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Poroporoaki to Apirana Mahuika from Willie Jackson

Poroporoaki to Apirana Mahuika from Willie Jackson

E te taniwha hikuroa, te autaia o Ngāti Porou e hoki i runga i to waka ki Hawaiki Nui. Te nui o ngā mahi whai hua i oti i a koe e kore e taea te whakarāpopota. No reira e te rangatira e kore koe e wareware i a matou i muri nei. Takoto mai takoto mai moe mai ra.

Apirana Mahuika was the most prominent Ngati Porou person in Aotearoa and it is with great sadness that I acknowledge his passing. Today this great rangatira is laid to rest and although I can't be there as I am overseas on business I want to remember the great influence he had on Ngati Porou and Te Ao Maori.

Uncle Api was one of the most impressive and most powerful figures this country has ever seen. To maintain his chairmanship of Ngati Porou right until the day he died was a tribute to his courage and strength. In many ways he seemed invincible and no one was able to remove him from his leadership role because of his ability to lead, and the faith that the people had in him. He was a master speaker and orator in Maori and English and an exceptional negotiator and he used all of those skills to put Ngati Porou into the very strong position they are in today both financially and commercially.

As a “Young Nati” in the city growing up Uncle Api was always supportive of me although philosophically he disagreed with mine and John Tamihere’s position on Urban Maori rights he never failed to embrace us as young "Nati’s" and for that I will be forever grateful. Uncle Api could have been knighted but to his credit he was never interested in that title. He did not need an English title to prove he was significant and had mana. His mana came from his total commitment to Ngati Porou and recognition from his people who backed him for the many years he was their leader. He much preferred the title Uncle Api to Sir Api because he knew it was an expression of whanaungatanga unlike the British title "Sir".

Today as Uncle Api joins his tipuna I say thank you Uncle, thank you for leading our people the way you did, for being a role model for Ngati Porou and Te Ao Maori and for setting the benchmark for Maori leadership which many of us should try to aspire to over the next few years.

No reira e Te Rangatira Api moe mai, moe mai ra.


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