People from around the motu have been streaming through Tapuaeharuru Marae by Lake Rotoiti to pay tribute to Ngati Pikiao leader Arapeta Tahana, who died on Wednesday aged 64.
Eru George, the chair of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, says his organisaiton’s settlement of Te Arawa’s land and forestry claims relied heavily by the unity built up by Mr Tahana during the decade he led Te Arawa Maori Trust Board’s claim for the Rotorua Lakes.
He says in the Labour Department, the trust board and in his seven years as chief executive of Waiariki Polytech, Mr Tahana battled to lay the foundations for the tribe’s future.
A unique feature of Arapeta was making the move now to influence and put in another generation who can make decisions while an older generation is still around to give that guidance, Mr George says.
The Tangi for Arapeta Tahana was held on Sunday at Tapuaeharuru Marae.
Our sympathies go out to the whanau…