Te Whānau ā Apanui have shown a huge gesture of Aroha by handing over the Duncan McIntyre trophy to the Wehi whānau. A spokesperson for the group Rawiri Waititi has called for a new trophy to be commissioned laying out a challenge to Te Matatini.
The offer was an indication of the respect and prestige of Ngāpō Wehi.
Waititi announced on the Marae, “Let Te Whānau-ā-Apanui be the last team to hold the Duncan MacIntyre trophy. We've come here to give this taonga over to you. We don't want it back. Take it.
The Duncan McIntyre trophy was placed in front of the coffin.
Waititi also said, “I've heard what your speakers have proposed, Derek to carve a new trophy, we will sponsor it, and we can name it the Ngāpō and Pimia Wehi Memorial Trophy.
It was a challenge laid before Te Mataini chairman, Selwyn Parata.
“If you're here Selwyn, this is your chance to oppose. I saw you earlier when the King arrived, and you agreed,” Waititi said.
Kingi Tuheitia was amongst the hundreds of mourners to pay their respects.
Te Pou o Mangatawhiri tutor Tony Walker says, “It's such an appropriate gesture. He had a close association with those of high calibre such as Duncan MacIntyre.”
Te Whānau ā Apanui kapa haka leader Tamati Waaka says, “He is in a league of his own, there's no one like him.”
Māori language expert Timoti Karetu says, “He was a humble man. All who take part in haka know there is no better way to showcase your culture than on stage. but he always reminded his group to remain humble. That's such a defining moment, something all haka groups can take on.”
Te Matatini CEO Carl Ross was unable to speak to us but there's no doubt Te Matatini will consider the challenge of creating a new trophy for the nation.