|Birth: ||Jul. 23, 1931, New Zealand|
|Death: ||Aug. 15, 2006|
Dame Te Atairangikaahu ONZ, DBE was the M‚ori queen for 40 years, the longest reign of any M‚ori monarch. Her full name and title was Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu. Her title Te Arikinui (meaning Great Chief) and name Te Atairangikaahu (meaning the hawk of the morning sky) were bestowed when she became monarch; previously she was known as Princess Piki Mahuta and, after marriage, Princess Piki Paki.
She was the only birth child of KorokÓ Mahuta and Te Atairangikaahu HÁrangi; her father had an older daughter, Tuura, by an earlier relationship. Dame Te Atairangikaahu had adopted siblings including Sir Robert Mahuta, whose daughter Nanaia Mahuta is a member of Parliament. Dame Te Atairangikaahu was a descendant of the first M‚ori king, PŰtatau Te Wherowhero, and succeeded her father, King KorokÓ, becoming queen the day KorokÓ was buried. She married Whatumoana Paki, a farmer, and they had seven children.
The office of the M‚ori monarch holds no constitutional function, but Te Atairangikaahu was an avid supporter of cultural and sporting events and commonly appeared in a figurehead role at locally held, international political events involving indigenous issues. Her official residence was Turongo House in Turangawaewae.
In 1970, she became the first M‚ori to be made a Dame, specifically a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She was one of the first inductees of the Order of New Zealand when it was established in 1987. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Waikato University in 1973, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Victoria University in 1999.
In December 2005, she started dialysis treatment when her kidneys began to fail. On 11 July 2006, Te Atairangikaahu suffered a possible heart attack and was admitted to intensive care in Waikato Hospital, Hamilton. She was discharged from hospital later in the month, in time to celebrate her 75th birthday.
Te Atairangikaahu died on 15 August 2006 at her official residence, Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia. Six of her children were present, with another daughter attempting to return from Australia. Her death sparked a week of mourning for M‚oridom leading to her funeral on 21 August 2006. She is buried on Taupiri mountain in an unmarked grave, as are her ancestors, as a sign of equality with their people.
Tuheitia Paki, her eldest son, was chosen during the mourning period as her successor with the help of a "kingmaker", after the consent of the chiefs of all the leading tribes was sought. Her eldest child, a daughter, Heeni Katipa, was the next leading contender for the position. As an elective monarchy, the post is not automatically inherited by primogeniture (Te Atairangikaahu herself was her father's second daughter, though the eldest was not born to his wife), so any one of her children or a leading figure from another iwi could have been appointed. This however would have been surprising, given the importance of lineage in Maori society, and the tradition of hereditary succession which had been rigidly followed since the Movement was instituted.
Taupiri Mountain Urupa
Waikato, New Zealand
Created by: Papawraith
Record added: Apr 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50838523