June Mariu – Respect
Dame June Mariu’s investiture was recently celebrated at Hoani Waititi Marae.
June is one of those rare people without whom our communities would not be the same. June and her peers form an important group whose dedication, generosity and commitment make that community a better place to live in.
During June’s life she has achieved many things. She taught at Rutherford College and started the Marae at the school. She was an exceptional netballer, a former captain of the Silver Ferns and she was also a former President of the Maori Women’s Welfare League. She has been and is a tireless worker for te reo and for Hoani Waititi Marae’s kohanga reo. She is an integral part of Hoani Waititi Marae and without her the institution would be a pale comparison of what it is.
Her generosity is legendary. Her bank balance may not be impressive but the respect that she has amongst the local community is. Her desire to make sure that those around her are looked after is very strong.
Bob Harvey had nothing but good to say about June and his comments deserve to be repeated. He said that “like a lot of Maori women, [she] has a lot of humbleness. She has remarkable quality of serenity in leadership and the ability to calm the fiercest meetings. She is one of the pillars of Waitakere”.
He also said she had “turned the tide” for many of West Auckland’s at-risk young people. In particular, “she has taken young women and given them support and hope and turned their lives around”.
June’s investiture was marked by a typically self deprecating statement where she acknowledged that her award should be shared because everything that she had achieved in her life depended on the support of friends and others who believed in the same goals as her.