Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 71 (1973)
– 2 –


Mason Durie (Meihana Te Rama Apakura)

On July 1, 1889, in a house then recently built at Aorangi, Feilding, the late Mr Durie was born. Eighty-one years later in the same house where he had spent most of his life, he passed peacefully away. His mother, Hurihia Te Rangiotu was a daughter of the Rangitane chief Hoani Meihana Te Rangiotu while his father was Te Rama Apakura (Robert Durie), a member of the Ngati Kauwhata tribe. On both sides he was closely connected to Ngati Raukawa.

Mason Durie was educated at Taonui primary school (near Aorangi) and later at Te Aute College. After two years he matriculated from Te Aute at a remarkably young age, and entered Government service, joining the Health Department in Wellington. While there he worked in close association with Sir Mau Pomare before transferring to the Department of Native Affairs—a move which led him to a lifelong interest in Maori land. As a Licensed interpreter and a Clerk of the Court he travelled widely and was directly involved with a number of Judges in the Maori Land Court. He became one of the most experienced men of the time in Land Court Procedure, Maori titles, etc.

In December 1909 he was married to Kahurautete Matawha, a chieftainess of the Rangatahi, Maniapoto and Ngati Toa tribes. They were married in the St Johns Anglican Church, Feilding, by the Rev. A. A. Williams, an early Maori missionary. The marriage was a strong and fruitful one and they shared many interests and concerns. Mrs Durie died in January, 1965.

Towards the end of the 1918 war, Mr Durie left the Government Service and farmed his wife's land at Kakariki for a short period, before returning to Aorangi. Here for the next 51 years he farmed his own land becoming a successful and respected farmer in the Feilding area. He was well known in the Pakeha community and was a member of the Feilding A. & P. Assoc., the Feilding Jockey Club, the Rangitikei Club and the Masonic Lodge. For over 40 years he was a Justice of the Peace and in 1954 was awarded the O.B.E. for his services to his people and the community as a whole.

Mason became Chairman of the Raukawa District Maori War Effort Organisation which continued to function as the Raukawa Tribal Committee with rehabilitation of returned servicemen as a major task. Later, tribal committees were set up at a marae level and Mr Durie became Chairman of the Kauwhata Tribal Committee as well as Chairman of the parent Raukawa Tribal Executive Committee. He held both of these positions until the time of his death.

In the 1950s, the Raukawa Executive launched a major appeal to build a memorial to Maori servicemen who had given their lives in active battle. They chose a Memorial Centre in the form of a hall, dining room, lecture room and flat. Years of hard work, fund raising and travelling followed, until the hall was opened in 1964 at an impressive ceremony. This attractive building, ostensibly a memorial to the Maori Battalion, remains also a tribute to the efforts and foresight of Mr Durie and the others involved with him.

Towards the end of the 1950s a meeting was held at Aorangi to form another committee between Executive and Government levels. As a result the Ikaroa District Council was convened and not unexpectedly Mr Durie was nominated as its first Chairman.

Despite his association with many Execu-

– 3 –

tive and National Committees, Mr Durie never lost contact with people at grass roots level. He was a staunch supporter of the Anglican church and occupied many posts at varying times. As an Anglican and Chairman of the Raukawa Maori Executive, he played a large part in the restoration of the Rangiatea church at Otaki. He was also largely responsible for the erection of St Lukes Chapel at Aorangi. In 1946 he was elected to the Otaki and Porirua Trust Board, a position he held until the time of his death. In 1953 he was appointed to the Board of Maori Affairs and became greatly involved with many Maori Land Development schemes throughout the country.

Throughout his life Mr Durie was an enthusiast for Maori education and was quick to support the Maori Education Foundation, becoming Chairman of a provincial fund-raising committee in 1962.

Mr Durie's widespread influence and the respect he commanded was in evidence at his funeral held at his beloved Aorangi marae. Te Arikinui, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and a group from the Waikato were present as were Mr K. Wetere, M.P., and Mr J. McEwen, Mr M. R. Jones, Dr P. Te H. Jones, Mr P. K. Leonard, and 3,000 others. Representatives from his old schools Taonui and Te Aute College attended, and there were contingents from Hato Paora College, Queen Elizabeth College, and the Feilding Agricultural College.

