There are moves to improve whānau access to deceased whānau members.

Most of the recommendations from the Māori Affairs Select Committee inquiry have been accepted by the government.

One of the main recommendations accepted by the government was to improve cultural considerations in the coronial system.

Undertaker Te Hira Henderson says it’s been long overdue.

“Pai rā te kāwanatanga ki te kitea rā he aha ngā āwangawanga a tātou. Me hoki rā kia whakaaro ake kia whakapai ērā whakaaro kia whakatau ai pai ngā whakaaro a te iwi e pā ana ki tēnei kaupapa nunui rā kia hiki ai tūpāpaku.”

He says we need to look further ahead.

“Me tirohia atu rā te ao Māori ki ngā tūranga ki roto i tēnei mahi, ki te whakapai ki te mahia mai rā ēnei mahi rā. Kia uru atu rā ō ā tātou atu whakaaro ki roto i tēnei mahi, a te Coronial Services.”

He also says we also need to consider the cultural needs of other ethnicities.

“I mua rā ko te Pākehā ko te Māori, ināia tonu nei hika mā ko ngā iwi katoa mai ia peka o te rākau ko te ao nā reira ka mōhio rā ngā tāngata ki ngā iwi katoa kua harama rā ki tēnei whenua, o ā rātou tikanga kia māmā haere kia haere ngātahi ō rātou whakaaro ki te tiki ai rā tēnei kaupapa nui rā. He mea tapu rā te hoki atu te tangata ki te kunenga mai o te tangata.”

In a few years’ time hopefully, whānau will be able to see the tikanga Māori to fruition.

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