Vera Morgan celebrates her 100th birthday

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Vera Morgan has reached a milestone not attained by many Māori, reaching 100 years of age. A staunch and resolute champion for Māori principles and values, she demonstrated compassion for Māori youth in Wellington through the Ngāti Pōneke Young Māori Club. 

At 100 years old, Vera Morgan is still sharp and she has a strong message for Māori.

Vera Morgan (Te Māhurehure) says, "Walk the talk. I say we don't walk the talk, get out of it."

"You don't just talk and do nothing, which a lot of people did. They had plenty to say but no action. I say no action, shut up."

Vera Morgan has seen many changes in her time, her elders were of the time of Treaty of Waitangi and the New Zealand Land Wars.

Neville Baker (Te Ātiawa) says, "Occasions like this are very very important to reminisce and you've heard the older kuia talking this afternoon and reflecting on all the events and of course they traversed two world wars."

Born in 1917, Vera Morgan grew up in Hokianga. She moved to Wellington when she was 18 and found company in the Ngāti Pōneke Young Māori Club. The gathering was a time for celebration and reflection.

Laura Taiapa, Ngāti Pōneke says, "That's a great treasure that she gave to us all, to look after, you know that's always been the motto of Ngāti Pōneke you look after the young ones, but she carried it on in that way."

Those present voiced their respect and admiration.

Baker says, "You had the energy, you had the style, you had the attitude and you were able to tell people what to do and they listened. So that was a very important part of your contribution."

A wider celebration will be held for Vera Morgan at Pipitiea marae in the near future.