He aha te āhua o te ahungarua mō te Māori What does retirement look like for Māori

Kaupapahere me te rangahau | Policy & research

Whakatātanga. He Kaupapa Māori?


Tēnā koutou e hoa mā,

Ko te kupu Māori mō te ahungarua ko te "whakatā", e whakamāramatia ana e te Papakupu tuihono Māori:

To take breath, catch breath, rest, relax, have a break

Te whakatā, whakangā, okioki, pārore, whai wāhi

Nā, ehara tātou i te tohunga wetereo, ā, koinā pea te tikanga o te kupu, hāngai nei, engari ko wai ō tātou he kuia, he koroua rānei tōu e noho pērā ana i te 65 tau?  E taupapatu ana tēnei whakamārama i runga, i te āhua o te kaumātua, o te pākeke, o te taipakeketanga i Te Ao Māori e mōhio ana tātou.

Engari kē, ko te ao o te kaumātua he tauaro kē ki te tikanga o te kupu Māori mō te ahungarua!  E hika mā! Hātakēhi!

Hei pakeke, he rite tonu te karangahia o ngā kaumātua kia tae ki ngā taiopenga me ngā hui Māori.  Ka mana ake te hui i tō rātou kitenga atu i te mea ko rātou ngā kaitiaki o te whakapapa, o ngā kōrero tuku iho me ngā tikanga.  Ka waihape mai ngā mahara whakaahuru o ngā rā o mua, o te hunga tokānuku, te hunga wairua.  E tōminatia ana ngā kōrero mō tō rātou ahunga i ngā wā rerekē, hei mātāpuna o te kōrero tuku iho.  He tumu kōrero kairangi, kaipupuri o te mātauranga tawhito me ngā kauwaka o ngā mataaho kare ā-roto, ā-wairua hoki.  He taonga ngā kaumātua!

E toko mai ai te pātai.

He āhuatanga te ahungarua o te kaupapa Māori?  He mea Māori tēnei?  He aha ia nei te āhua o te ahuangarua ki te Māori?

I Te Ara Ahunga Ora he kaupapa tā mātou e pūmau ana ki te tūhura i taua pātai.  Ko tētahi wāhanga o te kaupapa he kohi mōhiohio me ngā kōrero o ngā mea e mōhiotia kētia ana me te rapu kei hea ngā āputa, ā, me te rapu kei hea ngā wāhi e whai hua ana ā mātou mahi.  Hei tauira, i kitea e tētahi mātai wawe o ngā rangahau i komihanatia mai i te tau 2014 ki te 2024, neke atu i te $37 miriona i wāhitia ki te ako he aha te kaumātua Māori / e pakeke haere ana.  E kawea ana tēnei rangahau e te Kaunihera Rangahau Hauora, te ACC, te National Science Challenge. (Ageing Well), e Pharmac me ētahi atu.

Ko tētahi mea e whai pānga ana ki te hunga katoa o Aotearoa, ina eke tātou ki te 65, ka whakarato te Kāwanatanga i te Penihana Ahungarua, me te whānuitanga o ētahi atu utunga me ngā whakahekenga utu, e āheitia ana mā te kāri Kōura.

E mahi tahi ana ahau me te Kaikomihana Mana Ahungarua a Jane Wrightson, ā, ko tētahi o āna haepapa ā-ture he tohutohu i te kāwanatanga mō ngā kaupapahere whiwhinga utu ahungarua.  Hei te tau 2022 ka whakahaeretia tētahi arotake o aua kaupapahere me te whai anō ki te whakawhanake i ngā tohutohu hou, whai mōhio hoki hei tāpaetanga ki te Kāwanatanga.

E hiahia ana mātou ki te rongo mai i te Māori mō te ahungarua.  E toru ngā hui ka hautūhia e mātou i Motupohue, Te Whanganui-a-Tara me Te Tai Tokerau e āhei ai te iwi ki te whakawaha i ō rātou whakaaro.  E whiriwhiri tonu ana i ngā rā engari ko te tūmanako ka tū ngā hui hei te mutunga o Hepetema i tēnei tau.  Kāore he utu o ngā hui.

Tēnā pāwhiritia te pātene i raro ki te rēhita i tō hiahia ki te haere ki tētahi o ngā hui.  Ka whai pānga tonu mātou i te wā e whakamahere haere ana.

E hiahia ana au ki te haere ki te hui

Hei te wā e hoa mā,

Ka kite au i a koutou kei ngā hui pea!


Tēnā koutou e hoa mā,

The Māori word for retirement is “whakatā”, which the online Māori Dictionary defines as:

To take breath, catch breath, rest, relax, have a break

Now, we are not linguists, and that may well be what the word means, in a literal sense, but who has a nannie or koro that lives like that at 65? What we know about being a kaumātua, about pakeketanga and about growing older in Te Ao Māori, contradicts the definition offered above.

If anything, life as a kaumātua is often the opposite of what the Māori word for retirement means! E hika mā! Hātakēhi! Hard case alright!

As elders, kaumātua are regularly called upon to be present at Māori events and gatherings. Kaitiaki of whakapapa, of tribal history and custom, their presence adds mana, brings cherished memories into the room of days gone by, of special people no longer with us. Their journey through life, in different ages and times, is relished as a source of oral history. They are feted storytellers, holders of ancient wisdom and purveyors of portals from the emotional to the spiritual. He taonga ngā kaumātua!

Which begs an obvious question.

Is retirement a feature of kaupapa Māori? Is it a Māori thing?

What does retirement look like for Māori?

At Te Ara Ahunga Ora we have a project dedicated to exploring that question. Part of the project will involve gathering information and kōrero about what is already known and working out where the gaps might be, where our work can add value. For example, a quick scan of research commissioned to be done between 2014 and 2024 found more than $37 million was allocated to learning about kaumatua Māori / growing older. This research is being undertaken by the Health Research Council, ACC, National Science Challenge (Ageing Well), Pharmac and others.

One thing that applies to all New Zealanders is that when we reach 65, the Government provides Superannuation and a range of other entitlements and discounts, with a SuperGold card to access them.

I work with Mana Ahungarua Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson, and one of her statutory responsibilities is to advise government on retirement income policies. In 2022 a review of those policies will be undertaken with the aim of developing the latest, best informed advice to offer Government.

We want to hear from Māori about retirement. We’ll be hosting three hui in Bluff, Wellington and North Auckland to let the people speak for themselves. We’re still confirming dates but are hoping to hold the hui in September this year. There will be no charge to attend.

Please click the button below to register your interest in attending one of the hui. We’ll keep in touch as planning progresses.

I’m interested in attending a hui

Hei te wā e hoa mā,

Ka kite au i a koutou kei ngā hui pea!