In this series of Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau – Aotearoa, Mere McLean, Stephanie Tibble & Maria Huata unravel wonderful characters, anecdotes and Māori practices.
Maria is a descendant of Apakura of Waikato Maniapoto, Pahauwera, Hori Hawea Ringahora of Kahungunu, Karuwai Porourangi and Whakaue of Te Arawa. Her mother is also of Czech ancestry and her father carries German whakapapa.
Maria’s number one motivation in life is whanau and their well-being. She considers taking care of her six tamariki who range from 18yrs-7yrs as her most important job, calling and blessing. She is absolutely passionate about te reo Māori me ōnā tikanga, kapa haka and education and all these things are the ultimate foundation that governs and guides her and her children and also all of her siblings, nieces and nephews, a value which has been instilled in and passed on to us by my mother, Dr Te Rita Papesch.
Maria comes from a whānau steeped in traditional and contemporary Māori Performing Arts on both sides who are all teachers, students, advocates, active practitioners of reo, tikanga and mātauranga Māori across all levels and multiple sectors throughout the country
This is her primary foundation that has and continues to shape, build, influence, inform, direct, uplift, inspire, challenge and encourage positive relevant evolution and change.
Her tamariki keep her engaged, current and connected through their numerous extra-curricular sports and cultural activities and commitments.
Her whānau mantra / unofficial motto is ‘haka, waka, whānau’ as this is what our lives revolve around.
Writing and performing original poetry and controlling the mic in many different situations across a range of diverse types of events and gatherings fuels her passion for performing, public speaking and engaging the masses.
Her most profound and proudest achievement legacy to date was the arrival of her first and only mokopuna, two year old grandson Te Awanui o Taikehu