Māori Language Commission Pays Tribute To Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru
rā e hika, koutou ko ō matua
Unuhia i te rito o te harakeke
Ka tū i te aroākapa
Aku nui, aku rahi e
Aku whakatamarahi ki te rangi e
Waiho te iwi, māna e mae noa
The Māori Language Commission has paid tribute to the late Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru.
“We mourn an unforgettable visionary, warrior and navigator. Huirangi’s dream was a world where te reo Māori was a living language, he fought the Crown to make sure it honoured te reo and he helped guide the te reo Māori movement for more than 70-years. His vision and vigilance are to thank for many things we take for granted today – from hearing te reo on our radio or tuning in to it on our television,” said Ngahiwi Apanui, commission chief executive.
“Huirangi led to serve. A humble yet resolute leader whose focus never wavered throughout a lifetime of serving his people. His legacy is one that will be felt far into the future, because throughout his lifetime, his eyes were focused on the future.”
“Ko tōku taonga, ko tōku reo. Ko tōku reo, ko tōku taonga. My language is my treasure, my treasure is my language: this is a proverb from Huirangi’s tipuna that describes how we feel about losing him. From Taranaki maunga to the steps of our Parliament, Huirangi embodied te reo Māori. He was and remains, one of our greatest treasures.”
“Our aroha, love and thoughts are with the whānau pani at this most challenging and painful time.”