25 May 2018

Kingi Taurua: A fighter in Vietnam and Waitangi

From Morning Report, 7:54 am on 25 May 2018

Ngapuhi kaumatua Kingi Taurua has died after a short illness. The high-profile and often controversial Maori activist had a voice and a face that many New Zealanders recognise... especially as he was front and centre at Waitangi Day protests at Te Tii Marae for many years. Mr Taurua was born in Oromahoe, a little village in the Bay of Islands, in 1937. He lived on a little farm with five cows, and a two-bedroom house that was home to 10 children and another 10 whangai. His first job was on the wharf and he had to start queueing at about 3am. There'd be long lines of men hoping to get a job. Mr Taurua served in army - in Singapore and Vietnam - but also on guard duty at Buckingham Palace. He was a prison guard at Paremoremo then a probation officer, and a political advisor at the Beehive before returning home to set up Te Taumata Kaumatua, the Council of Elders. Labour MP Peeni Henare, also from Ngapuhi, knew Kingi Taurua well. He talks to Guyon Espiner.