Topic: Christmas

Papakura and Manurewa marae host Christmas lunch

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Papakura and Manurewa marae did their bit to make Christmas feel special for the less fortunate. The example of the city mission inspired them to take the feast to the many families in south Auckland who struggled to make the trip to Auckland's biggest Christmas lunch. 

It was smiles all around at Papakura Marae from all ages.

It's the first time the marae has hosted a Christmas lunch for some of south Auckland families needing an extra hand.

Natasha Kendall is volunteering her services and says, “Working parents we see two in the family, sometimes we see grandparents that are working that are looking after their children and their mokopuna,  just to make the bread is really really hard, so having something extra or luxuries at this time of the year they're just not able to do it.”

Arnalee Adams has brain cancer and spent last Christmas in hospital, today she is grateful for the small things.

She says, “I live my life day to day, especially with my two beautiful babies and my lovely niece but yeah still living.”

In 2000 she was diagnosed with infant cancer in the brain, doctors said she had 3 months to live.

Adams says, “My cancer was real aggressive but I think the more I smile, the more positivity I have and the more love I have for my family I'll live to fight another day.”

Volunteers took Chrismas day off and were prepared to feed over 100 people.

Natasha Kendall says, “The whānau dynamics from a kaupapa Māori point of view o te ao Māori is not necessarily in a single generation, so we see those multiple generations start to come through, especially in those areas that we are living in at the moment we see that there are multiple whanau from all ages living in a single household, so come one come all.”

Santa Claus has arrived which means the day is coming to an end. However for these children it will be a day to remember.