A final stand to farewell a legendary shearer

By Regan Paranihi

Mourners arrived at Danniverke to give their last words to the voice of the Shearing World. Koropiko Tumatahi Mullins (Ngāti Pikiao) passed away earlier this week and was laid to rest today.

Manahi Paewai (Rangitāne) says, "This man was a gift to the shearing world."

His nephew, Te Waata, says "He was funny and he could make anyone laugh, he was humble and he had a lot of love for many."

This is a major loss for the shearing world as well as the local community.

"It's a big loss. The tribe is surprised, and the tribe continues to weep, and we are all very saddened by his sudden death," says Te Waata.

Being one of Aotearoa’s greatest shearers did not stop him from having a stand on the Tararua District Council.

Te Waata says, "I heard all about his political work, his work for the wider Wairarapa community, so yes he had the skills to achieve anything."

"He supported many initiatives here at home and he also supported the business world," adds Paewai.

He lived a shearers life and trained many who will carry on his legacy.

"He's a passionate man about our industry and he showed me the same respect as he did to this day. He traveled all around the country and all around the world trying to make our industry as good as it can ever be".

"All he really wanted to do was shear sheep. And this gift that we've talked about it was already there in him," adds Paewai.

His children say he imparted a strong work ethic into them.

In her tribute to her dad, Koina Mullins said, "He forced us all to work hard and anyone around him he encouraged them to be the best thing that they could be."

Aria Mullins added, "He guided me, he mentored me, he pushed me and he opened doors for me."

Koropiko Tumatahi Mullins now lies in the family graveyard where he will continue to stand with his family.