Syd Jackson (Māori activist)

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For the Australian indigenous AFL player of the same name, see Syd Jackson (Australian footballer).
Syd Jackson
Syd Jackson (Māori activist).jpg
Full name Sydney Keepa Jackson
Date of birth 1939
Date of death 3 September 2007(2007-09-03)
School Nelson College
University University of Auckland
Notable relative(s) Everard Jackson (father)
Fred Jackson (grandfather)
Occupation(s) Trade unionist
Rugby union career
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1959–60 Wellington ()

Sydney Keepa "Syd" Jackson (1939 – 3 September 2007) was a prominent Māori activist, trade unionist and leader.


Jackson, of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou descent, was educated at Nelson College from 1952 to 1956.[1] He first came to prominence at the University of Auckland, where he gained an MA. He was the chairman of the Māori Students Association, and then was a founder of Ngā Tamatoa. He was strongly involved in supporting Tino Rangatiratanga, the revival of the Māori language, and the Māori protest movement in general.

He was the son of the All Black Everard Jackson, and grandson of New Zealand Kiwis representative Frederick Stanley Jackson. He played representative rugby union for Wellington in 1959 and 1960, and was a New Zealand Māori trialist.[2] He was active from 1968 against apartheid, particularly New Zealand tours of South Africa.

Jackson was deeply involved in the trade union movement in the 1980s, as a field officer and then as secretary of the Clerical Workers Union for 17 years.

He was also chairperson of Te Kupenga o Hoturoa - the first Māori sponsored primary healthcare organisation; a Director of Te Roopu Huihuinga Hauora, a Māori healthcare organisation, and built up Turuki Healthcare as its CEO.

Jackson was first married to the late Hana Te Hemara, and was survived by his second wife Deirdre Nehua and his eight children. He was the brother of Moana Jackson.


  1. ^ Nelson College Old Boys' Register, 1856–2006, 6th edition
  2. ^ Luxford, Bob. "Everard Jackson". New Zealand Rugby Museum. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 

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