Respected elder of Ngāti Ranginui Dr Morehu Ngātoko Rahipere has passed away. He was a strong supporter of the Kingitanga and fought for the return of confiscated lands to iwi in Tauranga Moana. Two month ago the family of Dr Morehu Ngātoko Rahipere were celebrating his 90th birthday, today they are mourning his death.
Spoke person for the family, Te Moanaroa Ngātoko Rahipere says that “we are in shock, at a loss regarding his passing.” In 2007 he was awarded, The New Zealand Order of Merit. A staunch supporter of the Māori language he would encourage the younger generation to speak it. What he was passionate about was for strong inter-tribal links.
“He was one of the elders from this area that supported the Kingitanga Movement he followed in the footsteps of some of the leaders of this area namely Maharaia Winiata, Te Hare Piahana and his older Brother Joe”, says Rahipere. In 2015 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato.
This Friday his service will begin at 7:30am before he is taken to his final resting place on Motuopae Island. He will spend tonight at Wairoa Marae, Tauranga before being brought back here to his beloved Huria Marae where preparations for his returned are underway.