Treasures Of The Land Upheld On Maori TV Premiere
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 borne understanding and development of the ethos – Maramataka. Discover the contemporary take on Maori relationships with the land on new series MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS, premiering on Maori Television Sunday November 28 at 6.30 PM.
The series, produced by Northland-based Puriri Productions, is a 13-part look 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 an ushering in of a New Year and season.
More than a gardening series, MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS is heavily laden with Maori lifestyle and cultural content, exploring how the necessities of life (food, clothing and shelter) as well as the creatives of Maori artists, artisans, carers, weavers and healers have been guided by this lore.
The series aims to showcase all aspects of Maramataka – from artists and weavers that create decorative and functional items, to the crucial materials provided by the land for the fashion designer to the traditional herbs and medicines used by traditional rongoa Maori practitioners.
The premiere episode, screening on Sunday November 28 at 6.30 PM, will feature a profile with Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Maori (Maori Language Commission) chief executive officer Haami Piripi. One of the traditions he has strenuously promoted is the recognition of Te Matariki – the star system which marks the start of the New Year – and the beginning of the ancient calendar and his extensive knowledge of the subject sees a fitting start to the new series.
The premiere episode also features young, passionate Ahipara gardener Rueben Porter. A member of the Te Tai Tokerau Organic Produce Incorporated Society (TOPIS) – a network of organic gardeners in the Far North – Rueben has returned home after travelling extensively abroad as a roadie for high profile bands, including UB40. With the help and support of his whanau, Reuben has established Wharo Developments – a company aimed at turning their lands into commercially viable, organic gardens under the guidance of Maramataka.
Puriri Productions is headed by Pete Smith (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri) who has earned seasoned actor status, having appeared in films such as The Piano, Once Were Warriors, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and a range of television programmes on mainstream television. Now, he dons his researcher / director hat for the production of the new series.
MARAMATAKA – ONCE WERE GARDENERS, premiering this Sunday November 28 at 6.30 PM.