Erima Henare's legacy will remain in the hearts of many

By Maiki Sherman

Erima Henare was laid to rest at Takapuna Cemetery in Motatau today.  He was a leader of Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, and the wider Māori people through his service to Māori matters, in particular the Māori language.

Mōtatau Marae was overflowing with those paying their final respects to Erima Henare.

Peeni Henare says, “You have followed in the footsteps of your father and grandfather. We pray that you rest easy now and we hope you will watch over us.”

Patu Hohepa says, “I'm very upset as I looked upon him as somewhat of a father figure.  He has been taken too young.”

“My father's wish was for the Māori language to be uplifted,” says Henare.

Pita Tipene says, “Erima was raised with his elders and no matter the dialect in this area, and he helped strengthen them all.  He was an expert in everything he did.”

Waihoroi Shortland says, “Ngāti Hine will soon find those who will fill the void he has left.  His life's work will remain his legacy.”

One of the important roles he held was as a voice on Māori issues amongst the Crown while in Wellington.  It was certainly no easy task but he championed it with his humility. 

Education Minister Hekia Parata says, “He was a strong advocate and fighter for the education and the quality of that education for our children.”

“It is not an easy thing to do to work alongside the Crown.  The first thing you need is not to get angry and upset during discussions, he had mastered that,” says Hohepa.

Shortland says, “We are certainly mourning and feeling a great loss, but tomorrow we will wake up and continue on this journey of ours.”

Erima Henare was laid to rest today alongside his parents and elders.