Te Matatini – values in action

Radio Kahungunu host, and staunch advocate for the E Tū Whānau kaupapa, Crystal Edwards is one of the mainstage MCs at this year’s Te Matatini (23-26 February, 2017) in Hastings.

This proud wahine Kahungunu says Te Matatini 2017 will showcase the history and tikanga of her iwi. It also highlights the deep ties the E Tū Whānau kaupapa has to all things Māori.

Here she describes why she is passionate about E Tū Whānau and why it sits so well alongside Te Matatini.

“I’ve been on board with the E Tū Whānau kauapapa  for four years now and I still love it. It’s a lifestyle – that positive kaupapa Māori lifestyle, that I, and many others around me live on a day by day basis.

“E Tū Whānau – creating positive change. What a great slogan.”

I love the whole traditional values system that empowers E Tū Whānau. The links are so obvious but let’s highlight just a few.

Aroha. It’s there in spades. It’s clear in the passion kaihaka bring to their performance and in the energy and support they receive from their from whānau and friends.

Kōrero awhi. Our groups are proud of who they are and their performances highlight this. Their genealogy, the landforms and geographic places in their own rohe, the kōrero passed down from generation to generation, make them proud. Every group that gets on stage will dedicate at least one song to Kahungunu as the hosting iwi. These beautifully performed waiata acknowledge our people, our whakapapa, who we are. That’s a huge mihi to us.

Whakawhaungatanga. Every Matatini is a huge meeting of whānau. They may be living all over the country, or overseas for that matter, but they come together at Matatini and all those links start to join back up. That’s not just restricted to Māori. Our Pākeha living within Kahungunu are going to be experiencing the event in one way or another as well. There are 52 marae in Kahungunu and they’re all booked out. Hotels are booked out.That just  shows the depth of whakawhanaungatanga going on here at the moment.

Whakapapa. Matatini brings all our whānau that live afar back into the Bay. For four whole days we’re going to hear whakapapa expressed and shared loud and proud from all the groups on stage. Matatini is a great time for the host iwi to showcase itself and I can promise you that the kōrero about Kahungunu whakapapa alone is going to be overwhelming in a multitude of ways. Our artists in Kahungunu have a few projects going on as well so we’ll be seeing a lot of other creative depictions of our whakapapa alongside Te Matatini.

Mana/manaaki. Right now, that’s the focus of everyone involved in hosting this event. Te Kahu o Te Amorangi extends a warm welcome to everyone to the land of Kahungunu and we are going to provide an event that everyone involved will never forget.

Tikanga. Well, it’s the foundation isn’t it and the tikanga of kapa haka rounds up all these values. ‘Bottom line tikanga’ for Te Matatini is positive. We manaaki and respect everyone and each other. No put downs. We put everyone up there – performers, organisers, the hard workers that make it all happen and the audience – up there where they belong.”