Ngāi Tūhoe wahine shares what the mana of a wahine Māori means to her 

By Mahina Hurkmans

Mother's Day is a celebration honouring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood and maternal bond. Our reporter and mother of three, Mahina Hurkmans, spoke to a staunch wahine Māori of Ngāi Tūhoe about what the mana of a wahine Māori means to her.   

"There are the stories of Hinetītama, Hine-ahu-one, of Hine-nui-te-pō, those are great examples of mana wāhine in Māoridom. These days you see mana wahine in the women who were nurtured and taught by her elders, her hapū. They are examples of mana wāhine," Turuhira Hare of Ngāi Tūhoe says. 

"Māori mothers are very different to the rest, the job of a Māori mother is to nurture her children, to care for them and protect them, not only her children but the children of her wider family and hapū. A gentle mother that is adored by her children.

"You can tell a woman who has been taught by her mother," she says.

"When my mother passed away, I was the mother-figure for my family because when my mother passed my sister passed not long after. But that is the job of the eldest, is to look after the rest of the family.

"I have seen in your generation that the mothers are very caring and nurturing, to protect the spirit of your children and maintain the love between you. That is also the less fortunate mothers or single mothers who are raising their children alone, they are strong women. A mother will be celebrated by the words of her children," Hare says.

"The younger generation are great examples of mothers, those who protect the spirits of our children."