May 8, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

He Aitua – Rata Pue

2 min read

MP for Te Tai Hauauru, and Co-leader of the Maori Party, Tariana Turia, has spoken of her great distress in learning of the death of Taranaki entrepreneur and activist, Rata Pue.

Rata was totally committed to investing in by Maori for Maori solutions. He brought his considerable skills to bear in many areas of endeavour across Taranaki and was particularly committed to investing in Maori management of land assets.

When he returned to Taranaki he brought with him the vast experience of his professional career as a civil engineer; having worked as far afield as Canada, Samoa, Papua, Tahiti and Peru before returning home.

Rata was always prepared to push the boundaries, to challenge iwi leadership if required, and in his own words, he knew how to listen, jump, organise to deliver.

Rata was a very strong environmentalist, with clear views around the impacts of climate change and emissions trading; and how to be protect our water supplies and manage our wastewater systems responsibly.

He could be humorous too, like at the Whanganui consultation hui on the partial sale of state owned assets, where he served the Crown panel with an invoice, urging the Government to consider paying their internal debt to iwi before selling state assets to pay our foreign debt.

It was with the greatest sadness that I learnt of his death on the farm which he had invested so much of himself into. Our greatest sympathies are extended to the Whanau, to the people of Parihaka Pa, and to Taranaki wh?nau who will be reeling at the loss of another key figure within their rohe.

Moe mai e koro, hoki atu ki tua o te arai, hoki atu ki a Hinenuitepo, ki te poho o te whenua. Moe mai, moe mai, moe mai.

7 thoughts on “He Aitua – Rata Pue

  1. I am Rata’s sister Faith. My parents had 3 daughters and 14 months after I was born Rata was born.My mother says our grandmother insisted on unwrapping his gown to prove she had a grandson – he was a special person from the very first day of his life. These stories about him are amazing and humbling.I cannot believe he was so shy when he started school at 5 years old that he followed me into the girls toilets at playtime.Women loved him. Kids were fascinated by him. Police were exasperated by him.Trustees tired of him. Strangers were enarmoured of him.Family cringed but admired him. Thank you for being my brother Rata, I am so proud of you. Ka kite.Arohanui. xox

    1. Hey Ryan, nice to hear from you. Rata is bringing us all together in spirit wherever we are in the world. When you were young, you reminded me of your Uncle Rata when he was young – shy,quiet,hesitant and lacking in confidence,an onlooker rether than a participant.And now you are reminding me of him – somewhere overseas on an adventure,working with machinery,doing a hard physical days work and helping people,doing what you believe in – he was proud of you as his eldest nephew.

  2. Nga mihi aroha ki te whanau, whanui o Rata, e te Rangatira Rata kua ngaro koe ki tua o te arai, ka tangi hotuhotu ana matou. Katahi ra e te Rangatira haere, haere, haere atu ra e okioki.

    We were devastated to learn of the passing of Rata Pue. An environmentalist, with genuine concern for his fellow man. He certainly made an impact on our community(Raupunga) for the way he shared with great generosity and enthusiasm his vast knowledge and skills.

    You will never be forgotten Rata – moe mai, moe mai, moe ra

  3. Kia ora, just wanted to express my sadness at hearing about Rata’s passing in the news today. I met Rata last year at the Taranaki ski field – I gave him and his tamariki (who were just learning to ski) a ride up to the ski field when his 2WD van wouldn’t make the journey. I’d never met him before, and I knew nothing of his activist role. We met up the slope day after day, and my ski-ing improved greatly as he taught me to relax and feel the ground, just look forward and trust the mountain to guide me down. He was rusty too and we encouraged each other. A few days later I mustered up courage to ski Turoa.

    He even taught me how to drive a 4WD up and down the track in snow – he knew how to do it (from living in Canada) but he sat beside me and guided me. A natural teacher – patient, relaxed and full of trust.

    In between runs, Rata told me great stories about the mountain, and the importance of preserving it and looking after it for future generations as we sat over cups of tea in the lodge, and he shared his lunch with me. I’m English – he treated me no different, and even taught me a few words of Te Reo. His gentleness, patience and guidance towards his children was wonderful to watch.

    I met Rata maybe no more than 10 times in all over the last ski season, and yet he made an impression on me with his kindness and his obvious love of life. One day we stood at the top of the ski lift and he commended me for taking the day off work to go up there and ski – he said to me “we’ve got the best employers in the world aye, they understand that when the snow is on the mountain you just gotta ski”.

    Rata, I’m glad you took those days of work buddy and enjoyed it while you could. Would like to have got to know you more, and I’m so sad to know that I won’t. Me te aroha tino nui atu, my love to your whanau… x

    Thank you Rata for reminding me why it is important to ski and love life while you can…

  4. Rata was also dubbed ‘The Ladder Man’ by police at Waitangi. Cops greased the flag poles to prevent Maori flags from being raised. Rata returned with a ladder and circumvented their plot, only to be attacked and assaulted by several angry police during the tug of war over the ladder. Great effort Rata.

    Another time police strangled a wahine at the flagpole. As the wahine began to pass out. Rata pulled the cops fingers from her throat. He was charged with assault, for saving his friend’s life, while police got away with assaulting the wahine.

    Moe mai e Rata, moe mai, moe mai…

    1. kia ora

      yes, Rata was a man of great mana and we will never forget him,
      We intend to put a plaque at the begining of our gravity water fed system to the community. The system was put in place by our tipuna and Rata, but we not allowed to say that, because he said;…..tino arohanui ki te kotiro o Rata me te whaanau.

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