Nearly 500 people from all over New Zealand descended on Potahi Marae in Te Kao to farewell veteran broadcaster Kingi Ihaka. The former soldier and police officer was farewelled with a guard of honour.
Friends and family of Kingi Ihaka farewell him in his final journey.
Ngāti Kuri elder Pineaha Murray says, “We used to get around, riding horses with our uncles. Kingi, farewell, you have forgotten us as you now see those we cannot see, but only feel, you have forgotten us, but take with you the love of the people to those family members and warm them and they will keep you warm.”
The 74-year-old has been fondly remembered by his army comrades and broadcasting buddies.
Former Broadcaster Miki Apiti says, “I am sad, very sad, he was a staunch soldier, as well as in his broadcasting work, that was where I first met him. When we worked together for the television industry we used to travel around the country interviewing people about their history so it could be shared with everyone as well as their families.”
His people of Te Aupōuri are pleased he has returned home. His close relative Pineaha Murray says it's very hard to see someone of this calibre pass.
“We the family are very sad. For the loss of this gentleman who was well known around the world. He was faithful to his church, to his family and to his tribe’s people,” says Murray.
Relative Mark Nathan says, “As he lays here on our marae, I support the acknowledgements he has received in the past few days. So I will not speak again for him, the talking is done. We all know what he has achieved in his life, we now commit him to his final resting place.”
Farewell dear man, rest well within the embrace of your ancestors who await you.