May 20, 2024


pleasant trip on vacation

Matariki holiday ‘a gesture on the journey to healing’ after a lifetime of disconnection


Standing outside my Rangitāne mārae Mākirikiri in Dannevirke.


Standing outside the house my Rangitāne mārae Mākirikiri in Dannevirke.

View: Ko Tararua te maunga. Ko Manawatū te awa. Ko Kurahaupō te waka. Ko Rangitāne te iwi. Ko Ngāti Rangiaranaki te hapū.

Ko Karla Karaitiana tōku ingoa.

My mountain is Tararua. My awa is Manawatū. My waka is Kurahaupō. My iwi is Rangitāne. My hapū is Ngāti Rangiaranaki.

My identify is Karla Karaitiana.

I was requested the other working day what it intended to me that Matariki was now a general public holiday break, and I realised I could not actually reveal.

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Not because I’m apathetic, but since the response is so prosperous in historical context that I would not have the terms to do it justice.

When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared the official getaway in 2021, I felt an overpowering feeling of reclamation just after a lifetime of disconnection.

I did not develop up in a te ao Māori natural environment. In its place, I was a white-faced woman with a Māori name and a deep-seated id disaster.

I was born in the 1980s in Palmerston North, and I was the youngest of three children.

I felt validated when I heard Matariki would become an official holiday.

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I felt validated when I listened to Matariki would come to be an official getaway.

My father, a Māori, predominantly grew up in Dannevirke and my European mom on a farm in central Hawke’s Bay.

The two of them achieved at Palmerston North Teachers University and the rest is history.

Mine is the 2nd generation with no te reo Māori and as I have grown up, I have appear to realise the large perception of grief and shame I have carried about as a outcome of that depravation.

For my grandfather, talking Māori was officially discouraged, and he, like many other Māori, anxious that his little one would be disadvantaged if he was not encouraged to discuss English in a Pākehā-dominated earth.

That is exactly where our family’s capability to korero Māori ceased.

As my father moved more absent from his mārae roots and worked his way up the corporate ladder in urban Palmerston North, the link with our ‘Māoriness’ all but diminished.

Discovering our way back again to our tradition has been an personal journey for all the customers of my whānau. But, it is a single we have gravitated to more and a lot more as the many years have passed, with it a strong need for id has grown.

I am navigating my journey in te ao Māori and Matariki gives me time to reflect on how far I have come.


I am navigating my journey in te ao Māori and Matariki presents me time to mirror on how much I have arrive.

Tied up in this year’s Matariki celebrations is an overdue acknowledgement of our people’s lost beliefs and traditions. It is an possibility to share their deeper indicating with all New Zealanders.

To see how substantially that has been embraced, has been very psychological for me.

Personally, owning the chance to study and understand this custom has acquired me closer to myself, my people and, extra importantly, my tīpuna who carved the path just before me.

Those who ended up stripped of their tradition, language and mana, and for that reason unable to authentically go all those teachings to me.

In my 40 or so many years I have seen the winds of transform and although we have a very long way to go, this is a start out.

As Matariki guides the sunshine into a new 12 months, I look to the stars to acknowledge people who arrived before me.

I will be feeling their reduction, their agony, but also their energy as they guideline me on my te ao Māori journey.

I will give thanks to my persons still right here on Earth. Those people who stand robust in their conviction to reinstate the traditions, the language and the aspirations of Māori, so our persons can mature and prosper in a planet that is genuine to our innate way of currently being.

Sharing the korero close to Matariki has opened a doorway that I hope we can only broaden on as a country, as a folks and as a exceptional culture.

And for me, it is an uplifting gesture on a journey to healing.

Mānawatia a Matariki.


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