March 11, 2013
Ngāi Tahu kuia dies aged 103
The whānau of Otākou Marae and Ngāi Tahu are mourning a kuia whose achievement spanned a century.
Mori Pickering (nee Ellison) died on Saturday in Dunedin aged 103.She was born at Otākou in 1909, of Ngāi Tahu and Te Atiawa descent.
After attending Te Waipounamu Māori Girls College, in 1927 Mrs Pickering joined the Methodist Māori Choir in 1927 which toured New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain, including a performance at Buckingham Palace for King George VI and his family.
During World War 2, she helped on the family farm at Otakou as well as running a nearby farm with her sisters.
Otākou Rūnanga upoko Kuao Langsbury says Mrs Pickering is the last of her generation who had contact with people who were alive at the time the Treaty was signed, as well as those other generations who have contributed to where Ngāi Tahu is now.
He says she provided strong guidance and support to the younger generation and will be sorely missed as a staunch advocate of cultural proprietary.
A tangi is being held at Otākou mārae to be followed by internment in the Otākou urupā.
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