One of the last things 95-year-old Rita Ngātai said to her whānau was to love and be good to one another.
Those gestures epitomised the life of the Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Kea/Ngāti Tuara matriarch who died on Monday night.
A devout Catholic, she was surrounded by her whānau and a priest when a prayer was passed over her. A short time later she slipped away.
A cherished kuia, Rita Ngātai was raised in Horohoro and Poroutawhao in Levin. She was an original member of Ngāti Poneke Maori Club with her cousins, and her Uncle Kingi Tahiwi.
On return to