Wihapi Winiata:

a man who gave his heart to the four winds

Ngāti Whakaue

Born in 1935, Reverend Te Wihapi David Te Kanohimohoao Winiata lived most of his life in Rotorua, attending Rotorua Primary School and Whakarewarewa Native School before heading to Te Aute College in Hawke's Bay.

Medical problems saw his return from the Hawke's Bay to continue his high school education at the then Rotorua High and Grammar School.

Steeped in the tradition of the Māori Anglican Church he was a lay member of Ōhinemutu's St Faith's Church until 1978 when he entered the ministry, serving in the Ōhinemutu, Te Ngae, Whakarewarewa, Ngāpuna, Ōwhata, Mourea, Rotoiti, Western Heights, Ngongotaha, Mamakū, Taupō, Waitetoko and Tūrangi pastorates for more than 30 years.
Although he was a modest man and found it hard to accept, many people referred to Reverend Winiata as the paramount chief of Te Arawa. He lay in state prior to his burial in the premier meeting house of Te Arawa, Tamatekapua.

The same year Reverend Winiata's father died Wihapi Winiata left school at 19 to join the workforce to support his family.

He began his working life began in the Māori Land Court section of the Department of Māori Affairs where he remained for 33 years until his retirement in 1989.

He first became involved in working for his people on the marae in the 1960’s and was a board member or adviser on more than 30 local Māori committees and organisations, government departments, educational institutions (including Rotorua Museum) and health services.

The Rotorua District Council acknowledged Mr Winiata's contributions to Māoridom and the wider community in 2005 with an award for community service.
Reverend Winiata was a talented artist, majoring in art at school. He designed monograms and logos for local organisations including Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa and the Whakarewarewa Rugby Club.

Reverend Winiata was a keen rugby supporter and played for Whakarewarewa and Waikite for nearly 20 years, refereeing games in the mid 1970s.

He was a kaumatua and life member of the Waikite Rugby Football Club. In 1953 he designed the mascot Hori Bop for the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union.
Speaking at the time of his death, nephew Robert Biddle said his uncle had been an asset not only to Māori and Pakehā but to all people.
"He was even the president of the Rotorua French Club. He gave his heart to everyone, to Ngā Hau e Whā [the four winds]. The iwi is going to miss him, especially Ngāti Whakaue. He was our pou tokomanawa [centre pillar]. For the family he was Te Ahi o Ngā Uri Rangatira [our guiding light].."
Highly regarded throughout the country, ‘Koro Hapi’, as he was affectionately known, died after a long battle with illness.
He is remembered for being a perfect example of the Māori values of manaakitanga, whānaungatanga, rangatiratanga, kōtahitanga and wairuatanga.
Reverend Te Wihapi David Te Kanohimohoao was born in 1935 and lived most of his life in Rotorua. He attended Rotorua Primary and Whakarewarewa Native Schools before he headed off to Te Aute College in Hawke’s Bay. Because of medical problems, he returned from Hawke’s Bay to continue his education at what was then Rotorua High and Grammar School.

Reverend Winiata was steeped in the traditions of the Māori Anglican Church and was a lay member of Ōhinemutu’s St Faith’s Church until 1978. He then entered the ministry, serving in the Ōhinemutu, Te Ngae, Whakarewarewa, Ngāpuna, Ōwhata, Mourea, Rotoiti, Western Heights, Ngongotahā, Mamakū, Taupō, Waitetoko and Tūrangi pastorates for more than 30 years.
He was a modest man and found it hard to accept that many people referred to him as the paramount chief of Te Arawa. Following his death he lay in state in Tamatekapua, the premier meeting house of Te Arawa.

The year that his father died, Reverend Winiata left school at 19 to join the workforce to support his family. He began working in the Māori Land Court section of the Department of Māori Affairs and remained there for 33 years until he retired in 1989.

Reverend Winiata began working for his people on the marae in the 1960's. He sat as a board member or advisor on more than 30 local Maori committees and organisations. He was also involved in working with government departments, educational institutions (including Rotorua Museum) and health services. Reverend Winiata’s contribution to Maoridom and the wider community was recognised in 2005 with a community service award from the Rotorua District Council.
 
Reverend Winiata was a talented artist, majoring in art at school. He designed monograms and logos for local organisations including Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa and the Whakarewarewa Rugby Club.

A keen rugby supporter, he played for Whakarewarewa and Waikite for nearly 20 years. He was a referee in the mid-1970's and became a kaumatua and life member of the Waikite Rugby Football Club. In 1953 he designed the mascot ‘Hori Bop’ for the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union.
At the time of Reverend Waiata’s death, his nephew Robert Biddle said his uncle had been an asset not only to Māori and Pakehā but to all people.
"He was even the president of the Rotorua French Club. He gave his heart to everyone, to Ngā Hau e Whā [the four winds]. The iwi is going to miss him, especially Ngāti Whakaue. He was our pou tokomanawa [centre pillar]. For the family he was Te Ahi o Ngā Uri Rangatira [our guiding light].."
‘Koro Hapi’, as he was affectionately known, died in 2005 after a long illness. Highly regarded throughout the country, he is remembered for being the  manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, rangatiratanga, kōtahitanga and wairuatanga.

Values: Humility, values diligence, scholarship, relationships, wellbeing