Māori community celebrates Sir Pita’s knighthood

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

In June Sir Pita Sharples was honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours, however today the much loved community leader, education reformist and former politician returned to his people, family and community to celebrate the achievement.

According to Ngāti Whātua leader Rangimarie (Naida) Glavish, “He's reached the level of Sir Pita, a status in the Pākeha world, but in Māoridom the title of Pāpā Pita has hugely important status as well”.

Hoani Waititi chairman Eynon Delamere agreed that while the latest title is exciting, he is already held in high regard by his community, “We have titles, Sirs and Doctors; But to us here at the marae, he's Pāpā Pita, who raised and nurtured us as children playing in the porch of our meeting house, right up until now."

The occasion was joyous for the dozens of people who attended the celebration at West Auckland's Hoani Waititi Marae today, "He's already received his award however, we join him in that honour, and we all show our appreciation for a title well deserved," said Ms Glavish.