He Aitua : Most Reverend Max Takuira Mariu
The Maori Party today joined whanau all over Aotearoa in mourning the loss of the Most Reverend Max Takuira Mariu SM DD.
“This is a huge loss, the passing of a great leader of our people. Takuira was dearly loved by all our families” stated Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Mäori Party. “He has spent his life in dedication to the advancement of our people, always responding to the call of our whanau whenever and wherever they arise. He would take his Ministry wherever the people were”.
“We would see Takuira at every hui - he was of course a cherished presence at every Hui Aranga, but he would also be at Ratana, at the Mäori Women’s Welfare League and others. In fact I remember the profound impact he made at this year’s hui of the Welfare League, when he called on our people to uphold their Mana Maori Motuhake”.
“Although he would always refer to himself as apolitical, Takuira exhorted our people to live in the way which would best retain the essence of who they are. He inspired many, by his gentle manner and a special ability to uplift our spirits”.
“Pa Max, as he was affectionately known, has earnt a special position in all our hearts, through his unique status as the first tangata whenua Catholic Bishop” stated Mrs Turia. “Our Whanganui whanau have a strong relationship with Takuira, through whakapapa from the Te Pikikotuku line : - having been born in Taumarunui, teaching at Hato Paora College for Maori boys, and spending many years administering to our families from the river”.
“Takuira was respected by tangata whenua for his service at the Catholic Maori Mission, as well as all New Zealanders, in his roles as Auxiliary Bishop of Hamilton and the Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese of Hamilton” stated Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party. “Takuira was treasured for his spirit of humility, his enthusiasm and humour, and his wonderful rapport with our families”.
“Takuira was also a strong advocate for self-determination and demonstrated his lifelong commitment to our kaupapa and tikanga as providing the framework for how one lives one’s life”.
“I remember when Takuira was awarded the honour as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002” stated Mrs Turia. “He spoke of how battling a congenital heart condition had strengthened his appreciation of life”.
“I think now how blessed we have all been to have been guided and supported by Takuira” concluded Mrs Turia. “Our aroha goes to all his whanau and across all parishes as we think of the special role in he has played in our life. We have indeed, been honoured to know him”.
Na reira e te rangatira Takuira, haere ake ki a ratau kei te po. Waihotia matau i muri nei i te ao mamae tangi ai, hotuhotu ai mou e takahi ana i te ara whakamutunga mo te tangata.