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1 minute reading time (150 words)

'Ngā mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Māori'.

Māori belief determines that when an individual dies, their spirit leaves their body and undertakes a journey along Te Ara Wairua, the pathway of the spirits. This journey ends at the northernmost point of the North Island at a place called Te Rerenga Wairua, the departing place of the spirits. The dead travel along the rocky ledge towards the ocean where an ancient pohutukawa tree stands. They then descend down the aka (root) of this tree and disappear into the underworld.

Pohutukawa is the star that connects Matariki to the deceased and is the reason people would cry out the names of the dead and weep when Matariki was seen rising in the early morning."

Respectfully acknowledging our love ones who have passed, our tamariki listen and respect Whaea Rae's korero today, Nga mihi our tamariki