POROPOROAKI: Honouring Monty Daniels (1929-2016)

Ka tanuku, ka tanuku.

Ka tanuku te toka o Aorangi maunga e koro Monty whakangaro atu rā.

Ko to hononga ki a au ki a Te Arawa he hononga ā wairua, ā taokete, ko tō pā harakeke tonu.

Whakangaro atu ki tua o ngā pae maunga o Te Rotorua nui ā Kahumatamomoe, kia eke to wairua ki te tihi o Aorangi ki reira okioki mai ai.

Haere atu ra.

Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox lament the passing of respected leader Montero James Daniels, known to his friends and family by the nicknames Monty and Hako.

“If there is such a thing as a great love then Monty’s love for his wife Ka (Katerina) epitomises it,” Mr Flavell says. 

On August 23, the Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe and Waitaha descendant from Wairewa took his final journey to Hawaiki Nui, leaving behind his soul mate Ka.

“Behind the unforgettable smile and playful charm was a razor-sharp wit and commitment to the wellbeing of his whānau and his iwi. He was a respected leader and a man who worked tirelessly for his people,” Mr Flavell says.

“Monty wasn’t a man who sought the limelight, in fact he was quick to shine it on his Te Arawa/Tūwharetoa wahine from the thermal village of Whakarewarewa.

“He would often retell the story about how he stole one of Te Arawa’s treasures and took it down to Te Waipounamu.”

Mr Flavell says the two actually met at Auckland Teachers’ College and with his dazzling smile and quick wit he soon convinced Ka to marry him. The two moved with their first child to Christchurch in 1959. The couple would raise a family there until 2002.

Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says, “Monty would often tell the story of how his ‘darling’ had spent more than 50 years in his rohe so when she wanted to return home he supported the love of his life and followed her to Rotorua”.

“It was in the rohe of Te Arawa where he got to indulge in his other passion, supporting the Whakarewarewa rugby team,” Mrs Fox says.“His side-line commentary knew no bounds and even when his health made it too hard for Monty to drive to Puarenga Park, Ka would drive their car right up to the side-line so he could watch his favourite team.”

Mr Daniels is survived by Ka, his children James, Wiki, Rata, Rawiri and Tupu, his 16 mokopuna and 20 moko tuarua.