Te Ao Rangahau has bid a fond farewell to Bub Konia, its longest-serving staff member.

Bub has formally retired from Te Ao Rangahau after 28 years. During that time she has seen the organisation evolve and grow through three name changes, four premises, five chief executives, and has interacted with thousands of members along the way. Her receipt of a medal after 25 years’ service at a Fellows Dinner was met with a standing ovation.

Bub’s farewell on Tuesday was attended by her whānau, former colleagues, including one of her early managers John Gardiner, and lead assessor David Bridges. Speakers gave tribute to Bub’s compassion and dedication, and noted her inner strength, particularly in tough times.

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Bub Konia

Chief Executive Richard Templer said Bub exemplified “everybody’s auntie”, whose warm smile and voice was one of his first memories of the organisation after being appointed to his role. Others pointed to Bub’s generosity, willingness to help, and unreserved kindness towards everybody. Bridges noted Bub had a cunning ability to convince you to agree to a request before knowing the full scope of the task!

In her final speech, Bub paid homage to Gerry Te Kapa Coates MNZM, the organisation’s first Māori president (2003-2004) and other colleagues who, like her, have advocated for greater recognition and use of te reo in the profession. She composed and gifted Te Ao Rangahau the waiata below.

Supporting the Registrar has been part of Bub’s role throughout her time at Te Ao Rangahau. She reflected that serving members was always front of mind and has been guided by words passed down from her mother: “It doesn’t matter who people are, or what they do, just take them as they are.”

Bub, you will be missed by all at Te Ao Rangahau. We know all members join us in wishing you a truly fulfilling and well-deserved retirement.

Haere, Bub, haere.

Nau mai Ki Te Ao Rangahau

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