Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu
1931 - 2006
The Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, died on August 15th and all Maori then entered a traditional week of mourning culminating with her funeral yesterday, on August 21. In keeping with Maori tradition, she is buried in an unmarked grave on Taupiri Mountain (as her ancestors were) as a sign of equality with her people.
Tuheitia Paki, her eldest son, was chosen as her successor during the mourning period. Maori royalty is an elective monarchy so Tuheitia Paki, the new king, is actually Dame Te Atairangikaahu's second child as the right of succession does not automatically fall to the eldest.
The same things that make headlines in North America are news here but there is also a different pulse to life. There is a very strong sense of national pride and things that matter to New Zealand are not always what matter worldwide. I am proud to live here and learn what I can from this country. And though I don't know how to say it in Maori, I offer farewell to the Queen and welcome to the new King.
Copyright Corinne Simpson