August 05, 2021
Kihi Ngatai a rich source of wisdom
Waikato Tainui leader Rahui Papa says the late Kihi Ngatai was one of the statesmen of Māoridom.
The Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāti Pūkenga cultural and business leader died on Sunday aged 91.
His nehu was held this morning at Whareroa Marae in Mount Maunganui, a stone’s throw across the harbour from where he established the first Māori-owned kiwifruit orchard in the Bay of Plenty.
Mr Papa says he learned a great deal sitting at hui with Mr Ngatai and the other prominent Tauranga Moana rangatira of the era, Morehu Ngatoko.
“They were acutely aware of whakapapa but they were also worldly, sitting on the Waitangi Tribunal, giving advice to local and central government. He wasn’t a kaipono, he wasn’t selfish with his knowledge. He had begun to share that knowledge with some of the younger ones and you could see them on the paepae over the tangi,” he says.
Nō reira e te Pāpā o Tauranga Moana, moe mai, moe mai, moe mai rā.
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