It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the sudden passing of Kaiarahi Mātāmua (Chief Advisor, Māori Equity) Peter de Rungs (Ngāti Moerewa, Ngāti Rangi, Ngāpuhi) on Thursday 21 July.
A well respected and popular member of the team, Peter will be remembered for his valuable contributions to Te Pou Tū and Māori equity at WITT as well as his role helping transition WITT to Te Pūkenga.
Peter joined WITT in August last year following a successful career in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) having come full circle from completing a Māori Trade Training programme at what was then Taranaki Polytechnic.
After spending 36 years in his trade, including completing an apprenticeship at the New Plymouth Power Station, and then in the RNZAF where he re-trained to become an aircraft technician and worked on various aircraft from jet fighters to helicopters, to cargo and passenger planes, Peter completed an extra qualification in 2005 to become an aircraft engineer.
He then held a number of engineering management and command roles throughout the air force, deployed to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq before settling as the Base Commander RNZAF Base Woodbourne – the main training facility and home of the air force.
Throughout his career he remained connected to rangatahi through the Auckland Māori and Pasifika Trade Training Group and the Tuakana Programme at Auckland University and he bought this desire to support and guide rangatahi in pursuit of their goals and this led to his return to Taranaki and WITT.
Peter appreciated every person he spoke to at WITT and around the maunga. He truly believed in the future of WITT-Te Pūkenga and this region which makes his passing a great loss for Te Kura Matatini o Taranaki and Taranaki whānui. Our thoughts are with Peter’s wife Deena and their whānau at this sad time.