The coffin of Jim Webber, strapped to the bottom of a dinghy, is pushed out to sea at Paraparaumu Beach by his sons and grandson for his final journey back home to Kāpiti Island.
Jim — journalist, expert on Maoritanga, and tireless worker for the disabled — died last week in Wellington Hospital after a short illness.
Māori from throughout the District, family members and pakeha friends, including Kāpiti’s Mayor, K Gurunathan, gathered
on the beach yesterday morning for a moving tangihanga ceremony of farewell.
Then his son Karl piloted the small boat, with other young family members aboard, through choppy waters to a burial site on the family urupa at the north end of Kāpiti Island.
A small group of family members also made the journey to Kāpiti aboard a large launch used for regular services to the Island.
Jim Webber came from the large and well-established Webber family, which has historic links to the earliest Maori settlements on Kāpiti Island.
His son Karl, who piloted the boat, and his partner, live on a small island just of the north-east coast of Kāpiti Island.
Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane
The totara has fallen in the forest of Tane