Ngāti Maniapoto is mourning the loss of their most senior leader, Te Pare Kaui Joseph, who passed away in Te Kūiti on Sunday morning at the age of 90.
Joseph was a much loved and respected kaumātua of Ngāti Maniapoto and was the backbone of his hapū, Ngāti Kinohaku.
An apostle of the Rātana faith, he spent many years travelling the country, preaching the book of his religion.
Joseph's contribution to his iwi was significant. Joseph helped establish Te Kōhanga Reo o Te Kūiti, held the position of chairperson of the Maniapoto District Māori Council, and was a political candidate and stalwart of tikanga and te reo Māori.
Te Pare Kaui Joseph speaking at the 25th birthday celebration of Maniapoto FM.
In 1990 Joseph established Te Reo Irirangi o Maniapoto, the tribe's sole Māori radio station based in Te Kūiti. From 1990 through to 2010, he held the position of General Manager.
His contribution to the iwi and to Māori radio never went unnoticed. In 2010 he was honoured by his iwi at a celebration at his marae in Ōpārure, on the outskirts of Te Kūiti.
The event was attended by all twenty-one iwi radio stations who acknowledged his outstanding efforts by making him a lifetime member of Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori.
Te Pare Kaui Joseph is made a lifetime member of Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori.
Joseph is lying in state at Ōpārure Marae and will be buried on Thursday.
Members of the Rātana faith are expected to arrive in full force on Thursday morning, with a contingent from Te Whakaruruhau o Ngā Reo Irirangi Māori arriving on Wednesday to pay their tributes.
Joseph leaves behind his children, many mokopuna and his wife, Hutukawa.