Young Te Arawa Reo exponents paid tribute to the late Pihopa Kingi saying his teachings will live on. The Ngāti Whakaue leader is lying in state at Te Papaiouru in Ohinemutu where he will remain until his burial on Sunday.
Te Arawa in full force welcomes their patriarch to his home. The tribe’s elders and youth alike pay homage to their mentor.
Te Mauri Kingi (Te Arawa, Tainui, Ngāi Tūhoe) told Te Kāea, “We mourn the loss of his elk. He was the last of our older elders from among our ancestors. There's not many of his stature nowadays.”
Anaha Hiini (Ngāti Whakaue, Tuhourangi, Ngāti Tarāwhai) says, “He was our great gentle leader. He was a role model for many years. Furthermore, he was nearly 90 years of age.”
It was an opportunity for Te Arawa's young to reflect on Pihopa Kingi's teachings.
Scotty Morrison (Ngāti Whakaue) says, “He was like a poised showman. So he was a great example to us of our generation so that we know how things should be done.”
“For me, the teaching he's left for us the younger generation is how to officiate things correctly and eloquently,” said Hiini.
With the passing of Pihopa Kingi the importance of who will continue his work in tribal affairs was also a matter of discussion.
Morrison says, “I've seen the likes of Kingi Biddle, Rāwiri Waru and Bryce Murray come through our development of Ngāti Whakaue speakers. That was an initiative launched 10 years ago which was endorsed by Pihopa. The most important and great thing about him is that he was an open book,” said Kingi. “All the knowledge he had, he wanted to share it with the younger generations.”
King Tuheitia and supporters of the King Movement also came to pay their respects. Tomorrow many community officials and Trust groups associated with Pihopa Kingi are expected to attend.