July 26, 2021
Sharpness with humility a feature to be emulated
Ngāti Awa kaumātua Waaka Vercoe says the late Joe Mason was someone to be emulated.
Mr Mason, the founding secretary of the Ngāti Awa Trust Board and later the chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, has died in Whakatāne at the age of 87.
Mr Vercoe says he was a clever man who always retained a sense of humility, allowing him to make sharp decisions while also retaining the support of the tribe, bringing together old and new.
The former teacher never forgot the lessons learned growing up in Poroporo.
"He never lost that link and train of thought, I suppose would be a Pākehā way of putting it. He still thought like the Pūkeko elders who taught him I think the word is humility – businesslike but it was a businesslike humility he retained, and in a lovely balance. It's a very difficult task," Mr Vercoe says.
The nehu for Hohepa Mason is on Wednesday.
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