Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 6, October 1966
By NELL CLIMIE
A friendship that dates back to School-days was responsible for my invitation to be present at a most unusual and moving ceremony at the Puketotara Maori Urupa (Cemetery) at Te Komata, Paeroa. April 9th 1966, was a memorable day for the Tukukino and Te Roera (Royal) families, and their relatives from many parts of New Zealand, when they assembled to honour the memory of their ancestors.
The Urupa is situated on family land, the low Kanuka encircled hill between Thames Road and the Waihou River, commanding a magnificent view of the Valley and surrounding hills. It is one of several open private Urupas of the Te Kiriwera Tribe a sub-tribe of Ngati Tamatera, which one hundred years ago was led by the famous Chief Te Ahiataewa Tukukino, who valiantly and without bloodshed did his utmost to maintain for his people this ancestral estate. He himself had been laid to rest in a secret vault but on the graves of a number of his immediate descendants who were interred in this sacred (tapu) ground, tombstones had recently been erected, and this fact gave the ceremony its significance.
Fresh punga ferns and masses of flowers were arranged, and the more important graves covered with priceless ancient cloaks, by a small intimate group of mourners before the arrival of the large party. These disembarked from cars and bus some distance away, and as the procession slowly approached, Mrs. Netta Brown (nee Royal) a great grand-daughter of Chief Tukukino and now the oldest descendant, uttered the Powhiri or Call to which there was immediate response by a leader in the group. This was repeated several times until all had assembled within the enclosure.
The dignified ceremony of the unveiling was conducted by the Rev. C. Shortland, who performed 4 of the dedications, a close family representative standing ready to remove the cloak from each memorial at the appropriate time.
ANCESTORS (and Representatives)
1. Hunia Te Weu, son of Te Ahiataewa Tukukino, (Waara Tukukino).
2. His wife Kiriata (Mrs. Netta Brown, nee Royal).
3. Their son Tukukino Hunia (Kemara Tukukino). Dedicated by his son Hukurere Tukukino. (Shu).
4. His wife Parehuia (Riki Tuhaiti Rakana and Eileen Tuaiti).
5. Their son Kiriwera (Rama Karia Reidy).
(Note. The sister of Tukukino Hunia was Keriata, the Mother of the Te Roera (Royal) family, their father being a descendant of the notable Te Rauhawa Tribe of Otaki).
There was some beautiful singing before the great gathering dispersed to meet later at "Pai 0 Hauraki" to share a sumptuous "Hakari" (a home prepared family meal) which was served by the Marae Committee, graced by brief speeches, and followed by much general "korero" and remembering.