Thousands of people are expected to descend on Tikitiki over the next few days to farewell Dr Apirana Mahuika. Today, hundreds of people arrived to pay their respects.
Groups from Kahungunu, Tūhoe and Ngāti Awa have come. Students from total immersion Māori schools across the East Coast have also arrived, all speaking of the legacy left by Dr Apirana Mahuika for the next generation.
The voice of the youth ringing out, their love for their pāpā felt by all.
Student Olinka Matete says, “To me, he has left really big shoes behind for us, the youth to fill. I really hope that we will be able to follow in the footsteps that Apirana Mahuika has left behind for us.”
It was a sea of young faces as they came to pay their respects, on what they say is a reflection of the man and his influence on tomorrow's leaders.
Ruawhaitiri Ngatai Mahue says, “He is an amazing example for this generation, because he's been able to hold onto the language of Ngāti Porou for us the descendants of Ngāti Porou to learn the correct use of our language. Not just the Māori language as a whole, but our dialect.”
To them, he was a great example of being a strong Māori leader, one who paved the way for the future.
“If the youth of today are to learn about his work, we have to look at all the work he's developed for Ngāti Porou, the language and the Māori tikanga,” says Kaneihana Dewes.
Even though this Ngāti Porou chief has passed on, his legacy will continue to live on through the next generation.