September 10, 2018
Whānau ora standing on the shoulders of giants
As Whānau Ora providers from round the North Island gathered for their biennual hui, tributes were paid to two men who epitomised the kaupapa of community service.
Opening his mihi, Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare said he had come from the tangi of Alf Pukepuke at Hoani Waitītī Marae and Barry Downs at Waikare Marae near Kawakawa.
Mr Downs is the father of his fellow Labour MP Willow Jean Prime.
Mr Pukepuke was a former police officer, a trustee of Te Whānau o Waipareira and a stalwart of kohanga reo, waka ama and other community activities.
Mr Henare says he was touched seeing a picture of Mr Pukepuke in a presentation to the conference this morning by Waipareira strategy manager Awerangi Tamihere.
"While we practice Whānau Ora in an administrative sense, these people have been doing it in the community for years and it's a humble reminder that we stand on the shoulders of giants and he was one of them. And my uncle Barry epitomised community spirit and did anything and everything for his family and his community andf at such a young age the two of them, Alf and Barry, it's a true loss to their communities and I want to say farewell to them," he says.
Alf Pukepuke will be taken tomorrow morning to Tau Henare Marae in Pipiwai.
The funeral service for Barry Downs is on Wednesday morning at the whānau urupā Te Otingaparengaroa, at Skudders Beach in Kerikeri.
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