The service was conducted by the Bishop of Aotearoa, the Bishop of Wellington, Archdeacon Panapa, Archdeacon R. B. Somerville, Canon H. Taepa, Rev. J. Rushworth, Rev. G. Kereama and Fr. Adkins, representing the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Ratana Faiths.

Although Mr Durie's life was one of total devotion and service to his fellow man. Maori and Pakeha, he remained until his death an active farmer and a devout Christian. He was very much a family man and leaves four children, many grandchildren and much of the Maori race to mourn his passing. A daughter, Ruta, predeceased him in 1929.

Haere, e Koro, haere ki to kainga tuarua o te tangata.

Tuiringa Tāwera

Ko Tūhoe te iwi,
Ko Maungapōhatu te maunga,
Ko Tama-Kaimoana te tangata,
Ko Tuiringa Tāwera te uri whakaheke mai.

I mate i te 2 Hune 1971. Ko ōna tau 75. He tangata i tū whānui i roto i tōna iwi tupu, i a Tūhoe. I Te Aute Kāreti e kura ana. Tōna tūranga he kaiwhakamāori i ngā Kooti whenua, arā, i ngā huihuinga nunui i roto o Ruātoki. Te wharekura tuatrua o Ruātoki, ko Tāwera, nā tōna pāpā i tuku te whenua kei runga e tū ana.

He reo kōrero, he pou herenga kōrero. he pou ūnga mai nō ngā reo o ngā iwi, te tangata tuatahi o Tūhoe ki te tito i tēnei mea, te waiata-ā-ringa. Taukuri ra—ka ngaro ngā rangatira ki te Po.

Kohine Tewhakarua Ponika

Ihaia Porutu Puketapu, O.B.E.

Well known to all in the Hutt Valley as the local Maori leader. Ihaia (Paddy) Puketapu was buried on the marae outside Aroha Ki Te Tangata. the house he loved, after his death at 84. Years before in Taranaki he had a vision of a meeting house for all at Wellington, the ‘head of the fish’. and he led his people to Wai-

Picture icon

Ihaia Puketapu rests outside ‘Aroha Ki Te Tangata’ at the end of the service

– 4 –

whetu. There, with determination and assistance from the late Sir Walter Nash, he resisted efforts to disperse the people, and eventually saw a group of 24 state houses built round the marae area, and the beautiful meeting house established.

Among the hundreds who came to pay tribute were the Minister of Maori Affairs, and the Mayor of Lower Hutt. Speaking at the tangi, Te Oenuku Rene said, ‘One of the last ropes of Maori history has been severed. He was the last of his generation. He had tremendous faith in his people and their cause, and was referred to as a paramount chief because of the provision he had made for his people.’ Mr Puketapu was survived by his wife and nine children.

Lady Miria Pomare, O.B.E.

Many hundreds paid tribute to Lady Pomare in services at St. Paul's Cathedral. Ngati Poneke Hall, Rangiatea Church at Otaki. and at Manukorihi Pa, where her ashes were laid beside those of her husband Sir Maui Pomare, a much-loved doctor and the only Maori ever to be Minister of Health, and her two sons Te Rakahera and Te Naera. Aged 94, Lady Pomare outlived her husband by 41 years. Their three children also predeceased her.

One of the founders of the Ngati Poneke Maori Association, she remained its patroness until her death. During her long life she worked hard for many welfare organisations, and held office in more than 20. Speaking at St. Paul's, with his text Psalm 90 v. 1, ‘The Lord hath been our refuge from generation to generation’, the Bishop of Aotearoa, the Rt Rev. Manu Bennett said, ‘She is the last of a generation—one that blazed the trail to the new world. She stood behind a very great statesman of his time. She was a woman of great personal dignity, and never seemed to get older. She had the quality of a gracious lady, an aura; when she came into a room, you knew she was there.’ He said she was a perfect example of the saying

‘Every man is born between two generations. From one he receives. To the other he gives. He is the connecting link in the continuity of the species.’

