April 14, 2020
Waikerepuru outlasted equally esteemed friends
The death of Māori language champion Huirangi Waikerepuru has served as a reminder for the work done by a generation of influential kaumatua from Aotea.
Dr Waikerepuru died last week at the age of 91.
Shane Jones says the name Waikerepuru spoke to the former Ray Edwards’ connections to Ngāpuhi, though he was mainly associated with his people of Taranaki and especially Ngāti Ruanui.
While he rose to national prominence through his leadership in Waitangi claims to te reo Māori and broadcast spectrum, he was also part of a small group of tohunga who did much to keep alive the language and cultural traditions of Taranaki and Whanganui.
"So there were three of them. John Tahuparae, Waikerepuru and Ruka Broughton were the three Taranaki identities that were very influential among our generation but their real power was among their own people, but each had their own strengths," Mr Jones says.
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