Mere Broughton, New Zealand Māori language activist and unionist, Died at 79

Mary Mereiwa Broughton (née) Whakaruru was born in 1936/1937, in Hastings and died on January 31, 2016.

She was known as Mere Broughton.

Mere was a New Zealand Māori language activist and unionist.

Her parents Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa and Ngāti Kahungunu descent.

she was raised in Te Teko and Kawerau before training as a nurse and working at Whakatāne Hospital.

Her husband was Anglican priest Ruka Broughton, with whom she raised five children, on 21 May 1960, they divorced in 1978.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Mere worked at the Victoria University, co-establishing Te Herenga Waka Marae with her husband, Te Huirangi Waikerepuru, and Wiremu Parker.

And she became active in union affairs, in the Association of University Staff (now the TEU).

She became the TEUs first life member, in 2010.

Mrs Mere Broughton was on the Tekaumārua, the advisory board to the Māori King, Tuheitia Paki.

Mere was part of the New Zealand delegation that sent off the canoes of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia, in 2014.

Mere Broughton identified with the Civic Honour Award by Hutt City Council in 1999.

Mrs Mere Broughton was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for community service in the 2002 New Year Honours.

In 2009, Mrs Mere Broughtonreceived the Tā Kīngi Ihaka Award from Creative New Zealand in recognition of a lifetime aiding to the development and retention of Māori arts and culture

Mere Broughton passed away at 79 yrs old her home in Waitara.

She was buried at Pakaraka Marae.