August 15, 2021
Hauraki leader a relentless force
One of the pou of Hauraki is being taken today to lay beside her ancestors.
Lully Watene Heemi died on Friday aged 89.
She was the holder of a loyalty pin from the 1951 Waterfront Lockout, a life membership of the Labour Party, a long time member of the Hauraki Māori Trust board and a stalwart of Paeroa’s Ngā Iwi FM.
She worked in the health sector for many years before joining the Department of Māori Affairs.
Former Hauraki MP John Tamihere says she came from a long line of Ngāti Maru rangatira, and as the oldest daughter of rugby league legend and Eastern Māori MP Steve Watene she had big shoes to fill.
"She was relentless and fearless in advancing the interests of her people and when she stood up in any hui men would quiver because she had this force of presence. With her being behind you, you would fear nothing," he says.
The nehu for Lully Watene-Heemi is this morning at Matai Whetu Marae near Thames.
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