The passing of Apirana Mahuika is also a great loss for the Anglican Church. The Bishop of Tai Tokerau, Te Kitohi Pikaahu, spoke about the years Apirana spent amongst the people of Northland in his preparation for the priesthood.
Pikaahu says, “I feel for the Māori people at the passing of this leader and supernatural being Apirana Mahuika lying in state on his marae. He was recognised throughout the country and also in the Anglican Church where he did his priesthood amongst the people of Te Tai Tokerau and we grieve his loss.”
Mahuika trained at the St John's Theological College alongside many budding priests from Te Tai Tokerau.
“When he finished at the college he came to our people in Northland in 1960 when our elder Paki Tipene was the Archdeacon residing in Te Waimate and that was during the time of Sir James Henare and others were the elders of the Te Waimate-Taumarere Pastorate of the church,” Pikaahu recalls.
From that time the Anglicans in the North have maintained their ties with Apirana Mahuika and his people.
Pikaahu says, “At the funeral of the late Hone Kaa in Rangitukia, Api gave the sermon on the marae where he likened Hone to an apostle and I will remember him because of the honour he had as a leader amongst the Māori people and now he is at rest.”
On Wednesday, Anglicans from across the nation will converge on Te Rahui Marae.