Kei te Ika-ā-Whiro, haere atu rā. Ko te karanga tēnei o mate kua tae mai ki a koe. Ka mahue iho nei ko mātou, ka mōteatea nei, ka haku nei, me te aroha i roto i a mātou, mōhou, kua wehe nei. Nō reira, haere, haere, haere atu rā.
The Māori Party mourns the loss today of 28th Māori Battalion C-Company veteran Hingangaroa Smith, who passed away this morning.
“Our nation will remain forever indebted to the veterans of the Māori Battalion. We pay homage to the selfless service of a hero Hingangaroa Smith, and others of the Māori Battalion who have gone before him. Each esteemed and revered soldier paid the ultimate price of citizenship through their selfless acts of bravery and for that, as a society – we take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices that they made, so that we may live in today” saysMāori PartyCo-leader, Te Ururoa Flavell.
“Mr Smith had an amazing spirit, and although he didn’t often reflect on the atrocities he experienced while in active service in Egypt, he often spoke about missing his comrades he stood shoulder to shoulder with, who have since passed away. We remember his tenacity, courage and his bravery. We will never forget.”
Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says “I am absolutely heartbroken that another remarkable man has been taken from our world. His death leaves a gaping hole in our hearts, and while a tiny glint of happiness emerges knowing he has been reunited with his tīpuna and members of his 28th Māori Battalion family, I pay my utmost respect to him and to all those who served - so that we may know the freedoms we take for granted today”.
Mr Flavell says, “We send our heartfelt condolences to his whānau, his iwi of Te Aitanga-ā-Hauiti, Ngāti Porou and Ngāi Tahu at this sad time”.
He says “With a very heavy heart, it hurts to remember that one of his greatest joys in life was spending time with his tamariki and his mokopuna. I have had the privilege of mentoring from his son Graeme Hingangaroa Smith and his daughter-in-law Linda Tuhiwai Smith, and the honour of being the godfather of his mokopuna Kaapua and we grieve with all of them at this time.”
“I had the privilege of travelling the world with this pakeke, but I did not realise at the time his contribution to our people and the mahi – such was the humility that he carried. Kei taku toa, e kore rā koe e warewaretia.”