March 11, 2015
Tipiwai leaves rugby legacy
Tributes have flowed for the former kaumatua of New Zealand Maori Rugby, Te Whetu Werohia Tipiwai, who died last Friday at the age of 63 after a short illness.
Mr Tipiwai was chair of Hawke’s Bay Maori Rugby Board for 30 years and the national Maori team's kaumatua from 2001 to 2010.
New Zealand Maori Rugby Board chair Wayne Peters says he was an influential figure in developing Maori rugby through various roles over many decades, and his legacy includes the haka he wrote for the Maori All Blacks, Timatanga, and the Black Ferns, Ko Uhia Mai.
Matt Te Pou, the New Zealand Maori coach from 1995 to 2006, says Mr Tipiwai made an immense contribution to the success of the team.
He was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009 for services to Maori and rugby.
Other roles included chairing Ngati Hineutu Iwi Incorporated for 18 years, serving on the Ahuriri Maori Executive Committee and the Takitimu Regional Council
He was also Pou Kura Taiao manager with the Department of Conservation at the East Coast-Hawke's Bay Conservancy.
His tangi has been held at Omaio Marae, near Te Kaha.
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