Queen Mourned, King Crowned
The Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu died on Tuesday 15 August aged 75 after a 40-year reign. Dame Te Atairangikaahu was the sixth monarch of the North Island tribes who formed the King movement in the 19th century in response to the encroaching powers of British settlers. At her tangi, Prime Minister Helen Clark hailed Dame Te Ata as a pioneer in obtaining a land settlement for her people under the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document. An estimated 100,000 mourners came to Ngaruawahia to pay their final respects to the Queen. Rain fell on Turangawaewae as the Queen was laid to rest alongside her ancestors on Taupiri Mountain. As tradition dictates, the Queen’s successor, her son Tuheitia Paki, was crowned at Turangawaewae shortly before her burial. Messages of condolence came from Queen Elizabeth and other notable royal dignitaries and Heads of State. Obituaries ran in The New York Times, The LA Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Scotsman, The Chicago Sun Times, and The Boston Globe among others.
Te Atairangikaahu: 23 July 1931 – 15 August 2006