A message from the maori party
Te Ao Maori lost a very respected man tonight. The Maori Party pays tribute to him with the following poroporoaki.
The Team @ Te Paati Maori
Poroporoaki ki Sir Archie John Te Atawhai Taiaroa
21 September 2010
Ka tanuku! Ka tanuku! Ka tanuku koa te tihi ki Tongariro, ka tanuku!
E rere! E rere! E rere kau te awa tupua mai i te Kahui Maunga ki Whanganui!
E tau ra te kapua pouri ki runga o Tainui, Te Arawa, Aotea, Kurahaupo!
No koutou te rangatira e tiraha mai ra, otira he pononga na nga iwi katoa!
Atawhai! me pehea matou? Ko koe te whetu arataki, te totara whakaruruhau, te pou korero, te ringa atawhai o to iwi Maori. He tangata humarie, e hau ra o rongo taiawhio noa ki nga topito o te ao.
Kua hinga koe, kua pani matou i te koraha.
Kua eke koe ki nga taumata o te matauranga, kua kakahutia koe ki nga tohu mana o te ao Maori, ao Pakeha. Ka piripiri to whanau ki a koe i roto i te aroha, engari te ringa kaha o aitua, e kore e taea te karo. He mamae, he mamae.
E te rangatira, takoto mai, takoto mai, takoto mai i te poho o to whanau, e tangi hotuhotu nei ki a koe. Moe mai ra, moe mai ra.
The Maori Party is distraught to hear of the sudden death this evening of Sir Archie John Te Atawhai Taiaroa, of Te Atihaunui a Paparangi, Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Apa/Nga Wairiki, with ties to Ngati Haua, Ngati Kurawhatia and Ngati Maru.
Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples said Sir Archie's importance to all Maori people is impossible to overstate.
"He played so many leading roles - tribal, regional, national and international, it would be hard to list them all," Dr Sharples said.
"He tackled the most complex challenges and pursued them to a successful conclusion. He was at the heart of the protracted Maori fisheries struggles, he was a leader of Maori broadcasting litigation that spanned over 20 years, and he took on the longest-running court case in New Zealand's history - the Whanganui River claims.
"But even more importantly, he did so with such integrity, humility, dedication and love. He was an inspiration to others, he achieved much more in his lifetime than one person could ever do.
"As a result, today we have powerful modern institutions, like Te Ohu Kaimoana, Maori Television, and pan-tribal organisations serving the interests of Maori and other indigenous peoples around the world.
"Sir Archie was a down to earth, humble man, whose networks spanned the globe."
Sir Archie was born on the Whanganui River and lived his life within his tribal rohe, apart from a few years studying at Canterbury University and overseas.
"The most remarkable thing about Sir Archie was that while he was recognised internationally for his leadership within the World Council of Whalers and honoured as a distinguished iwi leader by the Crown and iwi alike - he was never happier than returning to the tranquillity and beauty of Te Hinau Marae at Tawata," Dr Sharples said.
In 2003, Sir Archie was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Maori, especially Whanganui iwi. And in October last year, he was invested as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in front of over 1000 people gathered at a special ceremony at Hato Paora.
He was an old boy of Hato Paora College, he was on the Taumarunui District Council for 16 years, six as Deputy Mayor and he was chair of the Whanganui River Maori Trust Board.
"In his work, he travelled to the Privy Council, the United Nations and the International Whaling Commission, and countries all over the world, to defend the rights of Maori and indigenous peoples.
"Yet he always related to people personally, with such warmth and kindness and courtesy.
"Our special love goes out to Lady Martha and the children and grandchildren and the whole of the whanau pani.
"E te rangatira, haere, haere, haere ki o tupuna."