23 Sep 2011

Burial place of Maori King’s father not yet decided

6:09 am on 23 September 2011

The father of Maori King Tuheitia will be buried at the Taupiri cemetery in Waikato, but whether he will be laid to rest next to his wife is still being discussed.

Whatumoana Paki died on Thursday following a long illness, aged 85.

He married the Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, who died in 2006 and is buried at the top of Mt Taupiri at Taupiri kuao.

Traditionally, the top of Taupiri is reserved for the royal family.

A tangi for Mr Paki is to be held at Waahi Marae in Huntly.

A spokesperson for the Waikato-Tainui iwi says Mr Paki will go to Taupiri, but discussions about where he will be buried are continuing.

Another spokesperson for the iwi says there is a 50-50 chance Mr Paki may be buried next to his wife, but it is up to the bereaved family to decide. He could also be buried in land reserved for the Paki family.