Ngāti Awa iwi is in mourning, following the loss of Eric Eria Mohi Penetito of Ngā Maihi in Te Teko, Bay of Plenty. He was 90 years old.
He and his wife, Mere, taught at Te Kura o Te Teko for over 30 years and led the way to establishing Te Kōhanga Reo o Te Teko.
He had an active involvement with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and both were members of the Ngāti Awa Kaumatua Council and helped Ngāti Awa during its Waitangi Tribunal settlement.
His body is lying in state at Tuteao Marae. On Thursday, he will be buried next to his wife, Mere, at Matariua Cemetery, adjacent to the Rangitaiki River.