Spiritual meaning of the national holiday

People across the country are preparing to enjoy the Easter long weekend break, but how well do Māori know the spiritual meaning of the national holiday? Should they know it?

For some, it’s all about Jesus, easter eggs and pretty much a holiday. But should the spiritual meaning of the national holiday be taught?

Christian instruction within schools has dwindled. This reo Māori teacher at Newton School is one of those who doesn't believe it should be taught.

Primary school teacher Wayne Abraham says the motivation needs to come from parents, “It should be left for parents to teach those beliefs and principals to their children. They should be the ones to plant the seed at home. I think, many of our values and beliefs are in our Māori stories, like Māui and his elder Mahuika.”

However third-year student teacher Hinemaia Tofi, used the classes' study of history as an opportunity to teach it, “It's the time to commemorate Easter, so I thought, this would be good to link this important commemoration to what the children are learning now.”

For Anglican priest Tony Brooking the message is strong, “We hope to keep hold of the teachings of the scriptures. We commemorate Easter which is a time to stir the spirits of the people.  Christ rises!

Despite the difference of opinions, one thing they do agree on is keeping the four-day holiday!