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Connection with tangata whenua 

HONOHONO TĀTOU KATOA | Creating compassionate communities 

To understand Honohono is to go beyond and below the tuakiri, under the skin. Through the toto, into the blood, dive deep into the puna, the mātauranga that intrinsically links all whānau, hapū & iwi. And so begins the story of backtracking through one's ancestry to where it all begins.  

There TE HONOHONO TĀTOU KATOU comes through and connects us all. 

Toitū te whenua, whatungarongaro te tangata | As we disappear from sight, the land remains 

Colonisation has significantly eroded Māori tikanga (customs) around death through global imperialism and the imposition of Western ideologies. This has not only led to the displacement of Māori from land and resources but also to the dismantling of Māori values and intergenerational trauma. The path forward for Māori involves indigenisation, the return of whenua and taonga, decolonising our minds, eliminating funeral poverty, hapū-based decision-making, reinvigorating wairua whānau, opening up kōrero, and restoring mana Māori.  

Meet Hera Pierce

Hera Pierce is our Pou Atawhai, leading our tangata whenua rōpū and infusing our mahi with te ao Māori every step along our journey.

Tangata whenua rōpū members

We have a strong rōpū of tangata whenua and mana whenua who are dedicated to compassionate communities and lead kaupapa Māori events and hui focused on before, during, and after death.


Our members come from all over Tāmaki and wider Aotearoa. From within Mercy Hospice, Urutapu Funerals, Te Arai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group, School of Māori Advancement, Te Rangikahupapa, Hospice Southland, Hospice Waikato, Hospice Whanganui, Mataatua Marae, Nurse Maude, and other areas of our hapori.

Upcoming Events 


A three-day kaupapa Māori workshop addressing funeral poverty.  

Date and Time - TBC 

This workshop will provide attendees with a comprehensive guide for before, during, and after death in te ao Māori with a lens on addressing funeral poverty. We’ll cover various aspects such as financial planning, power of attorney, wills, and advanced care planning, alongside the cultural practices associated with caring for those who are dying. This workshop will equip attendees with the tools and understanding needed to navigate the journey of dying, death, and burial within the Māori context. 




Te Rangikahupapa Funeral Services: The death of a loved one is an emotional and sometimes stressful experience. With over 50 years of experience in the funeral industry, Te Rangikahupapa is pleased to offer whānau a unique, interactive and intimate service. We believe that healing comes from doing and want whanau to be involved in caring for their loved ones.


Urutapu Funeral Services – Providing sustainable, affordable, and culturally sensitive funeral services


Māori end-of-life resources

Advance Care Plans in te reo Māori ACP online plans | Te Whatu Ora |

Advance care planning considers your values, goals, and preferences for current and future health care. It helps you to understand what the future might hold and say what health care you would or would not want, including end-of-life care.


Te Ipu Aronui 

Their site aims to support Māori whānau (families) in providing care to adults and kaumātua (older people) at the end of life while also attending to the needs of the whānau themselves. They seek to assist whānau who may have struggled to maintain their traditional care practices due to the impacts of colonialism and assimilation, as well as the influence of modern urban lifestyles. Utilising stories (pūrākau) from whānau manaaki (family carers), rongoā clinicians, tohunga practitioners, and Māori health professionals involved in the Pae Herenga study, they illustrate the diverse approaches employed by whānau manaaki in providing care.


Turning to tikanga when someone dies | E-Tangata

After losing her husband three years ago, Sharday Cable-Ranapia is on a mission to show there are other, tikanga-led ways of looking after a tūpāpaku, or body, when someone dies.

Addressing death openly fosters awareness, acceptance, and preparation – Te Ao Māori News (

“…leading conversations on preparing for life after death ensures whānau are prepared financially, mentally and physically.”

Māori Owned Businesses


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