Topic: Api Mahuika

Apirana Mahuika remembered for his political influence

By Ripeka Timutimu
  • North Island: East Coast

With a name like Apirana, there was no doubting Mahuika would delve into the world of politics.  Though he was never a Member of Parliament, his political influence was undoubted.

He was a diplomat, but could also dig it in when needed.

Putting pen to paper for Ngāti Porou treaty claims, Mahuika was instrumental in netting the tribe a settlement worth over $100 million.

Marama Fox says, “He was one of the main drivers in settling their claims.  He was a staunch advocate also of their language.  While he didn't do it by himself, he could certainly be considered the captain.”

“He was the face, the voice. He was also very clever in urging and instructing the government, whether it be the current government or past governments,” says Hekia Parata.

It was Apirana Ngata who bestowed his name upon him, so it's hardly surprising that Mahuika had huge political influence.

Fox says, “He won't be alone. He'll be going to others like Amster (Reedy), Kuia Rawinia and many other esteemed people who have passed on.”

Parata says, “I want us all to celebrate the work he has done here on earth.  I salute him.”

Mahuika's voice has been heard in all four corners of the house, keeping hold of the words of his ancestor Sir Apirana Ngata, "turning his hand to the tools of Pākehā, and his heart to the treasures of his ancestors."

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