On December 30th 2010, Dr Mark Laws (Ngāti Awa, Tuwharetoa, and Te Arawa), associate professor at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, drowned while diving at the East Cape settlement of Te Kaha.
Born in Kawerau, Dr Laws, 52, held a PhD in information science from the University of Otago and, in 2004, was the founding head of the wānanga computer information science and technology faculty.
Dr Laws who held a great passion as a player, coach and administrator for touch rugby, was recently appointed the Ngāti Awa representative on Whakatane District Council’s iwi liaison committee. He also served his community through developing a diabetes online programme in conjunction with Bay of Plenty District Health Board.
Dr Laws is survived by his wife, three children, and five grandchildren, he will be sadly missed by all.