National | Ngāpuhi

"His words resound in my head" - Kingi Taurua's daughter

His was the most prominent voice at Waitangi but this year the late Ngāpuhi leader Kingi Taurua's absence is being widely felt.

Taurua's eldest child, Tui Taurua-Peihopa says, "There's a great big hole, there's a big hole. We see him everywhere on the marae, I saw him when we had pōwhiri yesterday...I see him there with his tokotoko...listening to the kōrero."

Taurua passed away last year in May but the pain is still raw for his whānau, who say it only seems like yesterday they last heard his mischievous tone.

"Dad would ring us up and he must have had two minutes to spare so he'd ring up and say 'are you still alive?' 'yes dad', 'Alright then i'm going now'.  Those are precious little moments that each of us have because he did that to all of us," Tui says.

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Video - Rereātea, May 2018

Taurua fought hard for the betterment of his people and was an advocate for Treaty issues throughout Ngāpuhi.  One of his final wishes was for his iwi and for future generations to carry on his legacy.

"He spent much time connecting with the people, on his phone, talking about keeping up the fight, not letting him down and what you need to do and we feel that and I think, especially his family, we know that we have a legacy to upkeep," says Tui.

Although he's no longer here in the flesh, Taurua's daughter says his words of encouragement will continue to resound.

"I try to think what dad would do and what dad would say and I think I've become a little bit more confident because I know dad is there and I can hear his words resounding in my head.  It's really beautiful."