Over a quarter of a century ago James Takamore left his ancestral home in Tu Hoeand moved south to follow his dreams in Christchurch as a builder, oh how his talents would be in demand today.
Nothing so unusual there. He did what many young people, some with Maori in their genes, did.
He met and established a home with Denise Clark and raised a family, still pretty much normal.
After some 20 years of aparent happiness that all came to a sudden end when James died.
His family in keeping with James' culture had his body lying at his local Marae in the Eastern Suburb he had made his home.
Not exactly a common practice here in our city but not unknown and becoming more widely adopted as accepted method as to how some deal with death in multi cultural New Zealand, both those who consider themselves Maori and non maori.
Then a very unusual occurrence happened with a cultural clash between his long standing partner and executor and his more or less now distant family from Tu Hoe. His Native family from a past he had largely abandoned in a relationship sense, went to the Marae removed his body into the back of a station waggon and drove it north to their homeland where they interred it in a Urupa there.
This all seemed a little odd to most down here in the village James had made home. The police were aware of what was happening and to the dismay of his wife and children made no attempt to intervene only "shadowing" the entourage.
Now after five, yes five years of legal wrangling, the NZ Supreme court has ruled that as executor of the will, Denise Clark is the sole authority as to what happens to James Takamore's remains. The lower court order for exhumation and reburial in accordance with Denise's wishes is to be upheld.
With Tu Hoe's established track record of selective use of "white mans law" good luck with that, then it will be interesting as to who pays, as it has not been and will still not be, cheap.
Not much of a fifth Christmas wrangling over what many thought was a basic right to rest in peace for a comparatively young man whose untimely death had brought enough grief to his surviving family.
Have heard an opinion from Denise Clark's lawyer who is suggesting that rather than upholding the rights of the deceased through an executor appointed by the will, to carry out the wishes of the the dead person they have added rubbish about the "rights of the extended family and cultural issues that weakens the law as most understood it".
May have been a "claytons" victory.
And I thought the Parliament was the place to create law, the collective intellect of the SC seems to be of a different opinion.
Thanks a bunch Helen Margaret et al.