Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane
The totara has fallen in the forest of Tane
It takes hundreds of years for a totara tree to grow to full height and reach its potential. When it falls, it is a great tragedy for all of us. It is appropriate for us to reflect on this proverb when someone of great importance passes away. Te Ārai said good-bye last week to our dear kaumātua Rawiri Wharemate (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Moerewa, Ngāpuhi). Matua Rawiri was instrumental in the creation of our bi-cultural research group in 2013 and since then led our Kāhui Kaumātua with his wisdom, mātauranga Māori, life experience, kindness and generous heart.
We were continually in awe of his deep insight and ability to provide us with sound direction for our palliative care and end of life research. Our thoughts are with the Wharemate whānau in this difficult time. We show our respect and aroha to Matua Rawiri by not only remembering him fondly, but by continuing the work he gave us to complete.
Moe mai ra te rangatira, moe mai ra.
Here is the link to the University’s tribute.