May 12, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

He poroporoaki ki a Takuta Muriel Pimia ‘Nen’ Wehi, MNZM, QSM

4 min read

E te ruahine, e te tohunga, e te reo karanga ki nga taumata tiketike o te kapa haka

E te morehu kuia o nga karangatanga maha o Takitimu, o Horouta, o Mataatua, o Te Arawa, mai i Turanganui a Kiwa ki te Moana a Toi,

Takoto mai, takoto mai, takoto mai!

Takoto mai i te ahurewa tapu, i raro i te mana o Tane-Rore me Hine-Rehia.

Takoto mai i te poho o to whanau, e tangi ana i te mamae me te aroha.

Takoto mai i mua i o iwi, i te huihuinga o nga kapa haka, o nga kaiwaiata, kaimahi puoro, e tangi ana ki to matou kairahi, kaiako, kaiawhina.

Kua ono tekau tau korua ko to hoa rangatira e tito waiata ana, e whakangungu ana i nga kapa haka, hei whakangahau i te taringa, hei whakapakari i te tangata, hei hapai i te iwi, hei whakarangatira i te ao Maori ki mua i te ao whanui.

Kua pinea koe ki nga tohu rangatira, kua tohua koe ki nga karangatanga matauranga, kua whakahonoretia koe e to iwi Maori.

Inaianei kua kapohia koe e te ringa o Mate.

Ko Ngapo ma e noho pani ana i tenei ra, ko Te Waka Huia, ko Manu Huia, ara ko matou katoa.

No reira Pimia, haere, haere, haere. Haere ki a ratou ma, ki a Tuini, ki a Ngoi, ki a Wiremu Kerekere ma, ki tera rarangi haka kua ngaro i te tirohanga tangata.

Haere ki o tipuna! Haere, haere, haere ki te Po.

The Maori Party extends our sincere condolences to the whanau of Dr Muriel Pimia Nen Wehi MNZM, QSM (Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Te Whanau a Apanui, Rongowhakaata, Te Whakatohea, Ngati Ruapani), who passed away on Saturday, especially to her inseparable husband and colleague Dr Ngapo Bub Wehi.

Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples said Nen Wehis death ends a sixty-year era of performing, composing, tutoring and training in Maori performing arts that has an unequalled record of achievement and success.

As tutors of Waihirere, Nen and Bub won the national competition (now known as Te Matatini) in 1972 and 1979. In 1981 they founded a new group in Auckland, Te Waka Huia, winning in their first year of competition in 1986, and again in 1992, 1994 and 2009. No-one else has won six national titles, he said.

This is an artistic achievement, but a kapa haka is much more than that. Success comes from building confidence, knowledge and teamwork among the performers, and directing their passion and energy into developing the cultural heritage of their ancestors, as a gift to New Zealand and the world.

This role has been recognised many times in the awards and honours bestowed on Nen and Bub, most recently Nens MNZM and Bubs QSM in this New Years Honours, both for services to Maori; their honorary doctorates, their honours at the inaugural Maori Music Awards ceremony in 2007 and many other accolades.

Nen and Bub have represented New Zealand overseas, from the very first Festival of Pacific Arts in 1972 in Fiji, and in supporting government and official delegations to all corners of the world. They have welcomed royalty, heads of state and international icons to these shores, on behalf of all New Zealanders.

It was an honour to join the family and many friends last year to celebrate Nens 80th birthday, and her 55 years of marriage to Bub, said Dr Sharples.

Our thoughts are with them all at this very sad time, he said.

This is a significant loss to Maoridom, Kapa Haka and the arts sector of this country, said Mr Apanui from Wellington today. Nen, as she was so affectionately known by her family, friends, and the many people she and her husband tutored, will have heavy hearts for a long time.

Pimia and her husband, Ngapo founded the Auckland based champion Kapa Haka group, Te Waka Huia in 1981 when they relocated from Waihirere, Gisborne to Auckland.

Selwyn Parata, Chairman for Te Matatini Society Incorporated continues, Pimia is a prominent figure in M?ori performing arts and her gentle yet determined nature is what she will be remembered for. Through her leadership and tutelage, Pimia set the benchmark for Kapa Haka performing arts excellence, and many teams, from secondary to senior level have adopted the unique Te Waka Huia style and expectation. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her immediate family, the larger family of Te Waka Huia, and the Kapa Haka community.

Pimia will be lying in state in Auckland before heading to her ancestral Marae at Waihirere, North of Gisborne.

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