Kia Riwai Lounge
A new lounge at the Rehua Maori Boys' Hostel in Christchurch was last year dedicated to the memory of Miss Kia Riwai in grateful recognition of her services to this hostel and the Maori people and community' as the commemorative plaque says.
The plaque was unveiled by the Rev. W. E. Falkingham, Superintendent of the Methodist Central Mission, which administers the hostel, and the prayers of dedication were led by the Rev. Rua Rakena, a cousin of Miss Riwai's, and Associate Superintendent of the Methodist Home and Maori Mission Department. Among those present were her sister, Mrs Heni Couch of Rapaki, who with Mr Couch is a member of the Rehua Committee.
At the time of her death in 1967, Miss Riwai was the Department of Maori and Island Affairs' Senior Welfare Officer in the South Island. She was closely associated with Rehua Hostel because of her work with the placing of apprentices, but was loves by many of the boys because of her constant care of them.
A Chatham Islander, Kia Riwai first came to Christchurch as a pupil at Te Waipounamu Maori Girls' College. She served overseas during World War II and was given the B.E.M. in recognition of her work, and later received the M.B.E. for her community service in the South Island, particularly among her Maori people.
At the dedication, the Christchurch Maori Community arranged a traditional welcome and provided a special afternoon tea.