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Poroporoaki: Mere Knight

Poroporoaki: Mere Knight
28 July 2008

E te whaea e Mere, kua hoki atu koe ki te kopu o te whenua, takoto mai, takoto mai, moe mai ra.
Kua ngaro koe i te tirohanga tangata – ko wai hei tauira mo nga uri whakatipu?
Me maumahara matou ki o mahi, ki to kaha, ki to manawanui ki te atawhai i to iwi.
Haere ra, haere ra, haere ra.

Maori Party Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples paid tribute to Mangere kuia Mere Knight, who was buried today.

“Mere was one of those matriarchs that I got to know as soon as I came to south Auckland,” said Dr Sharples. “Everyone said ‘You don’t do anything in this area without talking to Mere first’, so you knew straight away she was a powerful advocate for the community.

“Mere was into every possible option for improving the lives of the people of the South. Since the 1950s, she fought for Maori rights, she supported women in the community, she was a staunch member of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, she promoted urban marae development, she advocated for children, and she campaigned against poverty.

“You saw at the tangi what the people thought of her. Hundreds came. Every organisation in South Auckland was represented. Te Whanau a Apanui was there in force, from the Bay of Plenty.

“My own links to Mere were through Ngai Tumapuhia from the Wairarapa, and she had connections to Ngati Porou as well, through Te Whanau a Ruataupare ki Tokomaru and throughout te riu o Waiapu.

“We all mourn Mere’s pasing. The question she leaves us with, is how to look after our young people, now that Mere is no longer here to set an example for us.

“That may be her most powerful legacy – the challenge she laid down to the rest of us, to step up to the mark she set.

“E Mere, e kore koe e wareware, ka whakapau kaha matou kia tutuki o tumanako mo nga reanga whakatipu. Haere ra, haere ra, haere ra.


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