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Poroporoaki: Rangitihi Rangiwaiata Tahuparae, MNZM

Poroporoaki: Rangitihi Rangiwaiata Tahuparae, MNZM

E koriporipo ana nga wai o Whanganui!
E tu mokeomoke ana a maunga Taranaki!
Kua tau nga kapua pouri ki runga i te Kahui Maunga!
E tangi ana nga iwi o Kurahaupo, o Aotea, o Tainui, o Te Arawa.

Ko wai te totara haemata kua hinga, ru ai te whenua?
Ko wai te totara haemata kua hinga, haruru ai te wao nui a Tane?

Ko Rangitihi Tahuparae! Ko Rangitihi Tahuparae!

E te rangatira, e te tohunga, e te whanaunga, e te matua kaiarahi mo nga whakatipuranga, haere, haere, haere atu ra.

Haere ki o tupuna, no ratou nga taonga i tuku iho ki a koe, hei whangai mai ki a matou. No ratou nga tikanga i whakamarama ki a koe, kia pumau ai to tiaki i nga uri whakaheke. No ratou tou reo, e awhiowhio ana tona mita ki nga topito o te motu.

Tenei te tangi, te poroporoaki a te Ropu Torangapu Maori ki a koe. Ko koe te kaiwawao o nga tikanga tupuna i roto i te Whare Paremata, i te pu o te wheke o te kawanatanga. Kei te mihi, kei te tangi ki a koe kua ngaro atu nei i waenganui i a matou, ki to whanau hoki e noho pani nei ki muri.

The Maori Party feels bereft to hear of the death of Rangitihi Tahuparae, and we send our love and sorrow to his family and relations from the many tribes he was connected to.

“We all knew Tahu over many years, and around Parliament we saw him regularly in his capacity as a cultural adviser to the Crown – to the Governor-General, the Speaker and the Parliament,” said Dr Pita Sharples.

"As the first officially appointed Kaumatua o Te Whare Paremata, Tahu was a renowned orator and a distinguished Officer of Parliament, who presided over numerous ceremonies of national importance, including the visits of royalty and foreign dignatories," he said.

"Tahu provided expert cultural advice on matters of tikanga and protocol; and imbued every occasion with the sense of significance through the appropriate karakia and whaikorero.

“He was appointed a member of the Waitangi Tribunal at the same time as I was, in 1999," said Dr Sharples.

“We also remember his pioneering work with Whanake Rangataua thirty years ago now, which drew on our cultural traditions to develop martial arts and a healthy and disciplined lifestyle for young people, as an alternative to gang culture. Tahu trained in martial arts in China and on his return, founded Rangataua O Aotearoa Mäori Martial Arts and Cultural Crafts Association with clubs in both New Zealand and Australia,” he said.

“Tahu achieved national prominence as a pioneering broadcaster, reporting for Te Karere in the early days of Maori TV news,” said Tariana Turia.

“But for his iwi, his most obvious and lasting legacy is his mentoring of a generation of young leaders, whom he immersed in language, history, whakapapa, karakia and waiata, and who now take their place with confidence and pride on our marae,” she said.

“He launched the annual Tira Hoe Waka, where Whanganui descendants paddle down the river, learning tribal history and visiting their ancestral papakainga in a life-changing journey of self-discovery.

"Tahu’s life was one of complete and utter dedication to the people. Part of his legacy is the Ta Kingi Ihaka award, for a lifelong contribution to the development and retention of Maori arts and culture. Amongst his more recent contributions was as the cultural and spiritual advisor to Vincent Ward in the River Queen.

“We of Whanganui held Tahu in the highest of esteem for the profound ancestral knowledge he now takes to his grave, but also for the generosity of spirit he demonstrated in sharing his knowledge for the benefit of the iwi,” said Mrs Turia.

“He was an impressive role model – always impeccably dressed, with a military bearing, totally in command of every situation. He exuded rangatiratanga - pride and confidence in the knowledge of who he was and where he came from.

“His passing will be a great loss to the iwi of Whanganui, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa, Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Maru Kopiri, Te Atiawa, Ngati Ruanui, Nga Rauru, Ngati Apa and Rangitane – and to the nation as a whole.

"We will mourn Tahu deeply, but it is a comfort to know his distinctive presence will live on in this upcoming generation," she said.

“E Tahu, haere, haere, haere ki te po.”


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