You are listening to the voice of Te Puea Herangi


" "Part of my light has gone out with him" [Te Puea] told Tumokai..[who] drove her to Waiomatatini.... She remained the length of the tangi but never left the Chrysler.... sometimes people saw a face looking out, white with silver hair and heavy eyes.

After the tangi Te Puea recorded what appears to have been her only radio broadcast; a poroporoaki to Ngata on the Maori Programme. It was done in Maori at Waahi, in the stylised idiom of  traditional funeral farewells Her voice sounded faint and constricted, and the congestion in her lungs was audible when she breathed. But there was also a sound of determination, the tone of somebody accustomed to pushing a weak body to its limits.

"The spirit of our elder Ngata lies fallen on the East Coast. I am deeply grieved and I lament for him. He was a man who upheld the treasures of the old Maori world. Depart. The old Maori world ceases with you. The mana and the tapu of that world have gone with you. Depart, my friend, return to Hawaiki, to your ancestors who will open their arms to you. And my greetings to you, the people, who are left as his orphans"

Te Puea Collapsed after the recording session and went to bed for several months.........Te Puea's health had been declining steadily through the 1940's .....and at a few minutes after 9pm on 12 October 1952 Te Puea Herangi died quietly.


from Michael King's "A Biography of Te Puea" , Hodder & Stoughton 1977. Pages 275 -284

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