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(Special to the ''Evening Post.")


The death occurred suddenly yesterday of Mr. James Kumiti Rukutai, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. S. Watene, Princes Street, Onehunga. For about a quarter of a century Mr. Rukutai had been a first-grade Native interpreter and a prominent leader in affairs of the Maori race.

Mr. Rukutai was a member of the Ngatihikairo tribe, of Kawhia, where he was born, and he came of a Kingite family. He was educated at St. Stephen's College, and as a young man followed the occupation of miner at Waihi. Coming to Auckland he became established as a Native interpreter, particularly in the Supreme Court, and was adviser in legal matters to a wide circle of his people. His position among them was shown by the fact that he was made chairman of the Akarana Maori Association.

In sport Mr. Rukutai was a vigorous supporter of League football, and was a member of one of the representative teams that visited Australia. He was also prominent in tennis and assisted in the administration of the Auckland Lawn Tennis Association and of the Campbell Park Tennis Club. He took an active part in the work of the Maori Licensed Interpreters' Association, and was a member of the Old Boys' Association of St. Stephen's College. He had a very wide knowledge of the Maori language and of Native customs and lore, which was often drawn on by students of those subjects.

Mr. Rukutai married a daughter of the late Remana Newtona. His wife died a few years ago.

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MR. JAMES RUKUTAI Evening Post, Volume CXXIX, Issue 10, 12 January 1940

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