MEDIA RELEASE 16 May 2016
The Maori Party joins Ngai Tahu in mourning the loss of Taua Te Whe Phillips who passed away on Friday night, at home with her whanau.
The kuia, Te Whe Ariki Piripi (nee Hutana), of Ngai Tahu, Tainui, Maniapoto, had been a loving wife of the late Hoani Piripi and a champion mum of her seven children, an loving Taua and Taua nui to all her mokopuna
“Taua Te Whe carried a rangatira name with presence and gravitas. She demonstrated leadership in many spheres, always happy to speak out when required and to mobilise the people as she saw fit.
“We remember her proudly acting as an ambassador for Ngai Tahu in guiding manuhiri at the time that Mo tatou, a mo nga uri a muri ake nei’ came to Te Papa in 2009. Her responsibility as kaitiaki of all those taonga was undertaken with the utmost dignity” said Te Ururoa Flavell, Co-leader of the Maori Party”.
“Taua Te Whe had a particular love in the protection of the land, water management and environmental renewal. She was also a constant advocate for the care of her papakāinga at Rapaki; she was responsible for procuring greenstone for New Zealand Olympic athletes. She had an interest in everything!” says Maori Party Co-leader Mārama Fox.
“Taua Te Whe was intellectually astute, and confident to share her opinions. That mental agility, that sharpness of mind, was part of the reason she stood for us in the for Wigram electorate in the 2014 elections, to encourage whanau to get involved politically. Age was no barrier to active participation for this kuia in every fora in which she was involved” she says.
Te Whe will be lying at Rapaki Marae from Monday afternoon and her service will be at 11.00am on Wednesday.