He whaikorria ki te Atua, he maungrongo ki te whenua, whakro pai ki ng tngata katoa
Glory to God, peace on earth and good will to all
Ng mihi kia koutou e te iwi
Greetings to you all
M te tomairangi o te rangi hei whakammtia ng mamae mo rtau kua wheturangitia …
May the dew of heaven lift the sorrow for those who have passed on
‘Remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm and look to the future with confidence’ is a nugget of wisdom from Pope John Paul 11’s millennium letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte, and a wonderful philosophy to live by, according to Morna Taute, who recently took up the position of Turanga Māori Adviser based at the Catholic Centre, Hill Street, Wellington.
The Turanga Māori was a recommendation which came out of the 1998 Archdiocesan Synod, the aim being to create a platform between Iwi Māori and the archdiocese to enable both to share and learn from one another and which Pastoral Services Director, Lorraine McArthur, pushed to be implemented in 2001. Morna likens the position to weaving whariki (mat), of which she considers she is a strand.
The seat covers the area from Levin and Carterton in the north, to Nelson, and Kaikoura in the south.
Morna and her supporting roopu were welcomed onto the Catholic Centre ‘marae’ with a powhiri on 19 October, which dawned a beautiful sunny morning. Monsignor John Carde spoke on behalf of Archbishop John Dew who was in Rome for the Synod on the Eucharist.
Morna is an uri o Ngati Rangi, Tuwharetoa, me Te Atihau-Nui-a-Papa-Rangi and comes with the teachings of her old people – whose shared Hahi were Ringatu, Katorika, Ratana, Mihingare and Maramatanga – and in particular those of her Kuia Koha (meaning gift) who wore a ta moko i tona kauae and whose practice it was to knock on the wall in the early morning and at night when it was time for karakia. Morna recalls and is grateful for their strong influence on her young life.
While living in Palmerston North from the late 1970s to 1990 Morna saw the formation of the sixth diocese of the Church in Aotearoa and Bishop Peter Cullinane installed. Morna often accompanied various Māori mission priests as they attended Catholic Central Council hui, the organisational arm of the Hui Aranga Easter Celebrations, which are held in a different area each year.
Morna was also present at Otaki when the Waka Aroha began and for some years attended Waka Aroha hui. Both the Hui Aranga and the Waka Aroha have become refreshing wells for spirit, mind and body. Tumeke!
During the morning tea which followed the powhiri, Morna responded to archdiocesan general manager John Butterfield’s invitation to speak, beginning and ending with two quotes, which she considers are appropriate as she takes up the challenges of the Turanga, and walks in a new and different pathway in her life:
‘I said to the man, who stood at the gate of the year, ‘give me a light so that I may tread safely into the unknown’. And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and, put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way’… (Author, Minnie Louise Harkins 1875-1957)
‘E hara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini’.
My valour is not that of an individual, but of a multitude.
Morna sees the Turanga as a shared position and includes those who nominated, supported and have welcomed her, and not forgetting those who have passed on – me ratau ma i te ao wairua.
She concludes this korero with the words of a waiata penned in honour of the Turanga Māori:
Tu mai ra koe e te Turanga, Turanga Māori
Hei tohu ki te iwi, hei tohu heitiki
Korowaitia nga kupu korero, hei tino taonga
Kanapanapa te kaupapa nei, kanapanapa e…
Tu mai ra, korowaitia, kanapanapa e…
Morna is at the centre on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Ph: (04) 496 1777 (wk) or (04) 527 8843 (hm) Email: Turangamāori@wn.catholic.org.nz or email@example.com