Peri Kohu passes away

A well-respected senior kaumatua and passionate advocate for Ngāi Tamarāwaho, who was pivotal in safeguarding tribal interests, advancing Māori kaupapa and unpacking complex issues with pragmatism and diplomacy.  

Respected kaumatua Peri Kohu pictured here at Moana Radio in Tauranga. Photo: Moana Radio.expand/collapse

Peri Kohu was a historian, artist, storyteller, musician, supporter of the arts, sharer of knowledge, researcher and Treaty negotiator.

A heritage stalwart for Tauranga Moana, and an avowed exponent of Māori customary values and practises he was instrumental in pushing for equitable power sharing between Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti (people of the treaty). His work culminated in a unique power sharing model in Tauranga Moana, which he lived to see come to fruition.

He had a long and greatly valued association with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. Our staff often sought his input and guidance on issues including archaeological authorities, wāhi tapu listings, and commemorative memorial events including those at Te Ranga and Pukehinahina.

Historian and friend Buddy Mikaere remembered Peri as, “A good man.” Together they shared a passion for growing cultural awareness of Māori heritage within Tauranga Moana. 

He was kind, compassionate, generous with his time, and a straight shooter with a sharp wit.

Niki Partsch and Makere Rika-Heke