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The Passing of Dorothy Huhana (Bubbles) Mihinui

Flavell On the Passing of Dorothy Huhana (Bubbles) Mihinui

The following Notice of Motion put forward today by Te Ururoa Flavell, Member of Parliament for Waiariki, was agreed to by all Members of Parliament:

"That this House express its deep sadness on the recent death of Dorothy Huhana (Bubbles) Mihinui, who has given seventy years of service to Maori tourism and the community in Rotorua, in her role as a guide at the historic Whakarewarewa Village, and express its sincere condolences to Tuhourangi, Ngäti Wähiao and Ngäi Te Rangi, who are feeling a profound sense of loss and sorrow at this time".


Background information

Te Ururoa Flavell, Member of Parliament for Waiariki said today, "Te Arawa has lost a cultural icon. Guide Bubbles was well-known to the Rotorua community and indeed to thousands of international visitors to our rohe. Her influence over the affairs of her hapu and the tribal confederation of Te Arawa was significant and she will be sadly missed".

Bubbles Mihinui was invested as a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, awarded at her home marae of Te Päkira, Whakarewarewa at a ceremony on 5 October 2002.

The award was one of many, which recognised the dedicated life of service Guide Bubbles has shared with national and international visitors through her role as a guide at Rotorua's famous Whakarewarewa Village and geothermal area.

Bubbles Mihinui was born in 1919, at Whakarewarewa Village, where she was to spend much of her life sharing her love of Maori arts and culture. She became an apprentice guide in 1936 and in 1938 was appointed a guide for the then Government Tourism Bureau.

Guide Bubbles was a protégé of Guide Rangi (Rangitiaria Dennan) and Guide Bella (Bella Papakura) and became senior guide at Whakarewarewa in 1970 following the death of Guide Rangi.

Guide Bubbles was also awarded the Nga Tohu a Ta Kingi Ihaka/Sir Kingi Ihaka Awards which is awarded to kaumatua whose lives have been dedicated to helping retain Maori arts and culture in their communities.

In 2001 she was awarded the Sir Jack Newman Award which recognises an individual's outstanding contribution to tourism in New Zealand. In 1985 she was awarded a Member of the British Empire for her contribution to Maori and tourism.

"The warmth of her welcome, her infectious smile, her legendary expertise in tikanga Maori and her tireless dedication in her role have earnt her a significant place in the history of Aotearoa" stated Mr Flavell.

Her inspiration by example was also evident in the Waitangi Tribunal claim she filed with the Maori Council in 2000, forcing the Government to join tobacco companies as defendants in a High Court action. Mrs Mihinui alleged in that claim that Maori people have been prejudiced by the omission of the Crown to provide equitably for Maori health in the elimination or reduction of Maori smoking.

ENDS


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