The small population of Tikitiki is set to expand majorly over the next few days as the masses flock to the East Coast settlement to pay tribute to the late Dr Apirana Mahuika.
The respected and beloved Ngāti Porou leader passed away yesterday morning amongst family at his home in Kaiti, Tūranga.
Whānau, volunteers and the community have banded together to prepare the marae, the food and all other necessities as the influx of manuhiri begin to arrive.
Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Aute students were among the ope that went onto the marae this morning, carrying with them words and songs of tribute to a man whose work provided great benefit not only for his Iwi but Māoridom as a whole.
Other guests expected this week include the Kīngitanga, the Māori Development Minister, Te Ururoa Flavell who cut short an expedition to New York to return for the tangi, while the Minister of Education Hekia Parata, will also travel to Tikitiki to pay homage.
Te Kāea reporter Aroha Treacher is at Rahui Marae and will have more details tonight on Te Kāea at 5:30 and 7pm with subtitles.