14 Jul 2012

Mourners in Patea for John Nyman's funeral

6:12 pm on 14 July 2012

Mourners in South Taranaki for the tangi of the Patea Maori Club chairman lifted his body from Aotearoa Marae for burial on Saturday morning.

John Nyman of Ngati Ruanui, Nga Ruahine and Whanganui iwi descent died in Patea on Tuesday night. He was in his late fifties.

He dedicated most of his life to reviving the performing arts and Maori language and was also a social worker who helped people in his community.

After serving in the navy, Mr Nyman returned to his hometown in 1982 to work at the Patea Freezing Works, only to become unemployed when the works closed two years later.

He became a member of the Patea Maori Club which produced the first Te Reo number one hit song, Poi E, in 1984.

Ngati Ruanui iwi chairman Ngapari Nui says it has been a particularly sad year for the club with two other senior members, Nanny Hui Kahu and Sylvia Kershaw - both in their 70s - dying in April.