Ngā mate

Gordan (Old Man) Selwyn Stephens
A mighty tōtara has fallen, in the forest of Tāne Mahuta. All those who sheltered beneath his mana, under his care and protection will always remember him with much love and respect.

A sometimes contentious man, a warrior of strong beliefs who stood tall, lent strength to all those who loved him – truly a warrior of rangatiratanga.

The grandson of Ani Tamati, Papa tipuna of Hokonui Rūnanga he was a beloved great-grandson of Kehaia, Te Ariki Nui o Ngāi Tahu, herself the beloved daughter of Tuahuru, himself the son of Tūāhuriri. Truly a mokopuna (48 generations) from Tahu Pōtiki, the great-grandson of Māui-tikitiki-a-Taranga.

My brother was born in Gore on 5 November, 1952. A graduate of the ‘School of Hard Knocks,’ he rode with The Head Hunters, who knew him as ‘Old Man.’

My brother was arrested at Bastion Point for protesting against the sale of Māori land as per the Dogskin Treaty. Tino Rangatiratanga.

All those children, rangatahi, who attended the camps he ran for street kids, a proponent of matua whāngai, my brother spread his love as wide as possible, as a mokopuna of Rākaihautū should.

Weep, wail, mourn,
let tears fall, let hūpē run, run red with the blood of our grief.
Run my brother, fleet and sure-footed.
Swim the channel that separates us.
When you reach Cape Reinga,
fling yourself into the waters.
Be not afraid of the churning of those waters for they will carry you to the land of our tīpuna,
and follow in the footsteps of Māui,
to land, safe in the arms of Hine-nui-te-pō.
Auē, auē, auē,
Haere atu, haere atu, haere atu.

I sign this with the tohu, the Ngāi Tahu princess, as ratified by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and ask that my brother be remembered as a prince of Ngāi Tahu. Nā Frances Rakimakere-Edwards.