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Poroporoaki; Saana Murray

Poroporoaki; Saana Murray

The passing of Saana Waitai Murray, the last of the original claimants that took the claim for the protection and preservation of indigenous flora and fauna (WAI 262) has been acknowledged with great sadness by Maori Party co-leader, Tariana Turia.

"Saana lived her life in a way which left no-one in any doubt about her pride in her people of Te Hiku o te Ika and in particular Ngati Kuri. Her dedication and her sacrifice to their survival was immense".

"Every single day since she took the claim to the Tribunal, Saana wore a fossilised pupuharakeke, a flax snail, around her neck. The pupuharakeke - once thriving in the North - is now a threatened species".

"Saana fought on behalf of all her descendants, in fulfilling her responsibilities as Ngati Kuri, in upholding the guardianship of their whakapapa, the kaitiakitanga of all of their taonga".

"She was a fierce advocate for the whenua, particularly her role on behalf of Te Oneroa a Tohe in the Muriwhenua Land Report".

"Saana passionately believed in the rights of Maori control over things Maori".

"A couple of years ago she paid a visit to the University of Waikato to pay tribute to their Honey Research Unit for the research they were advancing into the healing properties of native manuka honey - something she herself championed".

"She had a vast knowledge and expertise across so many area including the protection of our environment, cultural and intellectual property rights, our natural heritage and she will long be remembered for her commitment to the preservation and respect for taonga Maori, on behalf of us all".

"This loss will be devastating for her whanau, her children and her mokopuna, whom my thoughts are with today, as they grieve someone who was central in their lives".

"She was indeed their poutokomanawa -and her leadership and her vision will be forever uppermost in their hearts. Our aroha is extended to them all".

Notes

WAI 262 was filed in 1991 by six claimants from six iwi - Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngati Wai and Ngati Koata. On 3 July 2011, after twenty years of relentless pursuit, the Waitangi Tribunal's response and recommendations was presented at Roma Marae in Ahipara - Saana's marae - to Saana on behalf of all the claimants.

Saana (Hana) Waitai Romana Murray, QSM, of Kaitaia, was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009 for services to the community.

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