A delegation from Te Whakatōhea of the Eastern Bay of Plenty will be travelling to Auckland tomorrow to accompany Dr Ranginui Walker on to Ōrakei Marae.
Dr Ranginui Walker who was brought up in the Rahui valley a subsidy of Omarumutu near Ōpōtiki was taught at a young age the value of Te Ao Māori he went on to inspired a generation from Te Whakatōhea, Te Kahautu Maxwell being one who perused higher education.
Mr Maxwell says that “Dr Ranginui had only recently stepped down from serving on the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board however during this time his intentions to us his people of Te Whakatōhea were for him to be taken to Ōrakei Marae should anything happen”.
Dr Ranginui Walker was a key figure when Te Whakatōhea declined the offer from the Crown in 1996 to settle their tribal claims. To date they are the only NZ tribe to do so. Tomorrow when Te Whakatōhea accompanies the body of Dr Ranginui Walker onto Orakei Marae this will be a key issue for their orators to present while on the Marae.
Mr Maxwell says that “The loss of Dr Ranginui Walker is not only being felt by Te Whakatōhea but by Māoridom as a whole”.