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A champion of te reo Māori is farewelled

Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Te Minita Whanaketanga Māori

Minister for Māori Development



“Hau karioi ki Raukawa Moana, hau ai noa ki Te Whanganui a Tara. Whātoro whakararo atu, whakaneinei atu, whakatetonga. Nei rā aku mihi; tēnei ka hāro atu, tena ka hāro mai.

Taiope noa te au o aitua, te aupounamu ki te Honoiwairua. Taiea noa ko tatau i muri nei, hāpai ake ai, i te pukainga kaupapa i waihotia mai.”

Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, joined Kiingitanga followers, Tainui Waka and hundreds of people at Mataatua Marae, Rotorua today to attend the tangihanga of Professor James (Jim) Te Wharehuia Milroy, QSO.

Professor Milroy passed away yesterday following a long illness.

“Wharehuia was a prominent champion of te reo Māori for a number of decades and was highly regarded nationally by whānau, hapū and iwi,” said Minister Mahuta.

“Wharehuia lived in the Waikato for many years with his late wife Niwa and children. He had a gentle, humble and humorous personality and was generous with the knowledge he possessed about te Ao Maori”.

Professor Milroy was a proud Ngai Tuhoe and Ngāti Koura descendant.

“He will be remembered as a bastion of te reo and a great exponent of his Ngai Tuhoe reo and tikanga.”

Professor Milroy was a professor at Waikato University, a trustee on the Kōhanga Reo National Trust and served on the Waitangi Tribunal.

“We acknowledge his life work and in particular the generosity of his family who enabled Wharehuia to make a legacy contribution to language revitalisation. Their loss is felt by many and we offer our deepest sympathy at this time,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“Nō reira e te matua, haere ki ō nui, ki ō rahi i te pō, ki a rātou mā e karanga.”


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