Topic: Koroneihana

Loved ones remembered at Koroneihana

By Mānia Clarke
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
  • Australia

At Tūrangawaewae Marae, Kiingi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII along with his people of Tainui waka gathered under the protection of their ancestral house Mahinaarangi to grieve and remember their loved ones who've passed away during the year. 

King Tuheitia and the royal household of Pootatau Te Wherowhero were among the mourners today with the passing of his sister Kiritokia E Te Tomairangi Paki.

"This is a spiritual day," said Turongo Paki, the son of the late Tomairangi Paki,

"With her passing we also welcome our people from the canoe of Tainui who have come to mourn their loved ones with King Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII."

Former members of Taniwharau haka group were also remembered including haka exponent Te Napi Tutewehiwehi Waaka and his daughter Waimarie Jolene 'Jojo' Waaka.

"It means a lot to me because my dad had a lot to do with the Kiingitanga and with Tainui," said Arohaina Waaka, the daughter of the late Napi Waaka.

"So to honour them I thought I would bring my father and my sister here today.

"It's been a sad year for Taniwharau with the loss of many of our stalwarts.  Napi, Te Oraiti, Tomairangi and Tohehaia Matatahi," said Paki.

Another loss was the passing of NgĀti Te Ata Kiingitanga stalwart and environmental champion, Dame Nganeko Minhinnick.

However as the saying goes, "When one passes away, another arises".

"It's been a very big loss to lose all these great people but I think it's just time for everyone else to step up and take the lead," said Waaka.   

"We are considering some options that look positive. One is the re-establishment of the Taniwharau (haka group) in the future, but we are yet to decide when," said Paki.

Crowd numbers are expected to multiply tomorrow as tribes from around the country arrive to remember their loved ones who've died in the last year, such as Anglican Māori Arch Bishop William Brown and Catholic leader, Pa Henare Tate.