Jolene Ailsa Nathan Patuawa-Tuilave

19 May 1977- 24 June 2010

[Scottish and Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Te Uri-o-Hau, Te Roroa, Ngāti Torehina, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Whātua]

A significant Ngāti Whātua leader, Jolene Patuawa passed away on 24 June 2010 after a battle with cancer. The youngest of four daughters from Kerepe Wiremu and the late Judith Patuawa [nee Fisher] Jolene was born and raised in Dunedin. Sadly her mother passed away in 1981 at the age of 32 after a similar battle with cancer.

After graduating from Otago University in 2000 with both an LLB and a BA, Jolene quickly achieved distinction as a lawyer specialising in treaty, environmental and Māori law, first with Tauranga firm Holland Beckett, then as a senior associate with Kensington Swan prior to her joining Jackson Reeves in Tauranga. Jolene was an active member of Te Hunga Roia Māori o Aotearoa [The Māori Law Society Incorporated] where she was co-president right up to her death.

In 2007 Jolene took a leading role in the Ngāti Whātua Iwi treaty claim.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua chairman, Naida Glavish, says Jolene was a remarkable young Ngāti Whātua woman and will be sadly, sadly missed.

"Jolene was so bright, in every sense of the word from her intellect to her effervescent personality. She was always a complete joy to be around. She was an enormous tribute to our people. I am sure Jolene's legacy will live on and that her story will be an inspiration to others. She was so, so passionate about her people, and used all her intellectual capability and legal training to fight for the very best outcomes for Ngāti Whātua. She always fought with grace, dignity, great strength and compassion."

Jolene returned to her home town of Tauranga last year, but was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer while she was carrying their son Lui.

Jolene Patuawa-Tuilave is survived by her husband Rob and children, Vitolia Jill and her son Lui Netana Patuawa Tuilave who was ten weeks old when Jolene passed away.

Several options are being considered to establish a memorial to Jolene including a university scholarship in her name.

Kua okioki rā koe e kō e, ko te mamae e ngau nei e kore rawa e pātata ki tāu i kawe ai. Ko tā korua tama a Lui te pou whirinaki. Ko te ōhāki a tō whānau, a tō iwi a Ngāti Whātua kia kaua rawa tō āhua e ngaro ki mua i tā kōrua tama. Rere āwhio tau tōtika kua tae atu rā koe ki tua o te ārai pūkohurangi e piri mai ai koutou ki tua o pae maumahara; tau atu, tau atu kāti ki konei…