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Defence Force Mourns Maori Queen's Passing

New Zealand Defence Force Mourns Maori Queen’s Passing

The Maori Queen
hongis OSCS (Ordinary Seaman Combat Specialist) Daniel
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The Maori Queen hongis OSCS (Ordinary Seaman Combat Specialist) Daniel Hemara

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release
16 August 2006

New Zealand Defence Force Mourns Maori Queen’s Passing

The Maori Queen, the late Dame Te Atairangikaahu, was part of a legacy that has a special, enduring and engaging relationship with the New Zealand Defence Force, says Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae.

He said Dame Te Ata, who died on Tuesday 15 August, had been a considerable contributor to where Maori and the Defence Force now stood. “She always encouraged a relationship between Maoridom and Defence that was appropriate and robust and was built on trust and mutual respect. She had a particularly close relationship with the Navy.”

“Maoridom has always been of major significance to the NZDF, through its history, its single Services, and the high proportion of Maori within our military. Like all New Zealanders we are proud of Dame Te Ata’s achievements and contributions to New Zealand. She was deeply respected across the Defence Force and we feel a sense of loss at her passing.”

Dame Te Atairangikaahu was the patron the ANZAC frigate, HMNZS Te Mana, and launched the ship in Melbourne in 1997. Two years later she was guest of honour at the frigate’s commissioning in Tauranga. She maintained a strong interest in the ship and ship’s company, visiting regularly.

She last visited Te Mana in December last year, when she was welcomed on board by the ship’s Kapahaka Group. With its visitors aboard the frigate set sail for the inner Hauraki Gulf, allowing Dame Te Ata the opportunity to interact with sailors and officers, and observe the ship’s company at work.

LTGEN Mateparae says the Defence Force is working in consultation with Dame Te Ata's Tainui tribe to ensure her passing is commemorated appropriately.

Dame Te Ata is lying in state at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia, and thousand of people are expected to attend her tangi. The Defence Force is providing logistical support, which includes chefs, portable kitchens and other equipment.

LTGEN Mateparae, Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Ledson, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Rear Admiral Jack Steer, the Warrant Officer of the NZDF, WO1 John Barclay, and other senior Defence representatives will be welcomed on to the marae to pay their respects on Saturday.


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