Matatini brings people of the moana back to Aotearoa

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

People from Te Moana Nui-a-Kiwa are answering the call of Te Matatini and using it as a platform for cultural interaction.

“It's been a long time since I've been here.  I miss my family dearly, I miss te reo Māori dearly, the songs, the cultural performance and oratory, that's why I came back", says Malanai Kāne Kuahiwinui.

Kāne Kuahiwinui is Kanaka Māoli of Hawaii, a former student at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi and affiliates with Ngāti Porou.

“The love between people from other lands is not the same and this is a place where our language, our protocols and principles can be embodied,” she says.

Matahi Tutavae is a reporter with Tahiti Nui TV who has arrived to capture aspects of Māori culture.

“One of the most important things, I think, is the powhiri- to me it's something interesting because we lost that back home, welcoming people the traditional way, we do we still have traditions and ways to welcome people but I was always fascinated by the powhiri,” he says.

Tuvatae says the similarities between cultures provide a platform for cultural growth and development.

“What I want to see is how you guys tell your stories.  Storytelling is a big part of our culture and the ways you guys do it on stage through kapa haka, through songs, I just want to get more into, to learn more of that.”

Tutavae will take back the content that he captures to inspire his people in Tahiti.