May 19, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

He Poroporoaki – Saana Murray

2 min read

The passing of Saana Waitai Murray, the last of the original claimants that took the claim for the protection and preservation of indigenous flora and fauna (WAI 262) has been acknowledged with great sadness by Maori Party co-leader, Tariana Turia.

“Saana lived her life in a way which left no-one in any doubt about her pride in her people of Te Hiku o te Ika and in particular Ngati Kuri. Her dedication and her sacrifice to their survival was immense”.

“Every single day since she took the claim to the Tribunal, Saana wore a fossilised pupuharakeke, a flax snail, around her neck. The pupuharakeke – once thriving in the North – is now a threatened species”.

“Saana fought on behalf of all her descendants, in fulfilling her responsibilities as Ngati Kuri, in upholding the guardianship of their whakapapa, the kaitiakitanga of all of their taonga”.

“She was a fierce advocate for the whenua, particularly her role on behalf of Te Oneroa a Tohe in the Muriwhenua Land Report”.

“Saana passionately believed in the rights of Maori control over things Maori”.

“A couple of years ago she paid a visit to the University of Waikato to pay tribute to their Honey Research Unit for the research they were advancing into the healing properties of native manuka honey – something she herself championed”.

“She had a vast knowledge and expertise across so many area including the protection of our environment, cultural and intellectual property rights, our natural heritage and she will long be remembered for her commitment to the preservation and respect for taonga Maori, on behalf of us all”.

“This loss will be devastating for her whanau, her children and her mokopuna, whom my thoughts are with today, as they grieve someone who was central in their lives”.

“She was indeed their poutokomanawa -and her leadership and her vision will be forever uppermost in their hearts. Our aroha is extended to them all”.


WAI 262 was filed in 1991 by six claimants from six iwi – Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngati Wai and Ngati Koata. On 3 July 2011, after twenty years of relentless pursuit, the Waitangi Tribunal’s response and recommendations was presented at Roma Marae in Ahipara – Saana’s marae – to Saana on behalf of all the claimants.

Saana (Hana) Waitai Romana Murray, QSM, of Kaitaia, was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009 for services to the community.

Authorised by Tariana Turia, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

1 thought on “He Poroporoaki – Saana Murray

  1. They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
    Well most definitely our Kuia Nana Saana was a picture in herself.
    She was aspiring, faithful and loving. (and I know in the Wairua she still is)
    Yes, she truly upheld and held fast to
    -Tumanako, Whakapono me Te Aroha.
    I must say at this time, words alone cannot truly express our greatest
    and humblest gratitude and love for all that our Kuia had done for us.
    The many miles that she had travelled and the many Hui meetings she had attended.
    The many kaupapa and matters that required attention she followed through.
    Not for herself, but for the people and the wellbeing of our people.
    He tangata, He tangata, He tangata.
    In saying this, I pay tribute not only to our Whaea Rangatira Saana Murray but also to her whanau.
    Her whanau whom gave their all, for the love and commitment of their dear Mum and Nana.
    Their and their mums love and commitment was unconditional.
    She gave unconditionally her body, soul and mind towards equality of love and understanding
    in its fullest potential.
    A true and heartfelt vision for all.
    In saying this, I also acknowledge in loving memory never to be forgotten.
    Her love for people of all nations.
    Reminding us to respect and never forget our heritage.
    This I close, with the words of Rest in peace our dear lovely lady, in peace you will rest with your loved whom have left before you. God Bless.
    When the rays of the sun touch and shine as glistening beauty on the White Sands of Te Kokota O Parengarenga.
    We will always be reminded of the splendour of your smile and love as you now rest in the splendour
    of heaven.
    I would like to pay respect to all her whanau her hapu and her tribe of the Far North Ngati Kuri and the Tribes of Muriwhenua of Te Hiku O Te Ika.
    To all whom walked along the path and journey with our dear Kuia when she was on a mission or kaupapa Kia Ora.
    I enjoyed these times with her as an honour and privilege because she freely loved to share her life experiences. These times I will treasure with respect because I know in time this precious knowledge she shared will help some one in some way for their good.

    Arohanui Lots of love
    Te Hiku O Te Ika

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