'Matariki is our time' - Pio Terei

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Matariki celebrations to signal the beginning of Te Tau Hou Māori – the Māori new year are almost underway to acknowledge its first time as a public holiday.

The Parenting Place spokesperson Pio Terei today offered Te Ao Māori News some ideas and advice for whānau wanting to  celebrate in their own home.

“For whānau try and get organised, get outside, look up and talk about the kaupapa behind Matariki, Just share some time together. Hopefully the weather is good to us for some stargazing.”

Terei says it’s a good time for recalibration: “What am I doing, where am I going, what’s happening with whānau, am I connected? That’s what Matariki is about too.”

As kai is one of the many things that bring whānau together for any occasion the Terei Tonight host says to be mindful that some whānau are struggling to put kai on the table, due to the cost of living.

“To have a boil-up going in the morning, with some hōtiti, kapu tī, rīwai and kumara, something that we can afford still doesn’t take away from the magic that is sitting and having a hākari together.

“My point is, do what you can to get the whānau around. Kai is noa, kai is tapu, that’s where good conversations happen.”


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'Looking back with love'

Pio’s advice for whānau to help with tamariki reflecting over loved ones who have died is to look at the issue “with the lens of a child”.

“Bad news that we see on TV and hear on the radio pops up in our tamariki world – they don’t need to know all of it, we don’t need to shield them.

“When we have an occasion where we are looking back at whānau who may have moved on to that other space and place, we need to make sure it’s surrounded by intelligence, love and looking through their lens. We need to make it appropriate for them and surround that with love, kai and fun because, unfortunately, losing people is a part of life.

“We need to do it in a way that they understand and land comfortably.”

Terei’s last message to whānau for Matariki is simple.

“Matariki is our time. It celebrates the knowledge and science of our tūpuna. It’s about aroha, kai, manaaki, friendship and conversation. This is a neat thing to be doing. Kia ora to us!”