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Memorial Service For Maori Queen At Te Papa

24 August 2006

MEDIA RELEASE

Public Memorial Service For Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu At Te Papa

A public memorial service to commemorate the life and work of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu (1931-2006) will be held at Te Papa’s Marae on Saturday 26 August 2006 at 11.00am.

Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu was the sixth and longest-serving head of the Kingitanga, a movement founded in the 1850s to unify Mäori and protect land and customs. She became Queen after the death of her father King Koroki in May 1966, and was known widely as the Mäori Queen.

Born Piki Mahuta, Dame Te Ata was educated at Rakaumanga School and the Waikato Diocesan School for Girls. She presided over the Kingitanga with wisdom and dignity for forty years, unifying her people and drawing respect from tribes and people of all cultures throughout New Zealand.

Married to Whatumoana Paki, mother of seven and a grandmother, she was influential in revitalising te reo Mäori (Mäori language) and promoting all aspects of Mäori culture, arts, and sport. Dame Te Ata hosted many royal and diplomatic visitors, and represented her people at state events overseas. Her leadership and warm personality contributed significantly to bringing together Mäori and other New Zealanders.

She became Dame Te Ata after receiving the equivalent of a knighthood in 1970. She held many other national and international honours, including Honorary Doctorates from Waikato University in 1973 and from Victoria University of Wellington in 1999. She was a founding appointment to the Order of New Zealand when it was inaugurated in 1987.

A Tribute to the Life and Work of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu (1931-2006)
Saturday 26 August 2006, 11.00am.
The Marae, Level 4, Te Papa.

Order of Service
Opening Hymn: Whakaaria Mai
Karakia: Kukupa Tirikatene, Ngäi Tahu Kaumätua
Readings and Remembrance: Open to staff and public
Closing Hymn: Tama Ngäkau Marie
MC: Te Papa Kaihautü, Te Taru White

Moe mai rä i runga i te moenga të taka, te urunga të whakaarahia.
E te Ariki tapairu, rire, rire, hau pai marire!

ENDS

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