A flood of people arrived at Ōtīria Marae today to say their last farewells to Erima Henare who is currently lying in state under the mantle of his ancestral house, Tūmatauenga.
However, the tears that fell were likened to the rain that fell today, it was a day filled with emotion and grief from the loss of this great man.
All the representative hapū from Ngāpuhi arrived today to pay their respects and to grieve the loss of the late Erima Henare.
Te Kāea spoke with one of his sons, Peeni Henare MP for Tāmaki Makaurau who wishes to acknowledge the multitudes of people throughout the country who supported him.
He says, “I am very much in pain at this time. I will find my strength but for now I have returned to my people of Ngāti Hine for their support and the support of our Henare family who are all very sad.”
It's unusual for the immediate bereaved family to speak. However, Ngāti Hine believes it's important to raise their descendants to stand strong on all matters. It's an example of the prestigious lineage of which Erima Henare is a descendant.
Hirini Henare says, “We are not concerned by that, as we of Ngāti Hine teach our children to stand strong. So on this occasion we want them to do the same.”
The path chosen for him saw Erima Henare grow up among a number of different families and tribes. Ngāti Hine wish to thank all of them and support them too at this time.
Peeni Henare says, “The relationship that my grandfather had with King Koroki, as well as Te Atairangikaahu, was then handed down to my father. He has also lived amongst the people in Wellington for many years and during the 1980s he was amongst the Taranaki people.”
He also had the support of his own people, Ngāti Hine, who helped raised his children while he carved out the pathway in which to lead Ngāpuhi and the wider Māori people.
Peeni Henare says, “We were raised by our tribe of Ngāti Hine. That was the situation for our grandfather and father in order for them to have done their lifes' work.”
Hirini Henare says, “He was chosen by Ngāpuhi to lead us and that is why I say those are big shoes to fill. However, he passed on that knowledge to his children and so in time they will be able to take up that mantle. Peeni already is.”
Erima Henare will remain at Otiria Marae tomorrow and on Sunday he will be taken to Motatau where he will be buried on Monday.