A trailblazer in Māori broadcasting and a preacher of the gospel, hundreds gathered at his Marae in Kaikohe to bid him farewell after his sudden shocking death last Friday.
Rau kapa’s older brother led the service while his older sister reminisced on how she helped raise her younger siblings, Ihapera Edmonds his sister says “ Only two months ago, we were having a yarn and he said to me in front of his brother Tarawau, “Im your baby eh?” and I said yes then Tarawau said “ but I was before him.” she described these as the kind of quirky conversations she would regularly have with her brother.
The local community was still in shock as just last weekend many of them attended a different service for Rau at the very same place, which was a much happier occasion where he renewed his wedding vows with his wife Gail at the Aperahama Church . According to Reverend Queenie Matene “ I was bereft to hear of his passing. I couldn’t believe it was him when it was announced on Te Kāea. I cried and cried and cried. We were very close”.
The family was comforted with kind words from their loved ones throughout the funeral.
Rau Kapa truly was a trailblazer who helped pave the way for Māori broadcasting, he also followed in the footsteps of his elder brother Matiu Kapa a church leader in the very same branch of Ngāpuhi. According to Sonny Tau the chaiman of the Ngāpuhi Rūnanga “ Theres some real history here because Te Kapa came here from Te Aupouri to preach a sermon and this branch of the family has resided here since. This is where the Ngāpuhi prophets gathered here at Te Kotahitanga, hence this house being built in their memory. All our chiefs gathered here prior to the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi”.
A man of stature in this world from which he is now lost, leaving behind his two loving children, his three treasured mokopuna and his beloved wife Gail. His contribution to Māori broadcasting and unwaivering love for his family will never ever be forgotten.