Awanuiārangi Black 1968-2016 (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Raukawa ki Ōtaki)

Awanui in action at the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Pukehinahina / Gate Pa. 29 April 2015 Photographer: Tania Lewis-Rickard. used with permission.

Awanui in action at the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Pukehinahina / Gate Pa. 29 April 2015 Photographer: Tania Lewis-Rickard. used with permission.

 

E, he aha tērā? Ko Te Awanuiarangi te rākau rangatira kua topea ohoreretia e Aituā!

He pou tangata, he pou tikanga, he pou tiaki taonga, he pou herenga mō ōna iwi o Tauranga Moana, ko Ngāti Pūkenga, ko Ngāti Ranginui, ko Ngāiterangi, tae rānō ki a Raukawa Te Au ki te Tonga. He tohunga mō tuawhakarere, kua kore. Ko te rākau a Tūkanguha, kua takoto. Ko te pōito whakarewa i te kupenga tāngata o Tauranga Moana i te wā o te tupuhi, kua riro ki ōna mātua tipuna ki Hawaiki pāmamao. E Awa, tēnei tō whānau a Te Papa Tongarewa kei te maimai aroha mōu, okioki rā i te tūturutanga o te ora.

With great sadness, Te Papa acknowledges the passing of a former staff member and great supporter of Te Papa, Awanuiārangi Black, who passed away earlier this week in Tauranga after a short illness.

Awanuiārangi, known affectionately as Awanui or Awa, was appointed as ‘Te Kaihere Umanga-ā-Iwi, Māori Manager from the 18th of December 2000 through to 7 August 2001. This was a newly established role within the National Services Te Paerangi team which helped iwi access resources in the museum sector to empower their own heritage activities. A renowned kapa haka exponent, composer, historian, Te Reo advocate, orator and lecturer, Awanui’s drive to serve and support Māori communities with his formidable set of skills and talents, is a continued theme throughout his life.

Speakig during a repatriation of tupuna from the United Kingdom, November 2007. Photographer: Kate Whitley. Copyright Te Papa.

Speaking during a repatriation of tupuna from the United Kingdom, November 2007. Photographer: Kate Whitley. Copyright Te Papa.

 

While an employee for a relatively short time at Te Papa, Awanui continued to support and work with the museum on many varied projects. He worked with the Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme over a number of years. As a valued specialist in Māori culture and tradition in November 2007 he led the Te Papa delegation to uplift and safely return 46 Māori and Moriori ancestral remains housed at nine institutions across the United Kingdom. In April 2009 he liaised between kaumātua of the Tauranga Moana area and Te Papa to return three kōiwi tangata to their place of origin.

Awanui also helped to develop storylines in the blockbuster touring exhibition Whales |Tohorā, which is still sharing his knowledge with the rest of the world as it continues to travel the globe.

As recently as March this year, Awanui continued to share with and assist Te Papa, contributing to a Mātauranga Māori experts’ wānanga organised by Director Ngā Manu Atarau Dr Te Ahukaramu Charles Royal.

On the paepae / orator’s bench of Te Whetu-o-te-rangi marae, in Tauranga. 2000. Courtesy of Raewyn Douglas. Used with permission.

On the paepae / orator’s bench of Te Whetu-o-te-rangi marae, in Tauranga. 2000. Courtesy of Raewyn Douglas. Used with permission.

 

Awanui was always a great supporter of Māori achievement and aspirations but, in particular, he was ever focused on supporting the people of his homeland, Tauranga Moana – both those who live there and those who live away. He had exceptional energy and would amaze people with his capacity to get around the country to support as many kaupapa as he could. It is deeply tragic that his leadership has been cut short at so young an age. Our thoughts and aroha are with his people and his whānau at this very sad time.

Awanui’s tangi is taking place at Whetu-o-te-Rangi marae in Tauranga. He is survived by his wife, Anihera, and their children Parearau, Kahotapu, Tawera, Uenuku, and Wiremu.

By Puawai Cairns, Paora Tibble, Te Herekiekie Herewini, and Jason Ake.

One Response

  1. Jennie Harre Hindmarsh

    Mihi arohanui ki a koe Ani me tou whānau, at this very sad time of the untimely passing o Awanuiārangi . Mihi arohanui hoki ki ‘te whānau’ o Te Papa Tongarewa and all those who have had the honour to work with Awanui across the 48 years of his rich life.

    It was a great privilege to work alongside Awanui during 2000/01 whilst he was the first Māori Manager – Te Kaihere Umanga-ā-Iwi – in National Services Te Paerangi (or as Awanui often referred to us: ‘Te Kanohi Kitea o Te Papa Tongarewa’), and to maintain contact after he moved on to contribute to other important kaupapa in many sectors.

    Awanui made so many contributions during those months with National Services Te Paerangi, laying stronger foundations for supporting iwi, museums, galleries and related organisations – and their relationships with each other – to enhance arts & heritage services they provided to their communities. Amongst his contributions were the first national hui & report on Iwi Cultural Centres, and a range of wānanga like the Iwi Customary Concepts series and hui of museums networks and ngā iwi o te rohe in a range of regions. Awanui also helped refined how the New Zealand Museums Standards Scheme Nga Kaupapa Whaimana a Ngā Whare Taonga o Aotearoa would be implemented, to which he went on to contribute as a peer reviewer with a museum colleague after it was launched in 2002. He was also instrumental in naming & ‘branding’ (with the red feather symbol) the new He Kāhui Kākākura Strategic Leadership Programme we developed with and for the sector. As he explained back then: ‘He Kāhui Kākākura is a coming together of chiefs. The Kākākura – red parrot – is sacred, and symbolises greatness, leadership and protection. Parrots with especially bright red feathers are seen leading their flocks, moving them onwards from one feeding ground to the next’.

    Awanui epitomised the Kākākura. He has been an inspiring, generous, humble and wise leader and protector in so many ‘feeding grounds’ throughout the motu during his life. We have been fortunate to have been touched by your greatness, thank you Awanui. And our hearts go out to your whānau and people at this time of great loss and sadness, – whilst also honouring your life so well lived.

    Rest in peace, e hoa.
    Jennie HH

    Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)