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Tangihanga for leading Maori educationist

Tangihanga for leading Maori educationist and committed Christian Monte Ohia to travel to Waikawa marae, Picton.

Mr Ohia was taken onto Te Puna Wanaka marae at Christchurch Polytechnic last night, where he will lay until being taken to Waikawa marae, Picton, tomorrow. The funeral service for Mr Ohia who is of Ngati Pukenga, Ngaiterangi, Te Arawa descent will begin at 11am Monday.

Family spokesman and eldest son of the nationally and internationally respected educationist, Watson Ohia, said while his father has deep aroha and connection for his kainga in Tauranga Moana, it was at Waikawa marae where he wanted to be laid to rest.

Watson said Waikawa was home to his mother, and wife of Mr Ohia, Linda, and was a place where the children of the Ohia whanau were raised.

A kawemate will travel to the whanau marae at Welcome Bay in Tauranga on Saturday June 21.

He said the Ohia whanau was overwhelmed and humbled by the love and support they had received following the sudden death of the much loved head of the Ohia whanau.

"We are humbled by the aroha and love we have received from around the country and the world. We are humbled and thankful for the support we have received. The emotion and generosity of the many thousands of people our father touched has been overwhelming."

Watson said while the whanau were devastated by the loss, they were guided by the clear messages instilled by Monte Ohia throughout his life.

"The essence of our father is a firm belief and faith in God. He believed you can be Christian and Maori, and as Maori we can achieve all we want to in life We can achieve our destiny as Maori.
"Our father would want us, as he would have, to take this opportunity during tangihanga to celebrate life, of a time of being together as whanau. And he would want us to remember he is in good hands.

"Yes this is a time to grieve, but let's celebrate the wonderful and fulfilling life that was our fathers'. And celebrate the blessing we received and many thousands received through his mahi and achievements throughout his lifetime.

Watson said the passing of his father was also a time to reflect that life was not to be taken for granted.

"It is a time to cherish the gifts we have and make the most of the time we have, and the time we have together with whanau and friends, with our elders and our tamariki."

Condolence messages can be sent to ohiawhanau@xtra.co.nz, from 4pm this afternoon.
Flowers and messages of condolence to: Waikawa marae, 210 Waikawa Rd, Waikawa Bay, Picton. The funeral service will held at 11pm Monday June 16.

ends

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