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Matariki ki Horohoro

Blog by Ahenata-May Daniels

In the early hours of 24 June 2022, Ahenata-May Daniels led a group of intrepid Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara members who braved a Horohoro frost to climb to the ridge on our Te Oha farm to observe Matariki. Here is her story.

For the past 3 years I had been navigating my own Matariki experiences and learning about my own taiao. Stargazing the sky that I live under and slowly understanding what it means to me.

Fast forward to last year when Hemi Waerea asked me to host a Matariki kōrero for our hapū alongside Jade Kameta (a  tohunga of the Te Arawa maramataka). I was absolutely scared because although I was from Horohoro and had been there a lot I had never really navigated the sky. Stargazing wasn’t a thing for us there, until now.

Introducing this kaupapa was one thing, but practicing it was another. I had to do some practice, i had to find those stars that I see under my home in Tauranga in Horohoro.

Most people may not know but the sky is very different.

About 3 months before our celebrations, we had kick-started hui to plan what we were going to do. This wasn’t about physical mahi either (that would come) it was about mahi wairua, it was about making sure the places, and the intentions were right. It was about starting a new tradition within our hapū, within our iwi and Te Arawa.

What made me more proud was our tupuna kuia Kearoa giving me strength that, ahakoa he wahine ahau, me mahi te mahi. Seeking counsel from my Tupuna Koroua Ngatoroirangi, and feeling his full trust in me. Nā rāua ahau i poipoi, nā rāua ahau i akiaki.

From the teachings of Matua Rereata Makiha, Wiremu Tawhai and Rangi Mātaamua I had done some mokopuna decision making, and this is a thank you to them. Thank you.

There were a few places but choosing the site of Te Oha Farm (Paiaka) was a start for us in returning our whānau to their lands and holding our traditional ceremonies on them safely. There are still other sites to seek, to continue to hold spaces for our whānau. This is the first of many.

The ceremonial aspects of this kaupapa is phenomenal, the space it holds for whānau to be able to grieve and let the pain they have held for their loved one who has passed go. Not go as in, you forget them, but the ties that bind you are severed and they (your loved one) becomes a star in the sky. We also, our whānau felt that this was part of us bringing our pāpā’s wairua back to Horohoro, what is known as a kawe mate. Something new to the fold as well.

The NKNT Pouwhirinaki have played a huge role in making this a success. The main thing for me was making sure everyone was safe. Without Kataraina George playing a huge part in this kaupapa we would truly not have executed it the way it needed to be. Tēnā koe e te tuakana, nāu ngā mahi nui kia ārahi pai nei i a mātou ki runga i te whenua.

There is more planning to do and more people to teach, a lot of mahi for us to do in this space. Thank you Hemi for trusting in me to make this kaupapa come alive for us.

Matariki and Umukohukohu whetū is just the beginning, but it is not just an event held once a year, it is something that needs deep wānanga, deep planning and deep learning.

With that comes greater understanding of our taiao (within the mana whenua of NKNT), of ourselves and our tupuna.

Ōtane te Tahi o Pipiri,
Tērā a Matariki i rewa i te pae,
Titiro kau noa ki te rāwhiti ko koe rā e pukanakana mai rā
Piki ake, Kake ake ki tō keokeonga
Ko Hinepūkohurangi i raro iho
Rongo kau ana te hā o Takurua
Tū mai rā Horohoro maunga hei tuara mōku
Ka mahu
He umukohukohu whetū ki Te Oha kua tau mai rā.
He mahi marotiritiri i tēnei whenua haumako.
He mahi whakatō i ngā purapura ki roto i tēnā i tēnā.
Ka mahu
Ka karangatia te ingoa koutou kua whetūrangitia.
Haere atu rā. Waiho mai mātou, E tangi nei.
Tōwāwahi ana ngā kanohi, anō nei ko Pokaitu e rere ana.
Ka mahu
Ka rongo, ko Tinana
Ka rongo, ko Wairua
Ka rongo, ko Mauri e pakirehua nei
He rongo wiwini, he rongo wawana
Ka mahu.
Ko Whakarauora tēnei
Nau mai rā Te Mātahi o te tau
E koko ia e ara e!

 

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