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Poroporoaki – Henare Rakiihia Tau

Poroporoaki – Henare Rakiihia Tau

E te rangatira kua ngaro, e te reo o te iwi kua wahangu, e Rakiihia, haere, haere, haere atu ra. E te uri o Ngāi Tūāhuriri, o Ngai Tahu, ka tangi te ngakau ki a koe kua kapohia atu e te ringa kaha o aitua.

Nau te huarahi tika i waitohu, nau nga painga me nga kaha o te iwi i whakaata ki a tatou ano. No reira ka noho pani katoa tatou i a koe kua ngaro atu nei i waenganui i a tatou.

The Maori Party is saddened to hear of the loss of Henare Rakiihia (Rik) Tau, the Upoko Rūnanga of Tuahiwi Marae, kaumatua of Ngai Tahu and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

“Rakiihia was such a wonderful kaumatua held in high esteem by whanau, hapu and iwi, iwi, by Morehu, by us all,” said Tariana Turia. “He had such a distinguished and distinctive style. He was never happier than holding court from the armchair of his beloved Tuahiwi Marae, extending the hand of manaakitanga to everyone who came his way. But he was equally at home in the company of royalty; of dignitaries and leadership from all cultures and creeds.”

“I remember the way in which he united us all through the shadow of grief, at the official memorial service for victims of the Christchurch earthquakes held in Hagley Park on 18 March 2011,” said Dr Pita Sharples. “He moved from the formalities of the mihi whakatau to a lighter moment, when he spoke directly to the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. He told the crowd that the living were forever linked to the dead through the branches of their family tree; and extended that korero to the Prince, encouraging him to ‘nibble at the apple and be fruitful’. Obviously the Prince took that korero seriously!”

“Rakiihia was a staunch advocate for the Maori voice” said Te Ururoa Flavell. Whether it be about whenua, wai Maori, Maori customary fishing regulations or the 1998 Ngai Tahu settlement, we will find the impact of his negotiating skill. He played a vital role in the Ngai Tahu claim which was the first of the major claims, and in establishing their new marae whare in 2012, he fought to achieve compensation in 2008 for land taken by the council for a motorway forty years earlier; he was also a Rangiora City Councillor and a founding Trustee of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai.”

“While his achievements were many and his legacy immense; my greatest memory will be of such a beautiful man – a man with twinkly eyes, a hearty laugh, and such love for his people,” said Mrs Turia. “We extend our sympathies to the whanau pani – his partner, his four sons and ten mokopuna and the siblings, cousins and wider whanau who are tonight grieving the loss of their adored Poua.”

Rakihia will be lying in state at Tuahiwi Marae, 219 Tuahiwi Road from 1pm Wednesday 2 July 2014 until Saturday 5 July 2014 where Service will be at 1pm.


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