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The Sun has Set

The Sun has Set: the passing of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV

Dr Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia, Co-leaders, Maori Party Monday 11 September 2006

The Maori Party today extends its sincere sympathies to the Tongan people, in the sad passing of His Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, the King of Tonga. “The loss of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV will touch Tongan people living here in Aotearoa or in their homeland, the state of Tonga” said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

“He has been a significant presence in their lives for over 41 years, since 1965 when his mother, the late Queen Salote Tupou III passed on”. “The implications of his death, are particularly poignant, following the tragic and fatal accidents involving the late Prince Tu'iipelehake and late Princess Kaimana Tuku'aho only a couple of months ago” said Mrs Turia.

“The whakapapa relationship that tangata whenua hold with the Tongan people is very important to us all” said Mrs Turia, “and pre-dates Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We all felt the importance of those connections in the recent tangihanga for the late Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu”.

“King Tupou will be remembered for the initiatives he took in promoting the significance of education for the future prosperity of his Tongan people; as well as his support for an inquiry into democratic reform” said Dr Sharples. “We know that the King was greatly loved by his people - in all spheres of his life” said Dr Sharples.

“As a personal memory, I am aware that he always followed the rugby between our two nations with great pleasure. Indeed, the links between our peoples on the sportsfield are really strong -players of mixed Maori/Tongan heritage have played either for Tonga or the Maori All Blacks (Tasesa Lavea played for the 2006 Maori AllBlacks while Matt Te Pou Junior has played for Tonga)”.

“The late King always had ideas for his people. I remember his most recent idea for Tonga being about soccer for all”. “I knew him to be a wise historian and a great scholar” said Dr Sharples.

“His knowledge of European history was incredible - you could always rely on him to know the details of events such as the Battle of Waterloo”. “Our sympathies go to Her Majesty the Queen Halaevalu Mata’aho, HRH Princess Pilolevu, HRH Princess Siulikutapu, HRH Princess Ofeina ‘e he Langi, Crown Prince Tupouto'a and all of the Royal Household as they mourn the loss of a beloved husband, father, grand-father as well as such a momentous figure in the nation of Tonga”. E korekore te marama, ka mimiti te tai, ka ngaro te tangata, kua hinga te totara haemata.

Kei te ariki, Kei te Kingi, haere. Haere ki o tipuna matua. Haere ki te kainga tuturu mo taua te tangata. Kikini hae hae. Aue taukiri e".

ENDS

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