WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

A new M?ѬÅori Pakeha spirituality of the land

orraine McArthur

The idea of engaging the world was discussed at a ‘Being Māori, Being Catholic’ hui which the Palmerston North Māori Apostolate and Waka Aroha facilitated last month.

Dr Charles Te Ahukaramu Royal of Ng’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂ti Raukawa, Ng’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂ti Tamater’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂ and Ng’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂ Puhi, who has worked as a researcher of traditional Māori knowledge for 15 years, took participants through his philosophy of accepting the world as it is.

It was important to use m’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂tauranga Māori – the knowledge, experience, and culture available – to help make sense of the world as it is.

‘I want to feel guided, illuminated, animated by some higher or deeper power and that my individual life resonates with something larger than just myself, that I have become the vessel of something good and profound.

‘I want to feel the extraordinary regularly in my ordinary life’.

While in the past it was important to go back to the past to restore the culture for a sense of who they were, today’s mission was to address social injustices so that healing could take place and so that Māori could move forward.

Now was the time for Māori to be nourished through their creativity and potential.

He believed that the way forward for all New Zealand was for both Māori and P’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂keha to move from t’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂ngata Māori to t’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂ngata whenua, from ao Māori to ao M’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂rama, to move through m’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂tauranga to w’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂nanga – integrating traditional Māori knowledge to world knowledge.

What he would love is for a New Zealand indigeneity where all New Zealanders are called t’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂ngata whenua – where we look for a more sensitive way of being in the world, use deep reservoirs of iwi and hapu knowledge, build on sensitive P’≈°√É‚Äû√ɬ∂keha experiences with land and sea, embrace natural heritage, and create new rituals of place, identity, and renewal.

About 90 people from all over the country converged on Palmerston North for the weekend hui which included workshops on World Youth Day, inculturation, anointing the sick and katekita formation.

The forum started at Kauwhata Marae in Feilding on a Friday night. After evening liturgy there was an open session devoted to the Society of Mary’s intention to establish a Māori Focus Unit. The gathering was able to share their feelings and general views of what it is to be Māori Catholic, young and old, in this new millennium.

Forum organiser and facilitator, Danny Karatea-Goddard, Bishop’s Assistant Māori, will present a paper, ‘Being Māori, being Catholic’ this October at the Dreaming from the Heart Assembly in Alice Springs, Australia.

Hosted by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council, this national assembly will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Alice Springs and will focus on the late pope’s messages to indigenous peoples of the world.