Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 65 (December 1968)
– 2 –


Mutu Paratene Kapa, M.B.E., Priest

Kua moe a Mutu Paratene Kapa i te moenga roa o ona matua tupuna. He uri a ia no nga kawei rangatira o Te Aupouri me Waikato-Maniapoto. Kua okioki a ia i ana mahi.

The Reverend Mutu Paratene Kapa, M.B.E., an elder and noted orator of the Aupouri and Waikato-Maniapoto tribes, died at Auckland on Sunday 10 November, 1968. The tangi was held at ‘Te Puea’ marae, Mangere and the interment at the Mangere (S. James) Cemetery on Wednesday 13 November, after three full days of arguing as to where his mortal remains should lie. On his paternal side, Kapa was an elder of the Aupouri tribe. His mother was of the chiefly lineage of the Waikato-Maniapoto tribes. On his death, the Aupouri elders fought for the return of his body to the headquarters of the Aupouri tribe, Te Kao. The Waikato speakers and elders in retaliation held the view that as Kapa was already lying in state on his own ground—Waikato territory — it was not necessary to have the body moved. It was barely two hours prior to the funeral when the argument was settled and so Kapa, who only a few years ago would not attend an investiture at Government House, preferring that the honour of M.B.E. be bestowed on his own marae at Te Kao, a request which was fulfilled when Sir Bernard and Lady Fergusson visited Te Kao in 1965, was buried at Mangere.

Mutu Kapa belonged to the ‘old school’ of Maoridom. Born at Ohinepu near the sacred mountains Pirongia and Kakepuku in the Waikato territory, in the eighties (although Kapa himself claimed that he was born earlier), he was a great sportsman and athlete in his young days, being outstanding in rowing, rugby, tennis and wood-chopping. It was not until he was about 17 years of age that he visited his Northern relatives. He had attended a rowing regatta at Takapuna as one of a team of Waikato rowers when he was recognized by his father's uncle who whisked him off to Kaikohe. Some years later, owing to his father's continued ill-health, the family moved to Te Kao.

Following his marriage at a fairly young age, he came under the influence of the religious leaders of the locality who persuaded him to read in theology at the Raukahikatea College, Gisborne. Kapa spent some five years as a theological student with such notable Maori personages as the late Reweti Kohere, the late Dr E. P. Ellison and others. He was ordained to the diaconate at S. Mary's Church, New Plymouth which at that time was still within the Auckland diocese. He spent some considerable time as Maori Pastor at Te Paina near Tuakau, then Waitara, Te Kao, Ahipara and finally at Tuakau where he was stationed for some thirty years until his retirement ten years ago.

Mutu Kapa was noted amongst other things, for his wealth of knowledge of the tribal histories of both Waikato and Aupouri. It was he who initiated an appeal to the Maori Land Court as well as the Supreme Court regarding the ownership of the Ninety Mile Beach. He was a spokesman at both Te Kao and Ngaruawahia and took an active part in the affairs of his people. A truly faithful Pastor and servant, he served under five of the six bishops of the Auckland diocese. For many years, he was Chaplain to the Bishop of Auckland and on his retirement after fifty years as an active priest of the Anglican Church, Kapa was awarded the M.B.E.

Kua ngaro koe e Kara! Kua tae atu koe ki te tini ki te mano, ki te iti mete rahi. Kua hoki atu koe nga matua, nga tupuna, me te iwi. E moe i roto i te Ariki. ‘Kua whiti atu koe i te mate ki te ora.’

Ihakara Robin

An elder of the Ngati Kahungunu people

– 3 –

and a highly respected orator, Mr Ike Robin died last June, aged 82.

He was born at Wairoa but spent most of his life at Kohupatiki Pa. In his younger days he was a sportsman of outstanding ability, winning New Zealand and Australasian wrestling titles and twice drawing with the world titleholder.

Mr Robin operated shearing gangs and once was the biggest contractor in Hawke's Bay. Other interests were in politics — he was a foundation member of the Labour Party, and in the Anglican Church, where he was a prominent lay-reader. His continual work on behalf of the Maori people was recognized by the award of the M.B.E. Although crippled by rheumatism in recent years, he was still active in the Maori community, and was a guest and orator at many tribal functions.

He is survived by his wife Mei and six sons, Don, Robbie, Dave, John, Wapi, James and his daughter Erina (Mrs W. T. Bennett). Four children, Te Aroha, Mauria, Aro and John predeceased him.

Mr E. B. Corbett

A former Minister of Lands and Maori Affairs, Mr E. B. Corbett, died aged 70, in the New Plymouth Hospital last June.

