Former Māori AB Heitia Hiha passes asway

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Former Māori All Black and Napier kaumātua Ruruarau Heitia Hiha has passed away at 85 years of age.

Hiha played rugby for Hawkes Bay and the East Coast. He also played tennis for Hawkes Bay and with the NZ Māori tennis team.

As a kaumātua of Ahuriri Hapu he was the chairman for a Treaty of Waitangi claim for land around Ahuriri, completed in 1998.

Hiha served as an iwi liaison officer for the Hawke's Bay Regional Council and as an elder for the Napier City Council, and last year was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori.

Heitia Hiha is lying in state at Pukemokimoki Marae in Maraenui.

A final service wil be held at 11am at Petane Marae on Saturday.