11 Jul 2012

Patea Maori Club chairman dies; Ngai Tahu mourns kuia

7:38 pm on 11 July 2012

South Taranaki iwi are mourning the death of the Patea Maori Club Chairman.

John Nyman of Ngati Ruanui, Ngaruahine, and Whanganui iwi descent, died on Tuesday night in Patea.

He is being remembered for dedicating much of his life to the revitalisation of the performing arts and Maori language.

In the 1980s he left the navy and a got a job in the Patea Freezing Works. Two years later the works closed, and he found himself unemployed as did many of his whanau.

Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia says Mr Nyman became a member of the Patea Maori Club that recorded the song Poi E. It became a runaway hit.

She says Mr Nyman also gave willingly of his knowledge to the Waitangi Tribunal, and gave insights into the history of Ngati Ruanui.

The chairman of Ngati Ruanui iwi in South Taranaki says the death of the Patea Maori Club chairman, is a sad loss for Maoridom especially the kapa haka community.

Ngapari Nui says besides devoting much of his life to revitalising performing arts and Maori language Mr Nyman was also involved in social work in Patea and counselled Maori inmates in prison.

He says Aotearoa Marae near Hawera is now preparing for hundreds of mourners to pay their respects.

Respected kuia mourned in Christchurch

In Christchurch, Ngai Tahu people are mourning the death of the respected kuia, Maruhaeremuri Stirling, who died this week.

Mrs Stirling also has whakapapa links to Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou iwi on the East Coast.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says she will be sadly missed. He says during his visits to Christchurch "Aunty Kui", as she was also known, made her contribution felt, whether it was the earthquake recovery, trade training, or runanga business.

Mrs Turia says no matter what the occasion Maruhaeremuri Stirling always brought a special dignity and presence to any event.

Mrs Stirling's body is lying in state at Rehua Marae in Christchurch.