Hospital weekly waiata ‘like having our own marae’

TE WIKI O TE REO MAORI (MAORI LANGUAGE WEEK).

Every Thursday morning the Gisborne Hospital chapel is filled with the sound of nga rakuraku (guitars) and traditional himene (hymns) from the Hauora Tairawhiti waiata group.

“It’s all about bringing our own taha Maori (Maori identity) into the hospital,” Hauora Tairawhiti pakeke Taina Ngarimu said.

“It’s all about being happy and planting that joy in them . . . and singing is a good way to attract people.

“At the same time people are singing the waiata they are learning te reo.”

This includes waiata from such respected songwriters as Ngati Porou kuia Tuini Ngawai.

Among the people at waiata when The Herald attended were hospital patients Eru Smith and Kiri Wainui.

When asked how the morning went, Mr Smith said: “Pai rawa atu (that was great)!”

“What a beautiful service.”

Mr Wainui and Mr Smith used to compete in woodchopping at the Poverty Bay A&P Show back in their day.

Recovering in hospital together, the friends were reunited at waiata group.

“That (service) was lovely” Mr Wainui said. “It’s like having our own marae.”

They reached over to hold hands as they sang proudly while sitting in their wheelchairs.

Mr Ngarimu, who knows Eru as “Buddy”, said he had been a regular at waiata.

He did the karakia (prayer) that morning and also took part in the recent unveiling of the pare (carved entrance) to the hospital.

“Oranga wairua (a healthy spirit) for us is hugely important,” Mr Ngarimu said.

“We had one patient, who had suffered a stroke quite badly, come along to waiata and we were able to see gradual improvements.”

Not all patients could make it to waiata group on Thursdays and some of those who did were not able to sing the words.

But he felt it was still encouraging for them.

“Some of our patients may not be able to sing but they sing in their minds.

“Patients who can come feel good about themselves.”

The hospital weekly waiata starts at 9am and is available to hospital patients, their whanau and staff members.

Every Thursday morning the Gisborne Hospital chapel is filled with the sound of nga rakuraku (guitars) and traditional himene (hymns) from the Hauora Tairawhiti waiata group.

“It’s all about bringing our own taha Maori (Maori identity) into the hospital,” Hauora Tairawhiti pakeke Taina Ngarimu said.

“It’s all about being happy and planting that joy in them . . . and singing is a good way to attract people.

“At the same time people are singing the waiata they are learning te reo.”

This includes waiata from such respected songwriters as Ngati Porou kuia Tuini Ngawai.

Among the people at waiata when The Herald attended were hospital patients Eru Smith and Kiri Wainui.

When asked how the morning went, Mr Smith said: “Pai rawa atu (that was great)!”

“What a beautiful service.”

Mr Wainui and Mr Smith used to compete in woodchopping at the Poverty Bay A&P Show back in their day.

Recovering in hospital together, the friends were reunited at waiata group.

“That (service) was lovely” Mr Wainui said. “It’s like having our own marae.”

They reached over to hold hands as they sang proudly while sitting in their wheelchairs.

Mr Ngarimu, who knows Eru as “Buddy”, said he had been a regular at waiata.

He did the karakia (prayer) that morning and also took part in the recent unveiling of the pare (carved entrance) to the hospital.

“Oranga wairua (a healthy spirit) for us is hugely important,” Mr Ngarimu said.

“We had one patient, who had suffered a stroke quite badly, come along to waiata and we were able to see gradual improvements.”

Not all patients could make it to waiata group on Thursdays and some of those who did were not able to sing the words.

But he felt it was still encouraging for them.

“Some of our patients may not be able to sing but they sing in their minds.

“Patients who can come feel good about themselves.”

The hospital weekly waiata starts at 9am and is available to hospital patients, their whanau and staff members.

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