by Ratapu Hippolite, Kaiwhakahaere Kaipakihi (Business Support Manager)
Last December 14, 2017 at our training day on Te Hora Marae in Te Rupe o Rua Paka, we were fortunate to have two poari (board) whānau attend being our hea mana (Chairperson) Jane duFeu and poari mema (board member) Kereopa Rātapu. Our pōwhiri included a hari mate (below) and we had kaimahi bring photos of their deceased whānau on with them.
This enabled our Rangatira and poari mema Kereopa Rātapu to deliver a korero on tikanga a mate (Process of passing on) and explained to Te Piki Oranga kaimahi the difference between the following:
A mourning ceremony when memories of a deceased whanau are returned to their whānau marae related directly to the passed loved one who has been buried away from their whānau marae. Their photo and memories are given full tangi rites of ceremony and their photo will remain in their whare tipuna or wharepuni.
A mourning ceremony similar to a kawe mate, except the memories of deceased are performed on a Marae not belonging or connected by whakapapa to the deceased. The full rites of tangihanga ceremony are acknowledged on behalf of the community or Marae of the loved one who has passed. A photo is not presented or acknowledged on this Marae.
Bereaved relatives of deceased, pani is to be orphaned, whānau pani is a family or relatives that have been orphaned by the deceased. The bereaved do not have living parents or grandparents to provide parental status over the bereaved living members and therefore come under the mantle of orphaned family; whānau pani.
Bereaved relatives of deceased who have a parent(s) or grandparent(s) still alive to oversee the bereaved family. They are therefore applying the custom of immediate relatives of the deceased that are under the living guidance of the parents or grandparents. The bereaved preside in the state of mourners only and are not classed or referred to as whānau pani.