Matariki 2013 – Mangere Mountain
August 13, 2013
There is an old Maori saying that it is a good sign when it rains on a funeral. The Matariki event on Mangere Mountain was held under a constant, cold deluge. I thought back to my daughter Helen’s funeral that was held through a thunder storm. None of us at this event could not but be reminded of why we were there, all of us mindful of those who had died as victims of family violence.
That foul weather made us all uncomfortable and wanting shelter, but not as desperately as those victims of abuse with nowhere to hide. A little discomfort for us but a disturbing reminder that we have much to do to put an end to the rampant havoc some too many are inflicting within their families.
What we said that morning struck a chord in some and it was well worth getting cold and wet for. Personally, there were four people that I know of that found the courage to ask for help. It’s impossible to say what harm we may have prevented, but from my experience family violence creates devastation and ruins lives. What we do under the White Ribbon banner works and we mustn’t let the impetus subside. We need to continue to speak out at every opportunity – I hope you’ll join me.
White Ribbon Ambassador
The realization that violence is in every culture, socio-economic cohort and impacts on everyone is a message that we must share with our communities. It’s a simple concept, domestic violence is an issue for all New Zealanders and one that requires action.
The Matariki committee that organises this event is made up of Police, Child Youth and Family, Women’s Refuge , Mana Whenua and local not for profit agencies and tertiary providers students. We meet over five months to ensure that we provide a moving and inspirational event to commemorate and acknowledge loved ones that have passed away through domestic violence and child abuse.
The candle light vigil brings community, professionals and schools together to acknowledge and look at ways that we can work together to raise awareness and educate our communities about where they can get help.
The kaupapa is a taumaha (heavy) and as a committee, we want to ensure the message goes out that there is support for our families from the various agencies present at the event.
A repeat offender of domestic violence who is a gang member said ’Our mana whenua are here, I want to get help for my anger. I can’t believe the support we can get. This kaupapa is so touching that it hits home when you see the numbers that have passed away’.
We’re already planning for the next Matariki Event and hope we see you in June next year. Lastly the whole committee would like to thank all those who gave their time to put together this event and all the participants who spoke so passionately.
Raewyn Bhana – JP
SAFVPN Manager and Matariki Committee Chair
Matariki is a time to; Reclaim our best experiences and stories from the past year. Use them to reclaim our present place in society where our whanau are safe.
And to reclaim the future where our wahine are flourishing and our tamaariki are thriving, where our dads are nurturers.
White Ribbon Ambassador