Hawke's Bay hockey legend and school teacher Margaret Hiha was both a woman of her time and a woman ahead of her time, according to whanau and former teammates at her tangi this week.
Her hockey could be traced back to the wave of women's hockey that gripped remoter areas as part of keeping communities together in the years in around World War II, and at the age of about 13 she was already playing senior grade for Matata, the Bay of Plenty locality when she grew up.
But son Shane Hiha, reiterating a cousin's korero at the traditional po whakamutunga, the story-telling on the night before Tuesday's final farewell at Tangoio Marae, said among the things to come through was her stickling for discipline and preparation, from cleaning the boots ready for the game to performing on the pitch.
"It was all those little things, that the professionals do today," he said, after the hectic few days farewelling his mum, who passed away on Sunday, aged 86.
If it was just to "make up the numbers" it was probably the last time, for she would spend the next 70 years creating the numbers, as she became an integral part of hockey, recognised ultimately with life membership of Hockey NZ and an MNZM for service to sport in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours.
On the field, while touring with the New Zealand women's team in Europe in 1967, and later coaching and managing the national side, her most triumphant era was that in which the Hawke's Bay team rocketed from the third grade of inter-provincial hockey to win the national K Cup tournament in 1968.
While Hawke's Bay sport was on the map in the rugby fever of the 1966-1969 Ranfurly Shield era, the Hawke's Bay women's hockey team was up there, as it won the title nine times in the 13 years to 1980, and as would be recognised many years later Margaret Hiha was named Hawke's Bay Sportsperson of the Era covering that time.
It was a point not lost on 2005-2014 Napier MP Chris Tremain, who in his school days had been a pupil of Mrs Hiha at Taradale Intermediate, and is also son of late rugby great Kel Tremain, who would have been also a serious contender for the era-supremacy honour.
The tangi was possibly one of the greatest gatherings of New Zealand women's hockey stars over the years.
At least 19 former New Zealand or Hawke's Bay hockey representatives were present, among them Pat Barwick MNZM, who came from Christchurch, Gladys O'Brien, from Hamilton, and Marianne Gray, still in Hawke's Bay, who, like Mrs Hiha, extended their careers long after their playing days were over to become coaches or managers of the national side. Barwick and O'Brien are also life members of Hockey NZ.
More recent national representatives present were former Hawke's Bay players and Olympic Games representatives Caryn Paewai and Tina Bell-Kake.
Margaret Hiha had influenced them all, just as she had hundreds of others, Shane Hiha recalling how she coached not at the schools where she taught but also others. While teaching at Taradale, Wycliffe and Richmond schools in Napier, to name a few, she would also coach teams at such schools as Hukarere and Napier Girls' High.
She could still be seen supporting the game and the young players at the park until she was about 80, and there's a legacy with grandchildren and cousins in the game,
Shane Hiha says it's always been whanaungatanga, and many of those at the tangi he could link to the giant family which developed in the hockey fraternity.
But she carried it into her other codes, particularly Maori sports where she identified a real need which she encouraged through such endeavours as helping establish the national Maori hockey tournament, and, in 1991, the Aotearoa Maori Sports Awards.
"It was fantastic," said her son, who had been at the tangi with sisters Allana, Shane and Shelley and the vast array of other whanau. "I grew up with many of the people of hockey. It was great to see them to come to honour mum, and what she stood for."