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Column: Te Reo o Te Tai Tokerau: Hone Harawira

Column: Te Reo o Te Tai Tokerau: Hone Harawira

9 August 2006

Hypnotised - Anglican Styles

I went to church the other day. Big event really 'cause I hardly ever go.

Anyway, the Bishop was in town for my auntie's birthday the day before and said he was staying on for church at Awanui. Well.when the Bishop is in town you gotta go don'cha?

So Sunday morning, I grabbed the mokopuna and said "come with me to church at 9 and we'll sneak away to your rugby training at 10."

Anyway, I'm sitting there singin' all the hymns I learned at school, and learning all the new karakia, and the mokopuna is lookin' at my watch every five seconds, and before you know it it's time for communion (when you go up for the bread and the wine).

And the mokopuna says, "you goin' up dad?" to which I replied "yeah, I might." And being the cheeky little chappy that he is, he says "can I come?" "Nah son, you're not allowed." And he says "oh yeah, that's right. You got to be . ."

Well, I could see his mind racing to think of the right word, so to put him out of his misery, I said "You got to be ."

"No dad!" he whispers furiously. "I know what it is, you got to be . you got to be . . . hypnotised! That's it eh?"

Well, the Deacon of the Holy Sepulchre Church from Auckland is sitting next to us, and he bursts out laughing, and another cousin sitting close by leans over with a big smile on his face and says "that's about it boy" and we all had a good laugh.


Then last week, I'm doing an interview on TE HIKU when my uncle, Joe Everitt, comes on and asks "where are you on Sunday boy?"

"Ahh, not sure actually," I reply, hoping not to get dragged into something I don't want to do.

"Good," he reckons. "I'm in Auckland for whakamoemiti at Bastion Point. I'll see you there" and then he hangs up before I can blubber out some measly excuse about having to be somewhere else.

Sunday rolls around, it's raining big time in Auckland but I get dressed and head out to Bastion Point. I set myself for the sprint through the rain . when I hear this high pitched "Hooonnneee! Cumeeere!"

There's Sandra Lee, recently of the Alliance Party, helping the Labour Party's Maori stateswoman, Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan out of her car. Sandra says to me, "thanks for helping aunty Whetu into the church," leaps back in her car, and leaves us standing in the rain.

So we head inside, where I see all my Mihinare relations packin' up their gears and making way for the Ratana Band and the Morehu. Cool us Maoris - no fuss in the church - share and share alike.

I saw uncle Joe there. I also saw Takutai Wikiriwhi, one of Ngati Whatua's main kaumatua, and also an Apotoro of the Ratana faith. And a whole heap of other whanaunga as well.

Ratana services are all in Maori. The band was primo and the waiata were ones I've heard up home here, so although it was my first ever whakamoemiti (shame), I felt right at home.

And the kauhau (the sermon), was conducted by our very own Hareruia Aperahama of Te Hapua, "What's the time Mr Wolf" and "The best of Bob Marley in Maori" fame.

Well - I gotta tell ya . that boy can preach. Fire and brimstone, passion and excitement - he had it all. And he knows the Ratana teachings and the prophecies like nobody else.

And they have the kids right up the front, reciting their karakia and a couple of kids got baptised into the faith as well.

All in all, a nice morning and one I'm glad I didn't miss. Check it out sometime.


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