It is with deep sadness that the board, management and staff of Ngati Hine Health Trust mourn the recent loss of their patron and inaugural trustee Te Kopa Tipene.

Appointed as the first chair in 1992, Kopa’s leadership saw the Trust through its initial development stage and set the standard for a strategic vision and an integrity that has been a feature of NHHT service delivery. In later years Kopa transitioned into an advisory kaumātua position where his mana and wisdom continue to provide a guiding light in the conduct of trust business and on the celebration of the Trust’s 25th anniversary in 2017 the Board asked him to accept the position of Patron.

Kopa also played an important regional health role as an inaugural member of Te Kaunihera o Te Poutokomanawa of the Northland District Health Board (NDHB0 where he provided advice, guidance and support in assisting the NDHB to maintain cultural safety.

His extensive commitment to the community over the years received recognition and honour from Queen Elizabeth II when he was awarded an MBE (Member of the Excellence Order of the British Empire) for individual outstanding service to the community. His service to the community also extends to his role as Justice of the Peace for many years.

As a kaumātua and role model of integrity, wisdom and unfailing commitment, Kopa, affectionately known to us all as Uncle Kopa, had huge mana and was deeply loved by all at Ngāti Hine Health Trust. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Sally and his family at this sad time.

E te matua e Kopa kua whakarerea mai matou o te Hauora o Ngatihine e koe. Ko Nga Pukepuke Rau o Ngatihine kua riro i a koe kua hono atu ki te Wairua Tapu. Haere atu ra, moe mai, okioki mai ra. Farewell, sleep well. Rest in peace.