The people of Te Tairawhiti are mourning the death of two well-respected kuia.
Kohanga reo movement stalwart Rawinia Te Kani, who was 78, is lying in state at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae in Gisborne. She will be buried tomorrow.
In 2005 Lady Lorna Ngata, who was 96, was appointed to the Queen's Service Order and in 2006 Mrs Te Kani was awarded a Queen's Service Medal.
The awards were to acknowledge the service of the women to Maori and the community.