12 Jun 2014

Iwi seek help for cultural ceremonies

6:50 am on 12 June 2014

A Maori Language expert who has taught 13 men in the art of Maori prayer says their help is already being sought by iwi.

The group, Te Matapunenga, graduated in February from a two-year programme run by the Institute of Excellence in the Maori language, Te Panekiretanga o te Reo, which is part of Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Karakia are often used for cultural ceremonies, including praying for people who are close to death and opening new buildings.

Te Panekiretanga mentor Pou Temara said four of the group had already started helping their iwi of Te Arawa in Bay of Plenty.

Professor Temara said the tribe was traditional but had embraced the men nonetheless.

Others in the group hailed from hapu including Ngati Kahungunu, Tuhoe, Ngati Whatua and Waikato Tainui, he said.