Mourners for the late Tama Tūranga Huata continue to gather at Waipatu Marae to pay tribute to the beloved family man and immensely talented stalwart of Māori Performing Arts.
Surrounded by whānau the 64 year old passed away at his home yesterday morning.
In his lifetime, Tama Huata contributed an immense amount of experience, skill and knowledge to Māori Performing Arts including founding the Kahurangi Māori Dance Theatre and the Waiata Māori Music Awards.
He chaired the Ngāti Kahungunu Rūnanga Arts and Culture Board and was the inaugural Chair of Te Matatini Society Inc. Mr Huata headed Ngā Marae o Heretaunga Organisation and spear headed the Ngā Pou o Heretaunga project. He was also made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his international recognition in indigenous arts.
Tama Huata will lie in state at Waipatu Marae tonight, then be taken to Mihiroa Marae in Pakipaki tomorrow morning. He will be laid to rest at Whenuakura Urupā on Sunday following an 11am service.