Mr Hori Paki
On his 101st birthday recently, Mr Hori Paki of Huntly made a donation to the Waikato University Halls of Residence fund, as a thanksgiving for what he has enjoyed in life.
Mr Paki still reads and writes in the Maori language without glasses and takes an active interest in current affairs. He speaks very little English although he understands it. He encourages his family to avail themselves of all opportunities, as he realises that education plays a big part in a person's life.
A member and principal orator of the Ngati Whawhakia tribe, Mr Paki served under four Maori kings and is proud to have seen the crowning of the new Maori Queen Te Atairangikaahu.
Mr Paki, in a varied life, worked as a miner, a builder and a farmer. He still remembers the first mine and the first shop in Huntly and tells of the methods of transport of food and coal. He remembers his mother making big flax baskets in which to carry coal to the boats for transportation down the Waikato river.
He has three sons and six daughters (all living), 39 grandchildren, 99 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren. His sons George and Brown have represented New Zealand as League footballers.