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Public procession for Dame Te Atairangikaahu

Public procession for Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu

18 August 2006

Members of the general public wishing to pay their final respects to Maori Queen Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu at Turangawaewae marae have the opportunity to do so between 8am and 10am tomorrow (Saturday 19 August).

Family spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta said the two-hour time slot had been set aside for members of the public in recognition of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu's links with the wider community. They were invited take part in a solemn procession to pay their respects during the tangihanga. The first powhiri for iwi would start afterwards at around 10am.

"The family recognise that many iwi and Maori organisations are yet to pay their respects to Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and we welcome them to do so from 10am Saturday. However, in order to help us streamline the huge numbers of people still wishing to visit Turangawaewae marae, we ask that consideration be given to the wider public to first pay their respects. This reflects that she was a respected leader among people of many different communities and cultures.

"The family would like to thank the thousands of people who have travelled to Turangawaewae marae over the last few days to share in our grief and pay tribute to Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu. We are overwhelmed by the tremendous support and comfort that has been shown by so many to ease our grief during this time.

"While this is a sad time for the family and for many people, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the life of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu and her contribution to our Aotearoa/New Zealand," Nanaia Mahuta said.

Condolence books for Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu are available for the public to sign at the Hamilton City Council Chambers and in the main foyer of Parliament House in Wellington.

ENDS

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