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No. 47 (June 1964)
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The late Mr Riri Maihi Kawiti

Mr Riri Maihi Kawiti

Mr Riri Maihi Kawiti, O.B.E., J.P., died on February 20th at Kawakawa, Northland, aged 87.

He was a leader of the whole Ngapuhi tribe, and paramount chief of the Ngati Hine sub-tribe.

He had been ill for over a year.

Mr Kawiti lay in state on the Otiria marae, where the Tumatauenga meetinghouse, for which he had worked for many years, had been opened a few days earlier.

He was the last surviving grandson of Kawiti, the great warrior whose signature is the first on the Treaty of Waitangi, and who fought against the British troops over a century ago.

Riri Maihi Kawiti was awarded the O.B.E. for patriotic services in both World Wars, and was greatly respected for his knowledge of Maoritanga.

He kept a diary of the Kawiti family for more than 60 years and has written a family history.

He was a foundation member of the Waitangi National Trust Board, and served on it until his retirement two years ago.

Mr Kawiti was very active in church affairs, both Methodist and Anglican.

He is survived by his wife Rewa and three children, Ngaone, Tawai and Ringi.

Mr Alan (‘Ace’) Wood

The first Regimental Sergeant Major of the 28th Maori Battalion, Second N.Z.E.F., Mr Alan (‘Ace’) Wood, D.C.M., has died in Nelson.

With Brigadier G. Dittmer, a former commanding officer of the Battalion, he was responsible for the discipline of the Battalion, which was of an outstandingly high standard.

Aged 47, he was one of eight Europeans with the original battalion.

Mr Wood was seriously wounded in the El Alamein campaign at the time Lieut-Col T. Love was killed. Mr Wood was invalided home as a captain at the end of 1942.

He was in Rotorua for the reunion of the Maori Battalion in 1961.

The president of 28 Maori Battalion, New Zealand Association, Mr K. Waaka of Rotorua, accompanied by Messrs E. Kingi and C. Welsh, Rotorua, each a member of the original battalion, flew to Nelson for the funeral.

Mr Te Uaua Turuwhenua

Mr Te Uaua Turuwhenua died last January at Whakatane, aged 72. He was one of the senior elders of the people of the Waimana district.

For a long time he was chairman of the eastern Tuhoe tribal committee, and he was a member of the committee when he died. He also played an important part as an honorary welfare officer.

Mr Turuwhenua was an elder of the Presbyterian Church, and served a term as moderator of the Presbyterian Maori Synod. He leaves four children and numerous grandchildren.

The tangi was held at the Tanatana marae at Waimana.

Dr R. F. T. Grace

‘The Times’ of London recently paid tribute to a distinguished doctor of Maori descent, Richard Fairfax Tukino Grace, who died in London.

Dr Grace, who was descended from the chiefly lines of Tuwharetoa, retired from his psychiatric

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appointments in London three years ago.

One of his grandfathers established a mission station on the south shore of Lake Taupo in 1855 and did much to help the Maori people, the newspapers recalled.

‘The Times’ said that Dr Grace was sent as a medical student to Edinburgh in 1914. During the Second World War he served in the R.A.F. as senior neuropsychiatric specialist. Later he was appointed consultant psychotherapist at the National Hospital, London.

‘His northern forebears and northern training made Dr Grace a good physician,’ ‘The Times’ said. ‘But in appearance he was a chieftain of long descent and his Maori ancestry gave him also the underlying gaiety that endeared him to so many companions.’

Miss Keita Ngaro Ngapo

The death has occurred at Kennedy Bay, Coromandel, of Miss Keita Ngaro Ngapo, aged 76.

Miss Ngapo was for many years a district nurse, working at different times in Northland, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty. She trained at Waikato Hospital as a missionary nurse, passing her examinations with honours in 1914.

Mrs Pikitawhaki Thompson

Mrs Pikitawhaki Thompson, also known as Piki Tawhaki, died last February at Otahuhu, aged 85.

She was a descendant of Titokawaru, a famous fighting leader in the Taranaki war of the 1860s.

Piki was well-known in Auckland and Otahuhu as one of the last women with a moko in that district. She was one of the last flower sellers in Auckland.

She is survived by her husband, Mau Ngatupara Kawau, and a family.

