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Waitakere City: Dame Te Ata

Dame Te Ata

16 August 2006

Flags in Waitakere are flying at half-mast today to acknowledge the passing of the Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey says Dame Te Ata was a great New Zealand leader whose character and resolve will live on in the memories of many.

“I have known Dame Te Ata for many years and her legacy is one of great dignity, integrity and a gentleness of spirit, rare in most people let alone someone of her standing,” says Mayor Harvey.

“For decades she has been the voice of reason and conciliation and she and her influence will be sorely missed.”

Tomorrow Mayor Harvey will be travel to the Turangawaewae Marae, Ngaruawahia to personally pay his respects and those of the city, at the tangi.

Waitakere City’s councillors observed a minute’s silence this morning in honour of Dame _Te Ata.

Councillor Assid Corban recalled meeting Dame Ata in his role as chairperson of parks for what was then the Auckland Regional Authority – now Auckland Regional Council.

“We had some issues with management of parks in the southern part of the region and we met with the Maori Queen at Turangawaewae,” Councillor Corban says.

"We were received warmly and very graciously and resolved those issues through her expert guidance and gentle persuasion.”

Chairman of Te Taumata Runanga, Te Warena Taua, says the Tainui people, Maoridom as a whole, and indeed the whole nation is today mourning one of the great leaders of our age:

Kimihia rangahaua Kei whea koe te arikinui Ka ngaro nei!

Ko Matariki te whetü takiata Te Manu Korihi, haere atu ra te ariki tapairu

Haere ki o matua, ki o tupuna, haere ki nga Kingi a Po Haruru ana te motu I to wehenga atu Kei te tangi te motu, me ki, kei te tangi te Ao katoa,

No reira e Te Arikinui, Haere, haere,haere ki te whare o Apakura whakangaro atu ra

Tena koutou katoa,

Dame Te Atairangikaahu passed away yesterday after prolonged illness.

Dame Te Ata was crowned the first Maori Queen in 1966, upon the death of her father, King Koroki.

She followed in the legacy of her ancestors, beginning with Potatau Te Wherowhero, who was crowned the first Maori King in 1858.

‘The Lady’, as she was affectionately known by her followers, will lie in state on Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia for seven days.

The successor to her throne will be decided in deliberations by tribes from throughout the country over the next few days.

Dame Te Ata will then be taken to her final resting place, where her ancestors also lie, upon Taupiri Mountain.


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