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Te Ua welcomed and remembered

Fri 4 May 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

1.00PM: In the first of two funeral services to be held today Henare Te Ua has been remembered as a fine communicator and mentor. After losing an unpleasant battle with cancer the gay Maori elder and kaumatua is now lying 'in state' at Auckland's St Matthews in the City Church after being welcomed into the city by family and friends. He will remain there until a larger service at 7 o'clock this evening after which he will be taken to Gisborne for burial. This morning Sir Paul Reeves acknowledged Te Ua's literary and broadcasting skills, his way with words and his ability to communicate to both pakeha and Maori. Broadcaster Tainui Stevens spoke passionately about the ways in which Te Ua had assisted and mentored many young broadcasters, a theme which was taken up by representatives of the production company behind the Takataapui Maori TV series. Takataapui producer Claudette Hauiti remembered fondly Te Ua's urging her team to produce programming of high standards and, equally, recalled his ire when, just occasionally, he felt those standards were not met. Amongst the gay mourners gathered were entertainer Mika and poet and author Witi Ihimaera, but most eyes gravitated to Te Ua's sons and his partner of thirty years, Dudley Moir. Looking tired and distraught early in the service, Moir seemed to gather strength from the family and gay friends who gathered to pay their respects. Auckland Community Church, a multi-denominational glbt Christian group based at St Matthews, will be prominent in this evening's service, and gay speakers whose lives were touched by Te Ua will speak. Prominent amongst those will be representatives of the NZ AIDS Foundation of which Te Ua was the formal kaumatua.     Ref: (j)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 4th May 2007 - 12:00pm

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