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Family

Hinemoa Elder's open letter for daughter Millie and son Reuben

Hinemoa Elder reflects on what she has loved and learnt about being a mum.

“My darlings. Our leaders of the future, I salute you both. It is because of you I learnt the necessary skills and from the bottom of my heart, I developed the ways of thinking to properly raise you. According to the central theme of the whakataukî, ‘In togetherness is health, in separation is loss.’
It is because of you both that this whānau is strengthened and brought together as one, despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. My precious darlings, whatever occurs, we remain constant in our love for each other.
I am so proud of you holding onto your dreams, your wisdom about the health of the wider world, love of children, the earth, the sea, the forests and creatures.
Being your mother is the most important role I have. I am so fortunate to experience the bonds between us. Our habitual exchange of ideas inspires me because of your creativity, your values and high principles.
I look beyond the horizon to my dreams for you both, the most important being your holistic wellbeing, your care of others, and your humility.
I cast my mind back to when you were born. A new world that opened up and literally blew my mind! I had no idea before that time of the extraordinary flood of love for you both that I experienced.
Something extraordinary happened!
Over time, when you were growing up, my goodness, my darlings, when it came to hard-case you guys took the cake! If it hadn’t been for you both I never would have understood the depths of love, and similarly, I was better able to understand my parents and those generations who have gone before.
My treasures, my heart cannot describe all that it encompasses when I think of all the blessings you have given to me.”
Hinemoa with baby daughter Millie.
Te Reo translation printed at Hinemoa’s request.
(Sincere thanks to Stacey Morrison for her support in writing this.)
E ngā kuku o te manawa, Ngā rangatira mō āpōpō, nei a mihi ka rere ki a kōrua.
Mō kōrua i ako mai ai i ngā pūkengā hei whakawhanake i tēnei whatumanawa, nā kōrua hoki au i ako kia tika taku whāngai i a kōrua. He tika te kaupapa matua o te whakataukī nei “he ora te whakapiri, he mate te whakatākiri”.
Nā kōrua i pakari ai, i kotahi ai tō tātou whānau, ahakoa ngā piki me ngā heke o tēnei ao hurihuri. E ngā kairangi matahiapō, ahakoa te aha, ka tū tonu tātou i roto i te aroha.
Kei te tino poho kererū au ki tō kōrua kaha ki te ū ki ō kōrua wawata, tō kōrua whakaaro nui ki te hauora ō te ao whānui, tō matihere ki ngā tamariki, ki a Papatūānuku, ki a Tangaroa, ki Te Wao Nui a Tāne hoki.
Ko tōku tino tūranga ko tōku tū hei Whaea mō kōrua. Nōku te māringanui kia whai i ngā hononga i waenga i a tātou. Wānanga tahi ana tātou, ka whakaohoa tōku wairua, ā ka mīharo au ki tō kōrua auahatanga me te kaha i roto i ō kōrua uara, ō kōrua mātāpono hoki.
Ka mātiro whakamua ahau ki ōku moemoeā mō kōrua, ko ngā mea nui ko ō kōrua oranga, ō kōrua wairua pai, ngākau nui ki ngā tāngata katoa, ngākau māhaki hoki.
Ka hoki ōku mahara ki te wā i whānau mai ai kōrua. He ao hou ka hua mai, wehe atu au i te rekareka, tē aro i a au i mua i taua wā, te mutunga kē mai o te puke aroha!
Haramai tētahi āhua! Nāwai, nāwai ka tipu mai kōrua, e hika mā, ngā kuru pounamu, mō te hatekehi kāore he painga! Mei kore ake kōrua kua kore au i mārama ki te rētōtanga o te aroha, otirā, i pai ake taku mārama ki te mahi a ō tātou mātua, tūpuna.
E ngā huia kaimanawa, aku kati karamea, he kokonga ngākau e kore i kitea.
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