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Te Ariki Dame Te Atairangikaahu

15 August 2006 Media Statement

Te Ariki Dame Te Atairangikaahu

Prime Minister Helen Clark this evening expressed deep sadness at the passing of the Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

“A mighty kauri has fallen. With quiet dignity, humility, humour, and warmth, Dame Te Atairangikaahu achieved a tremendous amount for Maoridom and New Zealand,” Helen Clark said.

“During Dame Te Atairangikaahu’s long reign as Maori Queen, she has given tremendous leadership to Kingitanga, Maoridom, and within New Zealand.

“Dame Te Ata has been the longest serving Maori monarch. Only a few short weeks ago, we were fortunate to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of her coronation.

“Dame Te Ata was at the forefront of many initiatives, from Maori language revitalisation to Maori education, welfare, and the promotion of Maori culture, arts, and sport.

“Dame Te Ata was very much a unifying figure – using her mana to work to bring Maori and Pakeha together.

“In times of great change in society and in Maoridom, Dame Te Ata has provided both continuity and outstanding leadership.

“Dame Te Ata departs this world leaving her people stronger for her leadership and dedication, and having contributed to making New Zealand a better place for us all to live in. She will be greatly missed,” Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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