A Whanganui iwi activist who has been described as a staunch supporter of tino rangatiratanga or self determination was buried today.
Piripi Haami died on Sunday, aged 64, after being unwell for the past two years.
During the 1995 iwi occupation of Pākaitore/Moutoa Gardens Mr Haami was part of a group along with Ken Mair to raise public awareness about his iwi's Treaty claim over the site.
Whanganui iwi claimed that Pākaitore was meant to be set aside as a reserve from the Crown purchase of Whanganui in the 1800s, which the Wanganui District Council denied.
Mr Mair said since Mr Haami played an important part in the Pākaitore occupation having his body lay in state there before he was buried this afternoon was the best way to honour him.
"After a lengthy discussion with whānau and ourselves we ultimately ended deciding to let him lay in state at Pākaitore," he said.
"Appropriately because he was a staunch supporter of Pākaitore from the days of when we began to plan and set up the site for the return of Pākaitore and our lands and that."
Mr Mair said because he had done so much work for various marae in the rohe including his whakapapa (genealogical) connections to the Ngā Rauru iwi, the Ngāti Maika hapū also made a tono, or a bid for Mr Haami's body to lay in state at Pākaraka Marae in Maxwell near Whanganui.
Haami Piripi was buried at the Aramoho cemetery .