He Aitua | George Rangitutia

Kua hikohiko te uira i te rangi
Kua hu te maunga i te puku o te Ika
He tohu era ki te rangatira o Ngati Whakatere, o Ngati Takihiku kua mate
E te rangatira e moe i te aiotanga nui.

MP for Te Tai Hauauru and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has expressed her great sadness at the news of the passing of Ngati Raukawa kaumatua, George Rangitutia.

“George was a local hero in every sense of the word. He was involved right across the community – every marae in the South Waikato will be mourning today as they grieve the loss of such a stalwart advocate for the people.

“George will be remembered for his gentle humility. He was instrumental in the treaty negotiations. Such was his nature that at the time of the first signing of the Deed of Settlement George – the Chairman of the Raukawa Trust – took up the driving seat in every respect; literally driving the bus for the signing.

“He has been extremely influential in working for the people – at the rugby club, on marae committees, a Trustee on the Aotearoa Farm Trust and Hurakia Farm Trust; and he has been celebrated with the highest honour awarded by the New Zealand Fire Service.

He dedicated so much of his life to protecting and promoting Raukawa and all the taonga within the realms of their tribal rohe.

“Just three months ago he stood at Pikitu Marae, in Putaruru, and shared the vision that Raukawa has for the Waikato River. He told the people, “together we will strive to restore the health of our mighty waterway and protect it, for present and future generations”.

“That was the mark of the man – that at every venture he would be thinking what he could do to uphold the essence of the iwi.

“Raukawa has lost a giant leader today – and Maoridom will mourn the death of such a distinguished and committed voice for his people. Our aroha goes to his wife Hineiri (Baron), his children and mokopuna.

His tangi will be held at Te Awamutu’s Aotearoa Marae, where Mr Rangitutia will lay in state from this afternoon.

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