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No. 39 (June 1962)
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Major H. Te R. Vercoe. D.S.O., D.C.M., O.B.E.

Major Henry Te Reiwhati Vercoe, leader of the Arawa confederation of tribes, died at Otaramarae, Rotorua, on 23rd March.

Major Vercoe was born at Maketu in the Bay of Plenty on July 21, 1884. At the age of 15 he joined the 7th New Zealand Contingent for the Boer War, where he was awarded the D.C.M. and was Mentioned in Dispatches.

On his return to New Zealand he settled on family holdings in the Bay of Plenty.

During World War I he served with the 1st Maori Contingent in Egypt, Gallipoli and France, and was four times Mentioned in Dispatches. He was awarded the D.S.O.

He was commandant of a training camp for Maori reinforcements and home guards during World War II.

After the war he became a member of the National Committee of Maori Education and an advisory committeeman of the South Auckland Education Board.

He was chairman of the Waiariki District Council of Tribal Executives, and was a chairman of the Arawa Trust Board for three years.

He was a member of the Maori reception committee to Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Rotorua in 1953, and for his services to the Maori people was awarded an O.B.E. in that year.

When Sir Apirana Ngata started development of Maori lands in the Rotorua district, Major Vercoe was instrumental in getting his tribes to agree to their lands being developed, and since then has continued to support and advocate the policy of Maori land development as propounded by Sir Apirana.

He was National Party candidate for the Eastern Maori seat in 1960.

Major Vercoe was a keen Rugby supporter, and played for the Bay of Plenty when he was 15.

He was nominated for the 1905 All Blacks, but because of family commitments was not available.

Horse racing and polo were other sporting interests.

He is survived by four sons and two daughters.

More than 3000 people, including hundreds of pakeha friends and representatives of many organisations, attended the funeral.

The Minister of Maori Affairs, Mr Hanan, was among those attending the service.

The funeral, a full military ceremony, was conducted by Bishop Panapa, Bishop of Aotearoa. He was assisted by Canon Kaa and Revs. W. Rangi, M. Bennett, K. Te Hau, K. Paenga, H. Rangihu, Padre Fraser, and Tangohau, B. Turei and T. Wanoa. Captain H. Lambert, of Tauranga, represented the Army.

Mr Titari Manotau Anihana

The death occurred at Auckland on March 27 of Mr Titari Manotau Anihana, also known as Mr Rawene Anderson. He was in his 98th year.

Mr Anihana was born at Maraeroa in the Hokianga district where he spent most of his life. He came of a chiefly Ngapuhi family being a descendant of Nukutawhiti. On the European side he was a grandson of Captain John Havelock Anderson who came to New Zealand in the early part of last century.

Mr Anihana was a noted figure on the maraes of Northland, being a forceful speaker with the gift of humour and a deep knowledge of traditional lore.

He is survived by his second wife, two sons and four daughters. They are Mr Takahi Anderson, Mrs Katana Tahere, and Mrs Winnie Smith, all of Auckland, Mrs Hilda Pehi, Whangarei, Mrs Sarah Mane, Utakura, and Mr Matthew Anderson, Te Ahuahu. There are 48 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Mr Tata Wineera Parata

The death occurred at Lower Hutt on 10th February of Mr Tata Wineera Parata. He was in his 67th year.

Tata Parata was of distinguished lineage, being of high standing among Te Atiawa, Ngati Toa and Ngati Raukawa. He was the grandson of Wi Parata te Kakakura, one-time member of Parliament for the Western Maori seat and the second Maori to achieve Cabinet rank.

He was educted at Waikanae School and subsequently at the Otaki Maori Boys' College.

The funeral at Waikanae was conducted by the Church of Latter Day Saints, of which Mr Parata was an elder in the Hutt Valley area.

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Mr Te Onewa Te Waati Taiaroa

The death occurred last February at Ratana Pa of Mr Te Onewa Te Waati Taiaroa. He was in his 64th year.

Mr Taiaroa was a direct descendant of Turi, the navigator of the Aotea canoe.

In the early 20s Mr Taiaroa married Miss Kaneihana Pehimana, niece of the late Mr T. W. Ratana, prime mover and first president of the Ratana Established Church of New Zealand. There were seven children, the sole surviving member being Mr Nakata Taiaroa, of Ratana Pa. Mrs Taiaroa died 24 years ago.

In late years Mr Taiaroa married Miss Ihipera Koria Taurua Pehimana, grand-niece of Mr T. W. Ratana. There were two daughters and a son, all residents of Ratana Pa.

He was chairman of the Ratana Tribal Committee, a member of the Ratana Trust Board, the Ratana Marae Committee, and of the Ratana Youth Club, and had a directing hand in all Ratana sports and concert work.

Mr Rangihuatau Hikaka

The death occurred on January 15 of Mr Rangihuatau Hikaka, senior member of a widely known South Taranaki family. He was in his 64th year.

A grandson of Hone Pihama, the influential chief who played so large a part in the securing of peace after the Taranaki wars of the 60s, Mr Hikaka spent most of his life at Oeo where he was engaged in dairy farming.

Mr Hikaka was a member of the Taranaki Maori Trust Board, representing Nga Ruahine. During the Second World War he served in the traffic control section of the Emergency Precautions Service.

A keen and competent player of a number of sports, Mr Hikaka's main interest lay in Rugby football. He represented Taranaki Maoris, and took an active interest in coaching.

Mr Hikaka is survived by his wife, Mrs Huna Mary Hikaka, a sister, Mrs I. Rongonui, six sons and eight daughters.

Mr Romana Ratima

The death occurred at Poroporo on 21st March of Mr Romana Ratima. He was in his 70th year.

Mr Ratima, a rangatira of Ngati-Pukeko of the Mataatua canoe, was born at Poroporo.

Because of injuries received when serving overseas during World War I, he was invalided home, but was able to return to the front before hostilities ceased.

He took a prominent part as a forward in Rugby football, being a member of the Poroporo Club, a Whakatane and Bay of Plenty representative.