Many Maoris attended his funeral, conducted by Rev. M. J. Wheeler. Rev. Manu Bennett praised Mr Corbett's work for the Maori people, and Mrs I. Ratana, member for Western Maori, spoke of the wonderful assistance given her by Mr Corbett when she first entered Parliament in 1949.

Wi Hapi Love

The man who pioneered the mobile X-ray unit in New Zealand, Mr Wi Hapi Love, died last April, aged 62. His funeral service was taken at Te Tatau-o-Te-Po meeting house by Canon Hepa Taepa and he was laid to rest in Te Puni cemetery.

Mr Love was born at Picton and was educated at Nelson College and Wellington Technical College. He worked for a time with aerial photography for the Civil Aviation Department and after his work with the mobile X-ray unit undertook a health survey in the Pacific. This took him to New Guinea, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, the Cook Islands and Tahiti. For 10 years, until his retirement in 1966, he was a technical officer with the Ministry of Works.

He is survived by his wife, Marjory, and two sons, Peter and Michael.

Annie Healey

Mrs Annie Healey, a member of the Mariu family, died in Taumarunui last July. Her tangi was held at Waihi Pa, near Tokaanu.

She attended Waihi Convent School and St. Joseph's Maori Girls' College at Green-meadows. In 1945 she was instrumental in the building of a hostel to provide boarding facilities for Maori children from isolated areas.

Throughout her life she maintained an active interest in the spiritual and material welfare of her people. She leaves her husband Ray, two daughters and six sons.

Nepia Hutana

Over 400 people attended Mr Hutana's funeral at Rapaki in August. Chairman and a trustee of the Rapaki Maori Affairs Committee, he was a popular and respected figure in the Rapaki and Lyttelton communities.

Mr Hutana was born in Rapaki, his mother's birthplace, and attended school there. He took an avid interest in the preservation of Maori culture.

He is survived by his wife, four daughters and three sons. Two sons predeceased him.

Ngene Takarangi

A ceremonial challenge and the performing of an ancient poi on the marae at Putiki, Wanganui, during his funeral service marked the respect of the Maori people for the late Mr Ngene Weraroa Takarangi. His nephew, Mr Hemi Takarangi, made the challenge.

Visitors from far and near came to pay their respects, including Queen Te Atairangikaahu, Mrs I. Ratana, Member of Parliament for Western Maori, Wanganui's Mayor, Mr R. P. Andrews, and representatives of the Department of Maori Affairs.

Te Waharoa Tamehana

Thousands gathered at Rukumoana Pa to pay tribute to Te Waharoa Tarapipipi Tamehana, the Kingmaker, who died on

– 4 –

10 September. He had held the position of Kingmaker for six years, and officiated at the raising up of Queen Te Atairangikaahu in May 1966. Canon Wi Huata conducted his funeral service, which was attended by many prominent Europeans.

Mr Tamehana was a well-known carver and for a long time was instructor at the School of Carving at Rukumoana. He was brought up by Princess Te Puea at Ngaruawahia, where he learnt the art.

Mr Tamehana leaves five children, Mrs Hinematuhia Walker, Rangimahora, Waharoa, Maihi and Tuwhare. His brother, Tai-hi Waru Tarapipipi Tamehana has succeeded him as Kingmaker.

Ripine Wharekawa

Mrs Wharekawa, who lived on Matakana Island for most of her 102 years, died at Katikati in October.

Her main interest was in young people, and she was always keen to see Maori children take full advantage of education facilities. A skilled weaver in the traditional fashion, she passed on her skill to many young women and children.

She is survived by two sons, two daughters, 34 grandchildren and 53 great-grandchildren.

Others who died during the year were Mr-Rex Ellison of Te Puia, a member of 28 (Maori) Battalion, Private Desmond Hiriini, who was killed in action in Vietnam and was buried at Kawerau with full miltary honours, Mrs Tura Muru, sister of Queen Te Atairangikaahu, Mr Hone Tukariri of Mangonui and Mr Hepara Te Huhu of North Hokianga.

We have been asked by Mr Lloyd Ngapo to mention his father-in-law, Mr William Brown, of Ahimia, Coromandel, who died during 1967, aged 85.

Mr Brown, a highly respected elder of Ngatiimaru, chairman of the local tribal committee and staunch Anglican, was postmaster at Ahimia for 32 years. After his education at St Stephen's School, he chose to stay amongst his people. He encouraged and supported young people in their aim for higher education, and with his brother Haeta pioneered dairy farming in Coromandel on land cleared from virgin bush. Through hard times he assisted his people with sound advice and stimulating new ideas for the cultivation of their properties.

A man of wisdom, with a broad outlook on life, uppermost in his mind at all times was the welfare of his people.