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Hone Harawira’s Ae Marika!

Column – Hone Harawira

Ae Marika! A column published in the Northland Age By Hone Harawira MP for Tai Tokerau MANA LeaderAe Marika!
A column published in the Northland Age
By Hone Harawira
MP for Tai Tokerau
MANA Leader

11 October 2011

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Sometimes life just sux …

Tomorrow we bury a good man, Hone “Man” Pomare. Hone was only 40 years old, but the stories they tell about him suggest a man of many more years than that.

Like a lot of us, Hone had been away in Aussie for years. He came home a few years back and that’s when I first met him.

He came home because he wanted to build a home for his family and a future for his kids, and in the short time I knew him he packed in a lot. He’d cleared a big section on some whanau land just outside of Kaikohe, put down some gardens, started building some small whare, gotten involved with the Maori organic buzz, was into Maori healing, been around the world half a dozen times on those kaupapa and worked on a rez up in Canada … and that was just in the 3 years that I knew him!

His wife Mere worked for me for a while (full-time work on a part-time wage and a wonderful person in her own right) and that’s how I got to meet him.

Hone was a big man, easy to smile, and nice to have around. He never seemed like a threat to anyone but always had that way about him which suggested he knew how to handle himself. He was a calming presence which some people took as him being a bit too laid back, but when you’re operating at a hundred thousand miles an hour like I am, that’s just the kind of guy you need to help chill you out.

Whenever I went to Kaikohe I’d pick him up to go visiting folks who needed a hand with this, that and the other. Hone seemed to know heaps of people, and I found out later that even when he didn’t know people, he had a way of making them want to know him.

He mixed freely with all the hoodlums I knew, and heaps more that I didn’t, and when I introduced him to people from parliament he mixed with them like he’d known them all his life as well too!

Hone worked alongside me all the time that I knew him, and for the past few months I was able to pay him a little bit for what he did. But he worked for me because he loved the kaupapa and just wanted to be part of the buzz; to be part of a new world and to share in the joy of helping bring about change in people’s lives.

I think he saw that in me and wanted to be part of that, but the truth is a little bit different. The fact is that I saw special things in him, and I wanted to be part of his buzz as well.

Farewell my friend. Life doesn’t often send us special people like you. I’ll miss you heaps. Say hi to the folks in Hawaiki, and we’ll see you when we get there.

Haere e te rangatira, haere. Hoki atu ki to ükaipö, ki nga rua köiwi o nga matua tupuna. Takahia i tera ara tapu kia tae atu ki te rerenga wairua. Rukuhia i nga rimurimu, a, rere atu, rere atu, rere atu ra.

Hone had some lovely kids, and now they haven’t got a dad. I hope we can do for his whanau what he was able to help me do for many, many others.

Hone Pomare is lying in state at Mokonuiarangi marae in Utakura. There will be a service at the marae at 10am tomorrow, following which he will be taken to Rahiri to be buried, and then back to the marae for a häkari.

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