6 Aug 2012

Founder of first kohanga reo laid to rest

1:00 pm on 6 August 2012

A kuia who helped set up the first kohanga reo in New Zealand has been laid to rest in Wellington.

Jean Puketapu-Waiwai died on Wednesday at the age of 81.

She has been buried in a family cemetery or urupa in Wainuiomata following her tangi at Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt.

The Maori Party has paid tribute to her, saying she was a driving force in setting up Puketapu Kohanga 30 years ago and touching the lives of generations of children.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says her life's mission was clear - for te reo not to be lost, for it to be used.