Government mourns the loss of Ta Hekenukumai Busby

Ko te marae e tau nei kua tarehua

E mihi ana ki te whenua

E tangi ana ki te tangata

He tai! He tai!He tai papaki ki waho o Rehua

He tai mihinga tangata

He tai mate

E te tohunga taraiwaka. Kua maunu to waka ki te po e!

The Government joins the country in expressing our great sadness at the passing of Ta Hekenukumai Busby, said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis today.

“It was my honour to be at the investiture for Sir Hek at Waitangi earlier this year. I will never forget the passion and love on display for him. He gave so much to the next generation, and in turn, they honoured him,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“I wish you well on your final journey Sir Hek. May the waters be calm and the stars guide the way to your final resting place.”

Kelvin Davis said: “It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge the passing of Ta Hekenukumai Busby. An esteemed kaumatua of Tai Tokerau, a master carver and waka builder. A navigator with a curious mind, a story for every occasion, and now a legacy that will not be forgotten.

“Our thoughts are with Sir Hekenukumai’s whānau at this time,” Kelvin Davis said.