by the Library in Otara, talking about how to make things better, with him dispensing sage advice. Many was the phone call made by Bill putting the right person in contact with the right person.
We express our sincere condolences to his whanau, and miss his smiling presence.
There's an article here with more information about Bill and his life
Photos below, starting left in clockwise direction, 1) Bill at a Diabetes Foundation Christmas function, 2) Bill was a strong supporter of the Lets Beat Diabetes campaign, 3) Bill at an Otara community health event for diabetes, 4) Bill as regularly seen in his chair in later years