Porangahau hosts first ahurei moko kauae

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

A moko kauae celebration, Te Kauae o te Ihi Murirangawhenua, was held in Porangahau in southern Hawke's Bay, a first for Porangahau, designed to empower woman and normalise the moko kauae in the modern era. 

Receiving moko has been transformative for these wahine who attended the ahurei.

"It's fantastic it's empowering and you can see it empowering women they've left here and they've made changes in their lives for their whanau for their hapu for their iwi mo te iwi katoa," says ahurei organiser Raina Ferris.

Hosted by Kurawaka here at Rongomaraeroa Marae the time was right for these women to wear their moko.

"It wasn't sore, I was surrounded by my whānau my tamariki, the waiata, the haka mōteatea happening and at that time the five women of Ngāti Kere went first so that was special as well," says Piri Galbraith about her surroundings while receiving her own moko kauae.

It was three days of enlightenment and understanding of the moko kauae and the stories that connect the women.

"The dream is that this practice of ours will be revived and normalised through our own hand, that it will grow and develop for the future, but the most important thing is that is still lives on," says Doc Ferris.

Eleven women got their moko kauae, four others got their ruahine (forehead tattoo) and two others had their moko kauae enhanced.