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University Staff mourn death of Maori Queen

Association of University Staff

Media Release
Attn News Reporter 16 August 2006

University Staff mourn death of Māori Queen

He maemae aroha

Ka whakatau hā ki te rangi e tu nei
Ka whakatau hā ki te papa e takoto nei
Tau noa te whakaaro nui ki a rātou kua whakatairangahia atu ki tua, ki nehe nui
Mauri ora ki te whai ao kit e ao marama

E tangi nei te uniana mo ngā kaimahi ki roto i ngā Whare Wānanga, te roopū hoki o Te Kahurangi Whāiti. Kua ngaro atu nei a Te Arikinui Te Atairangi Kahu ki te tirohanga kanohi. E Ata, kua tīwahatia mai koe e tō nui, me pēhea hoki a muri nei te tāea, kua tauiratia ketia mai hoki, nō reira haere okioki atu ki o rātau taha.

I whakanuitia a Te Ata i tōna turanga i te kaupeka o Piripi i ngā tau 1966. Koia hoki te wahine tuatahi i whakaritea hei kuini mō te roopu Kingitanga. I waihangatia te Roopū Kingitanga i te tau 1856 hei tiaki i ngā whenua māori i raro i te marumaru o te kīngi. Ko Pōtatau Te Wherowhero te kīngi tuatahi. Hei tipuna a Pōtatau ki a Te Ata. I a ia e noho ana hei ariki i ngā tau whā tekau kua paheke atu nei i whai pānga atu a Te Ata ki ngā mahi Tōrangapu a-rohe, a-whenua whānui, o-te Aonui hoki ā, he kaitautoko kaingākau, he kaitautoko pumau kit e whakawhanake taketake.

I whakawhiwhia te whakahōnore Tohu Kairangi o Te Wānanga o Wikitoria ki a Te Ata I te tau 1973. I whakahōnoretia anō hoki ia e Te Wānanga o Wikitoria ki te Tohu Tākuta o ngā Ture i te tau 1999. Koia tetahi o ngā tangata tuatahi i kokuhua mo te Kahui o Aotearoa i whakapūmautia rā i ngā tau 1987. Ko ia hoki te wahine Māori tuatahi i tohua hei wahine kahurangi.

E tino whakarongonuitia ana a Te Ata i roto i ngā wāhanga o te wānanga. He wahine kaha ki te tautoko mo ngā wahine māori ā, e rongonuitia ana e te iwi whanui, he rangatira whaimana. Ko te ki a te apiha māori o AUS inakuanei, ara a Naomi Manu ‘ka tū katoa te hunga o Aotearoa ki te tangi mo Te Atairangi Kahu ā, i te wā e manakohia ana ngā rangatira pēra ki a ia rā, he mate ohorere noa kua ruia ki te motu’.

Te mea e mōhiotia ana e rua ngā tākutatanga, kua whakahōnoretia e ngā wānanga e rua o te motu nei, e whakaatu ai i tōna rongonui ki ngā kaimahi o ngā wānanga ā, me maumahara rā hoki. Haere rā e te whaea.

--

He maemae aroha
The Association of University Staff and Te Kahurangi Whaiti are mourning the loss of the Māori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangi Kahu.

Crowned on May 23 1966, Dame Te Ata was the Kingitanga movement’s first Māori Queen. The Kingitanga movement was formed in 1856 as a way of protecting Maori land under the mantle of a King. The first Maori King was Potatau Te Wherowhero, an ancestor of Dame Te Ata. During her 40 year reign she was involved in local, national and international politics and an avid and staunch supporter of indigenous development.

Dame Te Ata was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Waikato University in 1973, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Victoria University in 1999. She was one of the first inductees of the Order of New Zealand when it was established in 1987. She was also the first Maori woman to be made a Dame.

Dame Te Ata is very well respected within the university sector. She is a strong advocate for Māori women and is regarded within Maoridom as a great and influential leader.

AUS Māori Officer, Naomi Manu, said today that Dame Te Atairangi Kahu is a person that Aotearoa will stop to mourn. “Her untimely death is a loss for a country that needs leaders like her,” she said. “The fact she was awarded two honorary doctorates by two universities in this country shows how important she was to university staff members and she will be remembered. Her death is sadly mourned.”

ENDS

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