22 Sep 2011

Tangi at Waahi Marae for Maori King's father

9:12 pm on 22 September 2011

A tangi for Whatumoana Paki, the father of King Tuheitia, will be held at Waahi Marae in Huntly on Friday.

Mr Paki has died after a long illness aged 85. He was married to the Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, who died in 2006.

They married 15 years before Te Arikinui was appointed to the chiefly role after the death of her father, King Koroki, in 1966.

A spokesperson for Waikato-Tainui, Rahui Papa, says a year after Te Arikinui died, a local nursery produced a hybrid purple rose called Te Atairangikaahu, which was planted around their home in Huntly.

He says it was the main feature of the garden, so every time Mr Paki woke up in the morning and looked to the garden he'd be reminded of his late wife.

In his early years, Mr Papa says, Mr Paki was a farmer, carpenter and mechanic, and known to be hard-working.

Describing him as a man who did everything in an immaculate way, Mr Papa says he worked on a number of marae projects, some of them within the Kingitanga, including the building of houses in Kawhia.

Mr Papa says Mr Paki will be buried at Taupiri cemetery, though details are still being finalised.

Whatumoana Paki is survived by four daughters, three sons and many mokopuna.