The father of the Maori King has been remembered as a hard-working pillar of the Kingitanga movement.
Whatumoana Paki died yesterday after a long illness and as the widower of the late Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, his tangi is expected to be a massive affair. Paki was also the father of Maori King Tuheitia.
His body was taken to Turangawaewae Marae at Ngaruawahia yesterday afternoon before heading to Waahi Marae at Huntly.
Paki grew up at the Huntly marae but he also had close affiliations to the Te Aupouri iwi from Northland through his mother.
It is likely the issue of his final resting place will be debated among leaders from the two tribes.
Te Aupouri kaumatua Arthur Kapa said leaders from the northern tribe were communicating with Tainui but a decision wouldn't be made until they could meet in person. "We are trying to get the information when we are going to go down but there is no feedback yet.
"It is looking very likely the funeral will be on Monday," Kapa said.
"They're having their meeting at Waahi and they would like us there at some stage. I'm not sure what's the general opinion but if our people had the opportunity to go down there and bring him back here we would be delighted."
Kapa said Paki would be missed because he was a "totara" who could not be replaced.
"His mother used to own the property that the marae at Te Kao was built on.
"She played a prominent role around here until she met her partner from down there. He [Paki] grew up down there but he is also from here.
"We will miss him."
Tainui kaumatua Meto Hopa said he had the utmost respect for Paki because of the work he did for the people and the support he gave his wife.
"I last saw him in hospital, I went to see him. He was very upset with the politics that were going on at the moment, very upset.
"But what I said to him was: I didn't come here to talk politics, I came here to see you. He was very sick.
"My respect for him is for what he had done for us and his wife, Te Atairangikaahu; for what they both did for our marae.
"Te Atairangikaahu carried her mother's desire for us to build a wharenui [meeting house] at Waipapa for [the subtribe] Ngati Hikairo. That whare is known as Taku Hia Hia and it is for bringing all of the tribes and marae together. That is where my respect to Whatu comes from, he was part of that mahi [work] and he was part of that process mentally, physically and spiritually. He did a lot of physical work, he wasn't a man to sit on his butt."
Parliament delay sought
Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan has asked that a scheduled Saturday meeting of the tribe's parliament, Te Kauhanganui, be postponed for the tangi of the Maori King's father, Whatumoana Paki.
Paki, father of King Tuheitia and husband of the late Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, died yesterday.
Morgan said he was helping sort out arrangements for Paki's tangi. "I have also asked for the Te Kauhanganui hui on Saturday to be postponed as a mark of respect to a senior rangatira who has given lifetime service to Kingitanga ..."
A proposal to alter the tribe's rules had been tabled, but Morgan's future in the parliament was not up for discussion. A vote was passed on August 7 removing him from Te Kauhanganui. He also stood to lose his position as chairman of Te Arataura, the tribal governing committee.
Morgan has applied to the High Court for an injunction to stop his removal. The court was to continue proceedings today.