The Very Rev. Dean M. Alink

The Very Rev. Dean Martin Alink, or Pa Matene, who was connected with Catholic Maori Missions in the Auckland Diocese for 44 years, died last March in Auckland.

He was local supervisor of the St. Joseph's Foreign Mission Society in New Zealand for 26 years, and was in charge of St. Peter's Maori Boys' College, at Northcote, for 25 years.

Dean Alink was born in Amsterdam, Holland, and was ordained in 1919, arriving in New Zealand in the next year.

He was first stationed at Waihi, near Tokaanu, then worked at Rotorua, Te Puna and Putaruru.

He was a competent carpenter, and built several churches.

Dean Alink was the founder of the St. Joseph's Maori Mission Guild, and in 1947 was decorated for his work by the Netherlands Government.

Before his burial he lay in state at St. Peter's College and then at the residence of the Maori missioners in Auckland, where his tangi was held.

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The late Mr Hone Heke Rankin

Mr Hone Heke Rankin

Mr Hone Heke Rankin, OBE, J.P., of Kaikohe, died at Whangarei on 15 April, at the age of 68.

Mr Rankin, a Ngapuhi rangatira of high descent, was related to the famous warrior Hone Heke, who defied the British in the 1840s, and was a nephew of the Hone Heke who was the first Member of Parliament for the Northern Maori seat.

Born in Kaikohe, he received his early education with relatives in Gisborne. He served in the armed forces in the First World War and in 1945 was appointed to the Rehabilitation Board and council, as a representative of the Maori race.

He was a member of the Taitokerau Trust Board and the Waitangi Te Ti Trust Board and was keenly interested in the development of the Punakitere land block, now run by the Government. He played a large part in the building at Otiria of the Tumatauenga meetinghouse, which was opened last February by the Governor-General.

Mr Rankin was a man of remarkable talents and deep human sympathies. A controversial and courageous speaker, he was noted throughout Maoridom for his strong and eloquent advocacy of Maori rights. He will be greatly missed, and will be long remembered for his strength of spirit, his qualities of leadership and his devotion to the welfare of his people.

In a tribute to Mr Rankin, the Minister of Maori Affairs, Mr Hanan, said that the whole country mourned the passing of one of the paramount chiefs and leaders of Maoridom. Mr Rankin, he said, was a true rangatira, and had brought further distinction to the illustrious an-

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cestor whose name he bore. On behalf of the Government and the people, Mr Hanan sent a message of sympathy to Mrs Rankin, members of the family and the Maori people of North Auckland.

Mr Rankin lay in state for one night at the Otiria marae. On the next day he lay in state at Ngawha for half an hour before being taken to Te Kotahitanga marae, his own marae. The tangi was attended by a great many people from both Northland and other districts. The funeral was held at the Aperihama Anglican Church and was conducted by the Rev. Frank Harris. Mr Rankin was buried in the Aperihama churchyard.

He is survived by a wife and ten children.

Mr Hohepa Heperi

One of the oldest kaumatua of the Ngapuhi tribe, Mr Hohepa Heperi, has died at Hamilton, aged 94.

Mr Heperi lived most of his life at Kaikohe, but came to Temple View, Hamilton, about two years ago to live with a son. He was a high priest in the Mormon Church.

Before he retired he was a dairy farmer.

Mr Heperi was twice married. His second wife died 42 years ago. His descendants number 127. Six of his 11 children are still alive.

Mr Taituha Takao

Mr Taituha Takao, an elder of the Tuhoe tribe, has died at his home in Waimana, aged 64.

He was a grandson of Te Maikoha, who was decorated for his work as a Government scout at the time of the Hau Hau.

Mr Takao took a leading role in tribal and executive committee work and was widely known in the Bay of Plenty as a Rugby and tennis player.

He designed and built the Tamakaimoana meetinghouse opened in Waimana about two years ago.

Mrs Te Here Taniwha

Mrs Te Here Taniwha, who is believed to have been between 105 and 110 years old, has died at Taiporohenui, near Hawera.

Mrs Taniwha was married to Muroa Panapa, a member of the armed constabulary at Parihaka, in the 1880s. After his death she married Mr T. Adlam. She had one daughter by her first marriage, Hitapairu (Mrs Edwards), who died many years ago.

Mrs Taniwha is survived by six grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

We are always grateful to those readers who sent to the Editor, ‘Te Ao Hou’, Box 2390, send us obituary notices. They should be Wellington.