Morvin Simon, 1944-2014
Te Āti-Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa
b. Kaiwhaiki Marae, Whanganui River
Composer, kapa haka leader, choirmaster and historian
In this Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, let’s remember the special team of Morvin and Kura Simon, who gave a life’s partnership to sustaining Te Reo Māori and enhancing Māori performing arts:
Morvin composed many waiata including our workplace favourite: (Te Aroha 1983) – so simple and yet so beautiful but he composed many other waiata such as:
His wife Kura was his pou for the last seven years of Morvin’s chronic ill-health. Kapa haka is a wonderful way of promoting te reo and they brought aroha and whanaungatanga to the lives of rōpū such as Te Matapihi, and Te Taikura o te Awa Tupua.
Together, in 2013, they were awarded Queen’s Birthday honours – Morvin as Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and Kura as Queen’s Service Medal , for their services to Māori.
In the previous year, 2012, Morvin received an honorary Bachelor of Arts (Māori Performing Arts) from Te Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.
Our library has copies of Morvin’s history of pā of Whanganui – Taku Whare e! but his tuhituhinga included:
He whakaaro hei korero (1991)
and a section of Te Wharekura. 46: Te Taonga nei o te tikanga.
Morvin exhorted his learners to be always prepared for any occasion:
You never know when you just might have to step up to the plate and get your reo on:
Moea to taiaha ; Moea to patu ; Moea to poi