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Kiingi Tuheitia Extends Sympathy on Passing of Mandela

Kiingi Tuheitia Extends Sympathy on Passing of Nelson Mandela

Kiingi Tuheitia heard the news of the passing of Nelson Mandela with great sorrow.

He extends his sympathies to the whaanau of Nelson Mandela and the people of South Africa.

“Our thoughts are with the family of Nelson Mandela and the people of South Africa at this time and we, along with the peoples of the world mourn the loss of one of the twentieth century’s greatest and most inspirational figures,” Kiingi Tuheitia said today.

The linkages between Tainui, the Kiingitanga and Nelson Mandela were first established on 14 November 1995 when Tuheitia escorted him onto Tuurangawaewae Marae to meet his mother, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

“Nelson Mandela is the embodiment of the struggle of tangata whenua for control over their lands and their destinies. He is a great man. An inspiration to us all and we will never forget him.
“I will remember him as a humble man with a great heart and a huge smile who gave himself totally to the cause of freedom and equality for all. He suffered terribly at the hands of the white regime and yet, when he finally won his freedom, he preached peace and reconciliation. He will be greatly missed but his legacy to his people and to the world will endure.

In 1995 he brought a gift of a protea plant – the national plant of South Africa – which was a mere shrub when he presented it, and now graces Turongo with its vibrant colour and beauty – and reminds us all of one of the greatest days of our lives.

I will never forget his visit to Tuurangawaewae Marae for many reasons: His huge smile, his warmth, his messages of hope and forgiveness.

It was a beautiful day and we had children from all the schools, Maaori and Paakeha, locals and manuwhiri. There will be many children who will treasure those memories for the whole of their lives.


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