Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu acknowledges the passing of George Turia

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu acknowledges with great sadness the passing today of George (Hori) Turia; adored husband of Tariana, a beloved father, grandfather and koro; a mentor to many, a friend to the motu.

‘The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island has been privileged to be guided by Dame Tariana since our establishment.   As the inaugural Minister for Whānau Ora and then a key member of our independent assessment panel, Dame Tariana Turia has been instrumental in helping us to shape our model on a Whānau Ora approach”.

“It is appropriate then for us today to acknowledge the towering strength, the unwavering love and the unflinching dedication that George has demonstrated in supporting his wife in every aspect of her leadership.  Whether as a painter and plasterer, a business man, dairy farmer, entrepreneur or a builder and gardener, there is little that this man would not do for the love of his life, for whānau, for the kaupapa.

“Perhaps one of the greatest metaphors for his life of service, was his response to the massive floods of 2004 and 2006, which threatened the marae at Whangaehu, Rangitāhuahua.   Following huge economic losses, and damage from the floodwaters, George, his son and mokopuna, came together to build a flood wall to support the marae.   Ten thousand concrete blocks were plastered in place in a wall reaching over 420 metres in length.  It took six months to create the “Great Wall of Apa” but for George he could not rest until the last block was in place, and the safety and security of their whānau was protected”.

“As Matua George now returns to Rangitāhuahua, we in Te Waipounamu, recognize the lifelong love and commitment that the ‘rock’ of the Turia whānau has given so selflessly to his whānau – and indeed to whānau throughout the land.  

“Like his magnificent vegetable gardens, Matua George has dedicated his life to investing in the concept of whānau who flourish – who can stand proud in their identity, who can be self-managing, who always have a kai in the cupboard, preserves in the pantry and meat in the freezer.   He was the master of manaakitanga – and we see that legacy in close to sixty mokopuna and mokopuna tuarua who will live up his example as the greatest tribute they can make.   We extend our greatest respects to Tariana, the children and mokopuna, who will all be devastated by this loss.

Moe mai ra e te rangatira, moe mai rā”.


About us: Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is a Commissioning Agency that works on behalf of the iwi in the South Island to support and enable whānau to create sustained social impact.  We do this by developing and investing in ideas and initiatives to improve outcomes for Māori, underpinned by whānau-centred principles and strategies; these include emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.  Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu also invests in Navigator roles to support and build whānau capability.   

Media Contact:
Ranae Niven, Senior Communications Advisor, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu
Mobile: +64 
Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu,10 Show Place, CHRISTCHURCH,

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