// 058 Maata Wharehoka, artist + champion of tikanga Māori practices surrounding death and burial

March 2, 2021

Maata Wharehoka (Ngāti Tahinga, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Apakura, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Kuia) started her working life as a nurse. Her mahi in health saw her write the first stop smoking programme for Māori women and, she led wāhine in cervical screening programmes on marae.

She later found her niche in marae at Parihaka Pā and championed marae arts, raranga and karanga. In 2015 she won the Creative New Zealand Ngā Tohu ā Tā Kingi Ihaka award recognising her lifetime contribution to the arts. Maata’s many passions have been combined in her mahi around death, as she champions Kahu Whakatere Tupapaku, the tīkanga Māori practices surrounding death and burial.

In this episode she tells us about her life’s journey, what it was like to grow up with a strict mid-victorian minded aunty. She shares experiences of birth and death in her whānau, and she tells us why she advocates for euthenasia and how we all need to be prepared to die.


Those near death experiences kind of create another pathway for you and in fact they actually strengthen your pathway into learning about yourself in the spiritual world.

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