Māui, the Hercules of the South Pacific, an over-achiever, whose many names captured his temperament and attitude to life. Variously known as Māui tikitiki o Taranga, Māui i toa, Māui nukurau and Māui potiki he was innovative, daring and resourceful, an agent of change who turned Te Ao Maori (the Māori world) on its head. Harnessing fire, fishing up Aotearoa or in trying to overcome death Māui did it all.
Marae do not operate by themselves. People run marae. When a kaupapa (occasion) happens whānau or iwi kainga (home people) will man the kitchen. They do the work to prepare and put food on the table. Their support is because of whakapapa. The mana of the manuhiri (visitors) is uppermost and ultimately the mana of their marae. Everyone pitches in to carry the load.
We were watching from a distance. A lone bushman was bent over his chainsaw. He tugged on the starter cord. The saw coughed. Another pull and it started, a throaty growl announcing that it was ready for business. Oddly, the noise seemed small. I felt the same. When you stand alongside the impenetrable wall of a pine forestry block, small is the right feeling.
When I was a principal an urgent call came through. I had to get to the science classroom fast. The teacher and students had locked themselves inside. Outside was a former student who had come into the school wanting to sort out a student in the class. Armed with a brick he bludgeoned the door trying to force his way in. Then he threw it at the walls smashing holes.