Professionals from around the South Auckland community came together to discuss maramataka in the workplace.
Healthy Families South Auckland hosted Geneva Harrison and Mihi Tibble of Tuhi Stationery who facilitated a workshop with Healthy Families South Auckland, Te Roopu Taurima, Community Action on Youth and Drugs, Turuki Health Care, Les Mills and Clendon Pride on maramataka in the workplace and the phases of the moon.
Maramataka was developed by tipuna based on their close relationship and understanding of their environment and the interconnectedness of the land, sky and seas. By closely observing their environment, they were able to identify days each month that were better suited for activities and signs to help predict the season ahead.
“It is also very important to me to support any group of people who are trying to share matauranga maori in South Auckland for community groups,’’ says Whenua Warrior’s Kelly Francis who attended the workshop.
“Maramataka is an entry into understanding a better way of living via the environment…We need to learn to prioritise that and our people before anything else.”
Healthy Families South Auckland Lead Systems Innovator Nikki Penetito-Hemara says it was a privilege to experience the workshop and the shared learnings and experiences.
“We were able to focus some of the kōrero around te mana o te wāhine, giving emphasis on Te Marama (Moon) as a female Atua (deity). Some of our kōrero also centered on topics such as waiwhero (menstrual cycles), birthing practices, fertility and emotional shifts as the tides and moon phases change daily. This workshop is ideal if you are looking for Maramataka 101 as it applies to your mahi, at home with your whānau and in your everyday lives.’’
The collective also learnt the key names and phases of the maramataka, worked to identify the key attributes and characteristics of the phases, and awareness around the key activities relating to the phases of maramataka.
Tuhi Stationery’s Geneva Harrison who, helped facilitate the workshop says the conversation is a natural fit for workplaces wanting to respond to their staff wellbeing, provide tools and resources and have more understanding of matauranga Māori and practices.
“There is a large demand for these workshops as people acknowledge importance of wellness in the workplace. Maramataka is fundamentally about hauora – our own as people, and that of the environment.’’
With knowledge on maramataka more accessible online and across social media, public awareness around it is growing.
“Although both Michelle and I were raised by grandparents in small rural communities, we now live in the city and have busy urban lives so we have purposely looked for ways to share information to people through online platforms, workshops and resources, for those who want to access this knowledge, but may not necessarily be able to attend wananga.
“We think this resonates with people, when we share korero, we talk of practical ways to implement the teachings of the maramataka in people’s daily lives, whether you are living in rural Aotearoa, or in the city or even overseas.”