Friday October 21, 2016   Last updated 13:27PM

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Dame June Mariu invested in style

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There’s a new Dame in Māoridom.

June Mariu, a Māori Women’s Welfare League past president, New Zealand netball representative and a living pou of west Auckland was formally invested with the honour by Governor General Sir Jerry Mataparae at Hoani Waititi Marae today.

Dame June’s iwi Te Whanau a Apanui came up in force from the Eastern Bay of Plenty for the ceremony.

Waipareira Chief Executive John Tamihere says it was preceded by the dawn unveiling of a nine metre pou honouring the late educationalist Hoani Waititi.

"When Te Whānau a Apanui came 30 years ago for the opening of the marae they were upset that there was nothing in the ground that held Waititi's name so today to settle that issue, before we could honour Auntie June, who is a Waititi, we had a specially-carved pou," he says.

Mr Tamihere says the pou, carved by new Rotorua Māori Arts Institute graduate Kawana Waititi, can be seen as a stake in the ground to achieve Hoani Waititi’s vision of a whare wananga alongside the marae bearing his name.

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