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.

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