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Gifts Of The Land On New Maori Television Series

Gifts Of The Land On New Maori Television Series

In the past, Maori relied on a direct connection with Papatuanuku and lived by a relationship with the skies, the seasons and the land. From trial and error was born understanding and development of the ethos, maramataka.

Discover the contemporary take on Maori relationships with the land on a brand new series of MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS, launching on Maori Television on Sunday April 16 at 5.30 PM.

The 13-part series is produced by Takahue-based Puriri Productions and presented by veteran actor Pete Smith (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri) who has featured in classic New Zealand films including Quiet Earth, Once Were Warriors and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.

His series looks at the gifts of the land provided through the guidance of maramataka and its influence on the lives of special New Zealanders.

Maramataka is the ancient Maori calendar year that charts the seasons for planting, harvesting and preparation of the land. The most significant period in the cycle occurs during Te Matariki – when the skies in June indicate the ushering-in of a new year.

“In the days of old, our ancestors measured the cycles of the universe by the rise and fall of Matariki. Matariki introduces maramataka. Join us each week in our discovery how our people apply this ancient tradition to their daily lives in this present time,” he says.

More than a gardening series, MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS is heavily laden with Maori lifestyle and cultural content, exploring how the necessities of life and the creatives of Maori artists, artisans, carers, weavers and healers have been guided by this lore.

The premiere episode starts in the far North with an explanation of Matariki from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori chief executive officer Haami Piripi of how the annual celestial event signals a new year and season of kai. Then, Smith visits with Reuben Porter who explains how the seaside community of Ahipara are using the land to grow food communally.

Unlock the mysteries of the land on MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS with the series premiere this Sunday April 16 at 5.30 PM.


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