Ngati Porou is mourning Matehuatahi Kaiwai, the youngest daughter of the late Sir Apirana Ngata. She was 94.
Mrs Kaiwai taught Maori into her mid-80s, including doing advanced courses for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori - The Maori language commission.
Writer Keri Kaa says her aunt was a renowned poet, writer and composer known for her forthright manner and unwavering support of te reo. She recorded many waiata for her iwi radio station, Radio Ngati Porou.
Her last public engagement was attending the Maori language awards in Porirua last Friday.
A service was held in Gisborne on Monday. Waatea News reports hundreds of mourners are expected in Ruatoria over the next few days at Mangahanea marae.
No reira e te koka, moe mai, moe mai, moe mai ra.