Māori educationalist Kukupa Tirikatene received a massive pōwhiri at the Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland this evening, where he served as professor from 1993 to 2006.
The 83-year-old of Ngāi Tahu descent died on Monday.
A native speaker of te reo Kukupa spent much of his career in education teaching te reo, tikanga and Māori history, a passion he took up due to a shortage of Māori language teachers. He began teaching at Rosehill College in 1976.
He became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015.
Born at Rātana Pā, Whanganui, Kukupa was the eighth of 12 children born to Sir Eruera and Lady Ruti Matekino Tirikatene. Brother of the late Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan, long-serving Labour MP and uncle of Rino Tirikatene, current Labour MP.