On the 1st of July Mary O'Neill was invited to Matariki (Maori New Year) Festival in Wairoa. Mary also met Miriamar Hammond at Taiwhenua Wairoa who is a community health provider and also a Ngati Kahungunu executive.
What does Matariki Festival mean to you?
"It was something we were brought with. Singing is a part of our culture" explained Mrs. Hammond.
As a child have you been a part of Matariki Festival in Wairoa?
"It was never celebrated the way it is done now. When I was a child on the 1st of July it would be a big Ringata Hui (Church) and it would be a big gathering. As children we were part of the festivity but we were seen and not heard. We were quite."
As a child did you like to play with dolls ?
"My grandfather use to buy me a dolls, but I did not really look after them. I preferred to play with animals around the farm" described Miriamar.