This year marks the 71st Commemoration of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in a uniquely Māori celebration known as 'Te Hui Aranga'. 1500 Māori attended the event in Tauranga Moana.
The 'Hui Aranga' is strong in tradition. Each year Catholic, Māori families gather to commemorate Jesus Christ and today's occasion is centred on his resurrection.
Henare Ngaia (Taranaki) says, “Māori have assembled here in the hope of finding guidance in the faith but within our Māori beliefs with the blessings of our lord.”
According to the organisers 13 catholic churches were represented at the hui. There are approximately 500,000 Catholics in New Zealand.
Raana Mareikura (Ngāti Rangi) says, “It's a very beautiful gathering for Māori. When this event began its primary purpose was to allow Māori to celebrate being Catholic, this is the only event where Māori can celebrate this and also being Māori.”
Held every year on Easter weekend the event begins on Thursday evening. During this weekend they have had cultural performances and sports competitions.
Mareikura says, “We here are learning our values within our faith and that is under the guidance of our lord. But no matter the religion, we all pray to the one god, his father, the son and the Holy Spirit.
The 'Hui Aranga' will be held next year at Ruapehu College, Ohākune.