Ngataki Marae in the far north has been abound with people from across the country who have come to pay their respects and farewell the famous Ngati Kuri elder Merimeri Penfold who passed away earlier week.
The first visitors this morning were from the house of Potatau bringing with them their love, tears and many stories of a much celebrated life.
Following the group from Tainui were visitors from across the country.
Waratau Houia of Ngati Porou and Te Arawa says,”she lived among us and so I bring with me the aroha of Ngati Porou in this moment. She taught my people and I remember a little as I was only a young fella at that time but I remember. In recent times when we met we'd have a good yarn.”
According to Mere Mangu of Ngati Hine, “Our group are representing Queen Victoria School and bring the love of the many that could make it here at this time like Pare Hopa who sends her love.”
Hanging above is a photo o Dame Mira Szazy exemplifying the people who have come from the Ngati Kuri tribe in the far north to be leaders in the Maori world and further afield.
Kuni Jenkins says, “people from all tribes who attended varsity in Auckland were taught by here from their bachelors degree to their masters.”
Tomorrow morning there is a service at Ngataki before our elder is returned to her home Marae of Te Reo Mihi in Te Hapua where she will lie before her burial at Mareitu cemetery.