November 11, 2014
Hulse heartbroken for city’s kaumatua
Auckland deputy mayor Penny Hulse says the death of Tainui tohunga Eru Thompson is being felt across the city.
The Te Kawerau a Maki, Ngati te Ata, Ngati Mahanga and Ngati Pukenga kaumatua died last week of cancer in his early 60s.
More than 1000 people were at Pukaki on Saturday for his burial service.
Ms Hulse says the tangi gave her some hint at the full extent of his contribution.
"We thought he belonged to the west and then just spending time at the tangi we realised he belonged to the south and how much the south loved Eru and the whole region had a piece of him. I’ve no idea how he was able to give of his time so generously. He was our kaumatua for Save Waitakere for 20 years and was there right at the beginning of all of that work so at a very personal level Eru has been a huge support to me and we knew the end was coming but we are still heartbroken. He is going to leave a very big gap," she says.
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