Henry Te Hira

The first Maori member of the Rodney College Board of Governo's, Mr Henry Te Tira died in Whangarei, aged 52. The problems of Maori youth, farming and sport were his main interests.

After his service in the RNZAF during World War II, Mr Te Hira lived in Auckland where he founded the Akarana Football Club. After moving north, he continued his sporting interests, and became widely known for his farming achievements, including the winning in 1967 of the Ahuwhenua Trophy, for the best Maori farmer of the year. He is survived by his wife and seven children.

Rauwha Tamaiparea

The whole of Taranaki was saddened at the passing of Rauwha Tamaiparea, widow of the late Awio Tamaiparea. Much loved and respected, she was an authority on Parihaka, and was also closely associated with the house Te Paepae. In recent years she gave full support to the restoration of Parihaka and passed on the chants she knew to the younger people associated with its rebuilding.

Tahiawaru Tarapipipi Tamehana

Descendant of the first Maori Kingmaker, Tahiawaru Tamehana, who succeeded his brother in the role of Kingmaker only four years ago, died at Waharoa aged 65. His funeral service was held at Rukumoana. Morrinsville, his original home, and he was laid to rest near the old Maori Parliament building. A nephew. Ranginui Tamehana, has been appointed the new Kingmaker.

Huitao Ngaparu

Many friends and relatives attended a memorial service at Silverstream and another at Ohau after the sudden death at 55 of Huitao Ngaparu, at Upper Hutt. Mr Ngaparu was born at Mokai and educated at Te Aute College. He had links with Ngati Raukawa, Te Arawa and Tuwharetoa tribes. He leaves his wife, a son Alan, and daughter Tina, formerly a Wellington television announcer.

– 5 –

Abe Phillips

Musical tributes were paid by Prince Tui Teka and the Shadracks at the funeral service held at Waipatu marae, Hastings, for Abe Phillips, a well known entertainer, following his death in a car accident near Waipukurau. After a combined Anglican-Roman Catholic service at the marae, requiem mass was celebrated at the Church of St. Peter Chanel.

Kingi Winiata

A life of dedicated service came to an end with the death of Kingi Winiata of Waihirere, Wairoa, and the many represenatives from the business and farming communities at his funeral service showed the high esteem in which he was held in the district. To his Maori people he was a wise and authoritative guide and he was respected by the Pakeha for his abundant knowledge of farming.

Of humble birth and with very little education, he worked extremely hard, and with his late wife, born Merekakara King, built their tiny holding into a prosperous farm. With their one son they brought up 12 foster-children. He worked with his great friend Sir Turi Carroll for the regaining and supervision of Maori land blocks, and wisely regulated sales of stock. These two men also worked hard for both the Takitimu and Taihoa maraes.

Rev. T. Pohatu

The Bishop of Waiapu, the Rt. Rev. Paul Reeves led a memorial communion service at the Kiekie marae during the funeral service for the late Vicar of Hikurangi, the Rev. T. Pohatu. Many fellow clergy attended, and after the tributes to their spiritual leader. Canon Rangiihu spoke. The Hikurangi choir also sang.

Maria Kina Totara

Mrs Totara died in Dargaville Hospital after a short illness at the end of a long life of almost 108 years. Very active in her garden, and taking a great interest in her family and in church affairs, Mrs Totara will be greatly missed.

Waipiro Bay

Under the Norfolk pines they sat, relaxed,
Two women chatting, now their chores were done,
One spoke of menfolk, and their fishing skill
The catch that day had been a bumper one.
The other thought the gardens were too dry,
Looked out to sea and wished the rain would come.
But cloudless blue filled all the bowl of heaven,
And wavelets lapped the wide beach at their feet,
As though the calm warm days would always stay.
Drowsy, they let the summer's warmth
Steal through them till their chatter ceased,
And soft contentment eased their busy minds
From house and children and all daily needs.
Only cicada's song and seagull's cry
Vibrated in the air as they slept on.

Marie Perry.