Hinerangi Cooper-Puru, Moka puru

Te Rarawa

Whaea Hinerangi Cooper-Puru, daughter of the late Dame Whina Cooper opens up about her experiences with te mate rewharewha (influenza) and how it affected the people of Panguru in north Hokianga. She is joined by husband Matua Moka Puru.

She explains how her grandfather was one of the very people who contracted the Spanish Flu which sadly resulted in his demise. Hinerangi discusses how the people at the time had to create kāwhena (coffins) for those who passed, created like a box, similar to that of a cake tin. With no lid, the people at that time did not have the experience needed to create coffins. 

He kohinga kōrero tēnei mō ngā tūāhua kai i kaingia ai e ngā tūpuna i Rawhiti, he mau o te whenua, he mau o te moana. Ngā rongoā Māori mō te mate kohi arā te Tuberculosis (TB) ko te ngata. E kore te iwi e haere ki tētahi whare pēnā he TB ko reira. Papa Moka Puru reflects on his upbringing where he fondly remembers a time where TB was rife in his community and explains how the mate kohi affected his iwi in different ways. 

Mass graves were used to bury whānau to ensure the safety of the iwi. Sadly, as a result of the Spanish Flu there were implications for tamariki and adults alike. Whaea Hinerangi explains how her whānau was directly affected by polio when her daughter contracted the virus. 

They were told that there was a need to isolate her daughter from the rest of the whānau for fear of the virus spreading, what followed was the heartbreak from a mother for her daughter. Ko tana mahi he tangi, he mamae.

This is Whaea Hinerangi Cooper-Puru & Matua Moka Puru with their kōrero about the lessons from the past.

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