Generations return to urupā to start the new year

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Descendents of prominent Ngāti Hine leaders are using the first day of the year to gather in Northland to acknowledge their past and reconnect to their whakapapa.

A chance to reconnect and return to their roots. Maungarangi Cemetry in Kawiti Valley was full with the young and the old to remember the past and look to the future.

Rosie Reihana says "It's who we are. and at the end of the day, this is where we're gonna be. Nevermind where you are out there, this is where we want you to come home to."

For the Ngāti Hine whānau, returning to their annual clean up is also an opportunity for rangatahi to learn and grow.

"It's not easy out there for our rangatahi, but if you keep them coming back, take them to the hui. bring them home they will connect, they will feel the wairua of their people, their whenua then they can handle out there because it's not easy," says Reihana.

While Te Rangi Allen says, "This is an education centre for our children so that they know who they are and where they come from. You won't find this in a Pākehā book."  It's also about connection.

These descendants say they will ensure the Maungarangi traditions live on through future generations.