Kingi Taurua loses fight to cancer
War veteran, activist and Māori language broadcaster, advocate and nationally well-respected kaumātua Kingi Eruera Taurua has passed away.
He would often greet his radio listeners with his iconic mihi ‘E te iwi, tēnā anō rā koutou ko Kingi Taurua tēnei, te kaihakapāoho i runga i tā tātou hōtaka’
"Everyone, welcome to our show. I’m your host, Kingi Taurua."
Kingi Taurua was often in the face of the media as a staunch advocate for Māori rights and the Treaty of Waitangi. His messages were straightforward.
“I hold the mana of Te Tiriti o Waitangi here, Ngāti Kawa, Ngāti Rāhiri, and also up the top.”
As an advocate for the Māori language, he was also direct in his opinions.
“Ko wai rātou ki te kōrero mai kei te moumoutia te moni mō tō tātou reo?
“Horekau he moni e taea te utu ki a tātou kia taea tō tātou reo te hiki ki te taumata.”
“How dare they say we're wasting money on the language?
“There's no amount of money they could give us that would be too much to get our language to where it should be.”
As a Vietnam war veteran, he explained how it came to be that so many of his fallen friends came to be buried overseas.
“Te maha atu, maha atu aku hoa i mate ki reira, ka mauria mai i Vietnam ka taupokihia ki Malaya.
“Ko te whakaaro i taua wā kāhore i whakaaetia kia whakahokia mai ngā tūpāpaku nā runga i ngā tino whakahē o ētahi o Aotearoa ki te pakanga o Vietnam.”
“I lost so many friends there, they were taken to be buried in Malaya.
“At the time, they couldn't be brought home because so many in NZ were against the Vietnam War.”
Kingi Taurua is at Te Tii Waitangi Marae. It is anticipated he will be buried on Tuesday.