January 27, 2023
Titewhai Harawira “out of the box” on decolonization
Urban Māori have turned out in their numbers to Hoani Waititi Marae farewell their champion Titewhai Harawira, who died on Tuesday.
Te Whanau o Waipareira head John Tamihere says Mrs Harawira was a foundation member of the marae, working with other west Auckland community members to clear gorse and blackberries from the then-rural Glen Eden site,
His own relationship with the fiery kuia wasn’t all plain sailing, but he respected the way she stood up to politicians and bureaucrats – at great personal cost.
“She’d walk in the middle of them all, knowing they detested her – so it takes some courage to just walk in and continue to advance your people’s interests. I used to blush which said more about my process of decolonising myself than about her. She was out of the box and liberated a lot earlier than most of us and she bred that in her children,” Mr Tamihere says.
Titewhai Harawira will be taken tomorrow to Whakapara Marae north of Hikuranga for her final night before being buried at St Isaac Church cemetery on Sunday.