Sunday 29th July 2018 will be a day that will be etched in eternity in the hearts of the Maori and Jewish nation. The Aotearoa Israel Powhiri drew Maori from “O Nga Hau e Wha” (the four winds) to gather in the heart of Waitakere City at Hoani Waititi Marae for a prophetic nation to nation exchange to bless and honour Israel, and the Israeli Ambassador, his Excellency Dr. Itzhak Gerberg.

This ceremony was spearheaded by Ngapuhi as a whakapaha(apology) to express Maori disapproval for the Government’s actions for standing against Israel at the UN and for co-sponsoring the 2016 anti-Israel UNSC Resolution 2334.

The Aotearoa-Israel ceremony was a culmination of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the Maori nation passed down by Ngapuhi Tupuna (ancestors), and Kaumatua Matua Pat Ruka.

This historic event came with full honours of a Haka Powhiri, a Karanga (call)anda prophetic Korowai (feather cloak) made specifically to release the blessing over Israel and more importantly to connect our two nations, for such a time as this.  To haka, to sing, to break bread, and exchange Mauri (life force) between our people was graciously given and received on both sides.

The event organiser, Stephanie Harawira is the National Director of social media campaign Kia Ora Israel and Pacific Pearls who are a pro-Israel New Zealand wide Christian Maori Movement.  Stephanie stated “Our kaumatua knew the importance of the hour, the importance of our national stance, and the importance of our nations coming together.  It signals to NZ and to the world “Israel is not alone.

Israel needs friends who have courage to stand up, speak up and rise up.  Many people get apprehensive to align with Israel because of the BDS backlash, but we are in a season to not shrink back, but I say “Kia Kaha (be strong), Maranga Mai (rise up), E TU (stand up) and hold the line alongside our Israeli brothers.

Israel needs friends who are not afraid to hold the line and support them. Regardless what the governments are saying.

The scriptures tell us to “know the hour” and that Israel will head into perilous times.  We are believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and that unity commands a blessing.  Together we are stronger”

I’ve been asked how can we further enhance our relationship between Maori and the Jewish community.  Pick up the phone, let’s korero, pretty simple really.  Contact:  Stephanie Harawira pacificpearlsnz@gmail.com