The Funeral of Mr Paikea, M.P.
Mr Tapihana Paraire Paikea, M.P. for Northern Maori since 1943, died on 7th January at Kaiwaka, following a serious illness. He was 43 years of age.
Mr Paikea—or ‘Dobbie’, as he was affectionately known—was born at Batley, Otamatea, and educated at Wanganui Technical College. He was a member of the Ngatiwhatua Tribe, and the son of the late Hon. Paraire Paikea, who was a minister in the Labour Government and a distinguished leader of his people.
‘Dobbie’ Paikea assisted his father on the Maori Advisory Council from 1935 to 1937 and later joined the Maori Affairs Department. At this time he was a 16 ½ stone, 6 ft. 4 in. Otamatea rugby representative, but later he turned to playing league in Auckland for the Manukau Club.
At the age of 23 he entered Parliament as successor to his father.
During World War II he volunteered four times for active service, his application being rejected on medical grounds on each occasion.
From 1957 to 1960 he was chairman of Parliament's Maori Affairs Committee.
Mr Paikea is survived by his wife and nine children.
Tangi at Otamatea
Three thousand people attended the tangi at Otamatea Marae which is at Tanoa, near Maungaturoto. This was one of the biggest gatherings of Maoris in Northland for some years.
The service began with speeches of welcome by Messrs Henare Toka Paikea and Hone Heke Rankin.
The Postmaster-General, Mr Kinsella, who represented the Government at the funeral, said all would miss Mr Paikea, his great sayings and his cheery face. ‘For twenty years he represented the people of the Northland—people who over the years have grown to a great people,’ Mr Kinsella said.
‘I know of no man,’ said the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Nash, ‘who understood, so feelingly understood, the customs, the tradition and the actions of the Maori people. Mr Paikea was a man of natural gentleness with a love for all people.’
Mrs Iriaka Ratana, M.P., who spoke on behalf of all the Maori people in New Zealand, said she hoped Mr Paikea's successor ‘would be someone who can see into the future and take with him the best of the past, so we will build up to be a better people than we are. It is the only way I can express my sadness, knowing “Dobbie” so well.’
Sir Eruera Tirikatene praised Mr Paikea as a man of many qualities, a tireless worker for his people in spite of ill health.
The ceremonial orations over, the cloak-draped casket was carried in procession behind massed brass bands to Kakaraea Maori cemetery, a short distance along the riverbank.
Ratana bandsmen acted as pall bearers.
After the service the mourners returned to the marae where a large hangi was opened. This consisted of two bullocks, four pigs and two sheep and about half a ton of potatoes.
Subsequently there were discussions concerning the successor to Mr Paikea.