With Matariki almost upon us, it is important that we use this special time to honour our past, celebrate the present and look to the future, says B+LNZ’s Māori Agribusiness Advisor Charles Taituha.
Māori make up a significant portion of the red meat industry - nearly 40 percent of New Zealand’s meat processing workforce and 15 percent of sheep and beef exports come from Māori farming interests.
Taituha says it’s important to recognise the significance of the cultural connection to our sector.
“As part of our Māori strategy, we have been working hard to build this cultural connection and recognise its importance to our sector,” he says.
“This year we introduced our B+LNZ Karakia and Waiata and continued our work to better understand our Māori levy payers and support our large Whenua Māori collectives.”
The theme for Matariki 2023 is Matariki Kāinga Hokia, which means Matariki calls you home. It’s a time for reflection, celebration, and preparation, says Taituha.
“The key principles are Matariki Hunga Nui (remembrance), to honour those we have lost since the last rising of Matariki, Matariki Ahunga Nui (celebrating the present) by being together to give thanks and Matariki Manako Nui (looking to the future) to the promise of a new year.”
This year’s theme also carries an important message of our shared responsibility for the environment.
“The various stars in Matariki invite you to return to where you are from and reconnect with the mountains, rivers, ocean and land. It reminds us of our responsibility to the places we call home,” he says.
Taituha is encouraging those in the red meat sector to make the most of their time with their loved ones by returning to their whānau, wherever and whoever that might be, to celebrate Māori New Year.
“We want people to journey back home and celebrate, feast and be with whānau and friends.”