Hundreds of mourners descended on Parihimanihi Marae today to pay their respects to kapa haka exponent Ngāpō Wehi. There was a healthy debate about the future of the Duncan MacIntyre trophy after Te Whānau-ā-Apanui handed it to the Wehi family yesterday.
The Wehi family are humbled by the love shown by the hundreds of mourners, and the kind gesture showed by are Whānau-a-Apanui.
The Wehi whānau spokesperson Muriwai Ihakara shared the family’s wishes with Te Kāea, “The trophy must remain with the living, knowing full well that both Ngāpō and Pimia would respectfully refuse it because of their humility.”
Future Matatini performers will have a chance to win the Duncan MacIntyre trophy once it's returned.
Ihakara says, “Based on our tradition, the trophy will remain with the Wehi family until they return it to the group who worked hard to win the Duncan MacIntyre trophy.”
Mourners remembered Ngāpō's prowess as a composer. However, some are still calling for a memorial trophy to be named after Ngāpō and Pimia.
Te Rōpu Manutaki leader Dr. Pita Sharples shared his thoughts about what he thinks should happen, “I'd like the trophy to be given to Te Rōpu Manutaki and returned to Hoani Waititi Marae and that a new trophy in the name of Ngāpo and Pimia be commissioned.”
Te Matatini CEO Carl Ross said, “The funeral is our main priority but it's a great suggestion.”
It's expected hundreds will attend the burial of Ngāpō tomorrow at Waihīrere.