“June was an absolute pillar of Wellington. She spent much of her life helping the Wellington community understand her mana whenua Māori tribal traditions,” Mayor Lester says.
“She and her late husband Sam worked tirelessly to help further the understanding of tikanga and te reo Māori. Ka tuku aroha ki tōna whānau.”
Sam and June were awarded Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community in 2010. Koro Sam died in November 2013, and a large tangihanga was held at Pipitea marae.
Deputy Mayor Day says “Aunty June” worked with a number of Wellington city leaders, and provided invaluable protocol services.
“She and her family have put in countless hours working for their community.
“They represented their iwi at formal ceremonies for visiting Heads of State at Government House, and advising on blessings and ceremonial functions for Wellington City Council and at Parliament.”
At many Waitangi Day commemoration ceremonies, June and Sam, and later June joined by her son Peter, would say a karakia for the stallholders and welcome the public and diplomats from the stage with karanga and mihi whakatau. June would then head off to her kai stall to make parāoa parai (fried bread) and whitebait fritters.
“June has always carried out her community service and iwi activities with special grace and dignity. Moe mai rā e kui,” Deputy Mayor Day says.
June Jackson won an Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian Award in 2017.
Ko te whaea te takere o te waka
Mothers are like the hull of a canoe, they are the HEART of the family