Northland kaumātua Hohepa Rudolph will be remembered as man who was strong in his Māori culture and was known for his kindness and generosity.

Hohepa Rudolph - of Te Uri o Tai, Te Rarawa, Ngati Pakahi and Ngati Kahu - passed away on Saturday following a lengthy period of illness.

Rudolph, known as Mātua Hohepa, had served as NorthTec's kaumātua from December 2008 and was well loved by staff and students.

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Wayne Jackson, NorthTec's acting chief executive, said Rudolph was a valued member of NorthTec's senior leadership team and acted as a leader around all matters of tikanga and te ao Māori.

"He led many pōwhiri and other cultural events during his years at NorthTec, and was known for his kindness and generosity with regard to explaining tikanga and the meaning of Māori ceremonies, especially to our international students and guests," he said.

Rudolph's tangihanga was held from Sunday at Te Puna o te Mātauranga Marae on NorthTec's Raumanga campus.

The whānau pani stayed with Rudolph overnight Sunday and mourners continued to be welcomed onto the marae yesterday.

The tangihanga observed all government requirements, NorthTec said.

Jackson said there would be many people mourning Rudolph's loss and his thoughts were with his whānau.

"We are honoured to be able to poroporoaki Mātua Hohepa at Te Puna o te Mātauranga as this reflects our respect for his deeds and his deep connection to NorthTec, its staff and students."

Whangārei kaumātua Taipari Munro said Rudolph was very strong in his Māori culture and the culture of the people of the north, and was a very strong Catholic.


He said he was also a member of Te Rōpū Kaumātua - a group of Whangārei elders - and worked with them quite closely on different marae, especially at Whangārei Terenga Paraoa marae.

"I think he will certainly be remembered for his strength in kaupapa Māori and also the work that he had done alongside the polytechnic council. He was very much respected by the Whangārei people and by the Māori communities here in Whangārei and will be sorely missed."

Rudolph will be laid to rest in Pawarenga.