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Pania Matthews

Formal Māori Introduction (Pepeha)

One of my father's pepeha:One of my mother's pepeha:

Ko Kopukairoa te maunga

Ko Waitao te awa

Ko Mataatua te waka

Ko Te Whetu o te Rangi te marae

Ko Ngāti Pukenaga te iwi

Ko Hikurangi te maunga

Ko Te Raparapa te awa

Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka

Ko Matawaia te marae

Ko Ngā Puhi te iwi

For Māori, sharing our connection to the land is culturally significant. We share features such as, maunga (mountain), awa (river), waka (ancestral canoe), marae (traditional meeting house), and iwi (tribe).

I am the sixth of eight children. I grew up in Whakaoriori, New Zealand. The younger four of us grew up in a bilingual home, speaking only te reo Māori (Māori language) to mum and English to dad.

I am an aunty of 27 and grand-aunty of three; I’m the cool “never-been-married-no-children Aunty.”

As a family, we love spending time together, singing together, and just having fun together. On my own, I love to travel both around New Zealand and the world. I served a mission in Busan, South Korea. My current calling is the adult Sunday School teacher—it is quite challenging, give me youth any day!

I didn’t do too well at high school but went on to graduate with a degree in teaching and later with a master’s in education. I currently work for Te Wananga o Aotearoa, the largest indigenous tertiary institution as a National Programme Manager for our initial teacher education programme. And, as soon as COVID clears, I will engage in a Ph.D. study around the identity of what is means to be a “Māori daughter of God.”

Mauri Ora.

March 22, 2019 05:34 PM MDT
The terrorist attacks at two Muslim mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, March 15, 2019, resulted in the hospitalization of 39 and death of 50 innocent Muslim men, women, and children. This act has been described by our prime minister as “forever a day etched in our collective memories. . . . That quiet Friday afternoon has become our darkest of days” (New Zealand Herald, 2019).
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