Koro Wetere laid to rest
Koro Wetere has left a lasting legacy for Māoridom to follow - that was a common sentiment expressed at his funeral service at Tūrangawaewae Marae yesterday.
From promoting Māori art, creating te reo Māori revitalisation initiatives and laying the foundation for treaty settlements, the former Māori Affairs Minister's work and achievements were celebrated at the service.
And while his institutional knowledge has been lost, those left behind say he was able to pass on a lot of wisdom and experience.
Waikato Tainui’s Rahui Papa says he was a man of prestige, a leader of his people who has left this life.
“I roto i ngā tau, ko Koro tērā i mōhio ki ngā whakanekeneke me ngā whakanikoniko o ngā kaupapa o te iwi, a te paepae, a te poari, a te tikanga, ā, te reo katoa katoa i a Koro.”
Papa also says Wetere helped lead Waikato-Tainui to their treaty settlement with the Crown and that thanks to that they are now flourishing.
“Ko Koro tērā te tiamana tuatahi o Te Kauhanganui i muri mai o te whakataunga kerēme. Ko ia te tiamana o te Tekau Mā Rua e whiriwhiri nei te koke whakamua o Waikato Tainui. Otira o te whanaungatanga o Waikato-Maniapoto.”
Wetere passed away before he saw the completion of his own iwi’s claim, Ngāti Maniapoto, but Papa also says he would be happy as he gave some great advice before his passing.
“Ko te ora kē o te ngākau nānā anō ētahi i akiaki kia noho hei kaiārahi i roto i tērā o tātou iwi. Nō reira i mate a Koro i runga i te mōhio ko ngā purapura o ana mātauranga kua tuku iho ki roto i ngā whakatupuranga.”
Wetere was a registered apostle of the Rātana faith, however, it was his faith in the wellbeing and success of his Māori people that he will be remembered for.