Tangi ngunguru ana ng tai ki te wahap o Hokianga Whakapau Karakia.
Trehu ana ng pae maunga ki Te Puna o te Ao Marama.
Korihi tangi ana ng manu, kua hinga he kauri nui ki te Wao Nui o Tne.
E papaki t ana ng tai ki te reinga.
Kua whakataukngia te mamae.
Au, taukiri e!
E Kara, e Patu, takoto mai.
I am saddened to hear of the passing of renowned te reo Mori scholar T Patu Hohepa (Dr) KNZM (n Hokianga, Te Mahurehure me Ngti Korokoro, Te Kapotai o Taimai, Ngpuhi, me Te tiawa).
T Patu had a distinguished career in Mori and Pacific linguistics, which was acknowledged in last year's Queen's Birthday Honours when he was named Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Mori culture and education.
A retired university professor and retired Mori Language Commissioner, his linguistic background began with being a native bilingual speaker of Mori and English through upbringing and education.
T Patu was the first Mori dux of Northland College and believed that language is the vehicle for maintaining and disseminating personal, group and cultural knowledge.
He achieved a Master's in Social Anthropology from University of Auckland and completed a course on Structural, Anthropological and Sociolinguist for his PhD study at Indiana University.
He taught courses in Anthropology, Mori studies, Mori language, and Linguistics at University of Auckland at undergraduate and graduate levels. Linguistics, Anthropological Linguistics and Polynesian Syntax at the University of Hawaii, and Polynesian Syntactic Structures to Master and Doctoral students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.
His academic circle included Maharaia Winiata, Matiu Te Hau OBE, Hoani Waititi, Ralph Piddington, Ranginui Walker DCNZM, Koro Dewes, T Pita Sharples (Dr), Syd Jackson, Lt George Ngata, Dr Apirana Mahuika, and many many more.
His service to Aotearoa and Mori included 10 years as the commissioner of the Mori Language Commission, heavily promoting te reo Mori and developing proficiency testing, and as a member of Te Waka Toi (the Mori Board of Creative New Zealand) from 2004 and 2008.
Because of his knowledge of expertise, and his friendly and loving manner, T Patu became a kaumtua for many organisations, including as a member of the Mori Cultural Advisory Group of Auckland Art Gallery.
However, he has always belonged to Northland as their Mori leader steeped in Hokianga history, bringing light as a Ngpuhi orator, genealogist, waiata singer, spokesperson, educator, and writer.
I extend my deepest gratitude for his exceptional contribution to the revitalisation of te reo Mori and his dedication to te ao Mori.
T Patu will be laid to rest at Ottara Marae, Waim. Our thoughts and prayers are with the whnau Pani and the iwi of Hokianga.