Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi grieves the loss of Morvin Simon

By Heeni Brown

A prolific Māori composer has fallen. Morvin Te Anatipa Simon of Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi and Kaiwhaiki Marae alongside the Whanganui river, has passed away.

He was known for his contribution to the retention of the Māori language and culture and for his many services to Māori in general.

Morvin Te Anatipa Simon was a prolific composer of Māori songs for more than 55 years.

One of his many accomplishments was being a conductor and composer for the National Māori Choir.

He was the male leader and composer for senior haka group Te Matapihi in his time, and his song 'Taku Whare e' is widely known throughout NZ.

In addition, Simon preserved Whanganui traditions in his series of books entitled 'Taku Whare e'.

In 2012, Simon was awarded an honorary bachelor's degree in Māori performing arts by Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

'This is a huge honour, thanks to the hard work of my elders who paved the way forward for future generations.'

Last year, he became a member of the NZ Order of Merit.

His body will lie in state at Hato Paora College in Fielding until tomorrow, when he'll begin his final journey to his home, Kaiwhaiki Marae in Whanganui.