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Tribute to the protector of Peu Maori

Saturday 17 September 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Tribute to the protector of  Peu Maori
Mauri Toa performed in the 2022 Te Maeva Nui for his beloved Vaka Takitumu. 22091304

The late Mauri Toa believed in the strength of the three pillars of the nation – the Government, the Church and Traditional leaders – and how they interacted with each other and affected the lives of the people.

Mauri Toa

Kua ngaeva to te ngutuare i te otooto mamae

Kua muumuu tei iriiri i te matakeinanga

Kua ngingiti to te ipukarea i te rongo tei veka

Aue kua takupe te rapa i taku oe

Kua moe i te moeanga roa

“E u’u no te akau roa … ka oki rai ki tona akau”

Itianga ra: 27 o Tiunu, mataiti 1965, Opuanga ra: 6 o Aukute, mataiti 2022.

Ko tona metua tane ko Ioane Tairi-Tu-Teata (aka John Toa) e te metua vaine ko Raera Toa (nee Ella Brown Trego Hagai).  Kua koropini ia aia e tona ai taeake: Tangi, John, Maine (kua takoto), Tutangata (kua takoto), Ngamatamaru, Jessie, Tiri Trego, e ta ratou au tamariki e te tamariki a tona ai taeake.

I tona tupu’anga kua aere atu aia ki te apii tua tai i Ngatangiia, apii tua rua i Titikaveka e Tereora e kua aere katoa atu kite apii teitei i Viti (USP) i te titau kia rauka tetai peapa Akapapa’anga Moni (Accountant) nona. 

E Karaka (Clerk) ta Mauri ngai angaanga mua i ko i te opati o te Paepae Ropianga o te Kavamani (Public Service Commission) i te oki anga mai mei te apii i Viti penei i te mataiti 1986. I te mataiti 2001 kua akaruke aia i teia ngai angaanga e kua akamata atu ki ko i te Tauranga Vananga (Ministry of Cultural Development) e tae ua atu ki te mataiti 2012. I muri mai i teia kua tae te kapiki no te angaanga atu ki te Opati o te Akonoanga Cook Islands Christian Church e kua riro atu e koia te Director of Publications.  Ko tana ngai angaanga openga rai teia i takake atu ei.

I te mataiti 2017 kua iki ia atu a Mauri e te Minita o te Tauranga Vananga ki runga i te taokotai anga o te Kopapa Reo Maori e kua riro mai ei Tama Akatere i teia kopapa no tetai tuatau poto i te rokoia atu anga te metua tane a Papa George Paniani e te apikepike maki.

Kua tupu mai a Mauri ki roto i te Evangelia tapu na te Atua mei tona meangiti anga mai e kare rava i akaruke ana i tei reira e tae ua mai ki tona takake anga.

I te mataiti 1996, kua akatainu ia a Mauri ki te taoanga Diakono e oti e toru mataiti i muri mai kua riro mai ei Tekeretere no te Ekalesia Ngatangiia. E akatere meitaki e te maroiroi i te rave i te au angaanga a te Ekalesia. Mei te au angaanga a te Mapu, Apii Sabati, Boys Brigade.  Takake ki teia, atu imene tuki e pera tetai au imene akapaapaa i te Atua (Chorus), tata e te akateateamamao i te au akatutu’anga no te tuatau Nuku (Gospel Day), tatau e tetai atu angaanga ka anoanoia te Tekeretere o te Ekalesia kia rave. Kua teretere katoatoa ana na te akau roa i te turu i te au kimikimi’anga moni no te akaou anga ia Ebenezera, no te akatu’anga i tetai kainga ou no te Orometua e no tetai au apinga akatangi na te Ekalesia.

Tau mari ta te irava i akakite: “Kua tuku au ia Iehova ei mua ua rai iaku; tei tona rima katau aia kare au e ngaueue” (Salamo.16:8).

Tana au angaanga takake (hobbies): Kua riro ana a Mauri ei ‘akavā i te tuatau tarere ura, imene, peu Maori/Tupuna, tateni korero Maori e te vai atura.

E Taunga katoa no te korero, atu imene, pee, purua, e te vai atura. Kua kite e kua rongo tatou katoatoa i tana au imene i atu na te Vaka Takitumu i te tuatau o te au ra o te Kavamani. E tauturu ana aia i te apii i tetai au puapii no runga i te apii i te tamariki i te au tua taito e te peu tupuna o Ngatangiia.

Kua riro katoa ana a Mauri ei va’a tuatua no Kainuku ariki, Teaia Mataipo i te tuatau o Mama Maui Short. E va’a tuatua katoa aia i te tuatau akauruuru’anga Mataiapo e te Rangatira.

Rungao ra i teia au mea e tamaiti tautai ki runga i te akau e ki roto i te roto i te pana ungakoa, tipu maturori, varu rori, keri kai, tango patito.  Ko tana mitiore tetai kai reka roa atu ana me maani.

E ‘aka’aere meitaki, maroiroi e te akakoromaki i roto i te au angaanga ravarai tana e rave ana.  Koia te ‘aka’aere, va’a tuatua, parani porokaramu, e te puapii no te anau a Papa John Toa e Mama Ella. Ka mii e ka maaraara matou e ratou tei ki te iaia.


Mauri Toa was buried at the Toa Temarama family burial ground in Ngatangiia. 22091313.

Born on June 27, 1965 Toa passed away suddenly on August 6, 2022 at the age of 57. He was buried on August 19 at the Toa Temarama family burial ground in Ngatangiia.

Toa lived his life according to the Scriptures and dedicated his life to serving the Heavenly Father.

A well-known and respected orator, he was also a composer and passionate about the Peu Maori of Cook Islands culture and traditions and the Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC).

The Minister of Tauranga Vananga George (Maggie) Angene and Secretary Anthony Turua wish to extend their deep condolences to Mauri Toa’s family.

“Mauri was a great traditional practitioner who has greatly contributed towards the sustainability of our cultural values.

“He has left a legacy of strengthening our traditional and cultural practice towards all three pillars of our country,” said Turua.

Toa commenced his employment with Tauranga Vananga/Ministry of Cultural Development as the Museum Assistant in 2001 and became the curator of the National Museum in 2006.

He managed many exhibitions including the annual tivaivai exhibition, photographic and art exhibitions in the Museum, and lectures for school students and visiting groups.

Toa also spent countless hours collecting oral traditions for the Ministry namely from Papa Tangaroa Kainuku, Papa Motu Kora and other experts. 

Ngatuaine Maui, the director of Tauranga Vananga said: “He was an expert himself in our traditional culture and a great orator.”

After a three-year term Mauri took on the role of the Reo Maori Officer in 2009 until 2011. His role extended into the performing arts where he assisted in creating the rules and regulations for the cultural competitions.

Toa composed many songs for Te Mire Atu, and Te Maeva Nui for the Vaka Takitumu. He wrote beautiful lamentations for friends and family that have passed on which were aired over the radio as bereavement notices.

Mauri then assumed the position of anthropologist until he departed in 2012 to work for Takamoa Theological College.

Kare e kupu, Kare e korero

E oa, e Metua, e Akapere’pere

Kua oki ki avaiki i roto i te po

Kua oki ki o Tangaroa’

Kua tuku mai i tana i moemoea,

Na tatou e apai kite meka’meka openga

Kia akameitaki ia te Atua, no te au mea katoatoa.