Iri te rau kawakawa, iri ki whare aituā. He piki raukura, he kōtore huia, ka whatia ka ngaro ki Pāerau, ka ngaro whakaoti atu. Āpiti hono, tātai hono, ko te hunga mate ki te hunga mate. Āpiti hono, tātai hono, ko tātou te kanohi kitea ki a tātou anō,
Māori Party Co-leader, Hon Te Ururoa Flavell, has spoken of his immense sadness in learning of the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Monty Rereamoamo Ohia, who passed away on Monday, aged 94 years of age.
“Our elders are always revered for their rich life experience and their precious gift of being able to link prior generations to those of today. But with Matua Monty, we grieve particularly for the legacy of leadership in learning that he was known by.
“His contribution to the scholarship of Bay of Plenty whānau, hapū and iwi, was never stronger than in discussions at the marae of his home: Maungatapu, Te Whetū-i-te-rangi and Romainohorangi.
“We see his presence in the treaty settlement arena; in the education strategies that have emerged out of Te Tāwharau o Ngāti Pūkenga, and of course through the education pathways his own whānau have chosen,” says Mr Flavell.
“The name ‘Ohia’ is intimately associated with education” says Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox.
In the Māori Party we will always carry a flame for the passionate leadership of his son, Monte who was so influential in the concept of education for transformation.
“Whether it be Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Otepou; Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Ngā Taiātea Wharekura, or indeed the radio station, Moana, the influence of the Ohia name was profound. Monty senior placed great faith in the potential of education to help shape futures; and that vision has been fully explored by his own family.
“We are grateful for the difference this wise kaumātua has made in so many lives, through his upholding of tikanga me ōna kaupapa; and for his vision in pursuing a lifelong journey of education.
“Our aroha and our sorrow are extended to Ngāti Pūkenga and Tauranga moana as they prepare to bid farewell to a loved kaumātua; an astute and witty champion of learning; an adored husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather to mokopuna who will be forever blessed by the love of learning he shared with them,” says Mrs Fox.
Nā reira, e Monty, e te rangatira, moe mai rā ki tō moenga roa.