May 14, 2014
Morvin Simon preserved Whanganui tikanga
Te Atihaunui a Paparangi of the Whanganui River are mourning the death of Morvin Te Anatipa Simon, who was known as one of the leading composers of Maori music.
Mr Simon, from Kaiwhaiki Marae on the Whanganui River, was educated at Upokongaro School and Hato Paora Maori Boys College before going on to study philosophy and sociology at Holy Name College in Christchurch and Maori language and oral literature at Victoria and Massey Universities.
He returned to teach at Hato Paora, and also taught at other institutions as well as working for the Department of Maori Affairs.
With his wife Kura he tutored kapa haka, Maori language and cultural awareness.
Former Maori Affairs deputy secretary Neville Baker says Mr Simon was one of the best writers of Maori, as well as being an expert in tikanga and in guiding the iwi forward.
His philosphy was that you could take a person away from the river, but you could not take the river away from the person.
"He had a special talent in creating the ongoing influence of the cultural value of places up the river, not just Kaiwhaiki. That was the last of the real wananga movements. John Tahuparae, Morvin, Nik Tangaroa are just some of the names that came out of the river in later years, still with the old world traditions and special tikanga values," Mr Baker says.
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