Body of Anglican Church co-leader taken to East Coast marae ahead of Saturday funeral
The body of Archbishop Brown Turei, one of three leaders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, is to lie in state at Kauaetangohia Marae near the northernmost point of East Cape for two nights before his funeral on Saturday.
Brown Turei died surrounded by his family and loved ones in Gisborne Hospital on Monday, aged 92.
He was ordained a deacon in 1949 and a priest the following year.
In 2006, he was consecrated as Primate - a chief archbishop or senior bishop of a province - and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
He had been intending to resign as Archbishop and as Bishop of Tairawhiti in March this year. In the 2016 New Year's Honours List, Brown Turei was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to the Anglican Church.
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Brown Turei led the Maori cultural strand of the church in this country, sharing church leadership with Archbishops Philip Richardson and Winston Halapua.
"Maoridom and the Anglican Church have lost a leader of enormous stature. A gentle and wise leader, who brought grace, compassion and insight to all that he did and said," Richardson said.
"Pīhopa Tūrei was a warm and humble man of the east but also brave enough to speak out when it mattered," Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said.
"I admired his fearless nature, he was an inspirational leader who provoked topical discussions on the Treaty of Waitangi, nationhood and even the police raids in Rūātoki."
A funeral procession left Brown Turei's home in Gisborne at 10am on Wednesday, taking him 40 minutes drive up the coast to Whangara where his body lay in state overnight.
On Thursday morning the funeral cortege began the trip to Kauaetangohia Marae, which is at Whangaparaoua, or Cape Runaway.
Anglican Taonga said William Brown Turei spent his earliest days in that area.
His funeral service would be held at 11am on Saturday, and he would be interred at Aorangi urupa, which is the Turei whanau cemetery.