“Love that you have brought the Maori culture into the show.”
Ari Parata’s brother Tane, nephew Nikau, and other family members conducted a traditional Kiwi haka in Home and Away yesterday in honor of their fallen loved one (March 10).
Following 2020’s landmark homage to Mikaere Parata, this isn’t the first time one has appeared in the serial, but the emotions it has evoked among the Home and Away fandom in Australia illustrates just how important such representation is on screen.
Many viewers took to Twitter to praise the scenes, which will air in April on Channel 5 in the UK.
“Omg @homeandaway so sad. I love that you have brought the Maori culture into the show, it’s so respectful and beautiful, got chills when they did the Haka. #HomeAndAway #Maori,” wrote one person, while another posted that “everything” about Ari’s send-off was “beautiful”.
“That Haka was AMAZING. Absolute chills” and “Very powerful episodes of Home and Away tonight. Beautiful to see the Māori culture honoured,” read another pair of tweets.
How moving was the haka #homeandaway— KazCity (@kazcity) March 10, 2022
The Parata’s scenes are breaking my heart, I can’t stop crying. Why does it have to be Ari ?? #HomeandAway— ??????????? (@ReneeSergi) March 10, 2022
A death on this show hasn’t affected me since Casey died but Ari’s death hurts #HomeandAway— ??????????? (@ReneeSergi) March 10, 2022
All I have to say is that Ari send off had me in tears great acting from all the cast they were perfect in that scene ?? #homeandaway— Cherrykie (@CherrykieMore) March 10, 2022
Tane and Nikau actors Ethan Browne and Kawakawa Fox-Reo both discussed their characters’ powerful Taiaha scenes earlier this year.
“It’s something really important to me and it just feels like I’m helping spread awareness about our culture which feels really nice,” said the former.
Fox-Reo shared his pride in the Māori heritage, adding that he wants to explore more of his background.
“That’s who I am and that’s something I’m really proud of but I’m definitely guilty of not maintaining a certain standard that I know I’m capable of, in terms of the language and the tikanga [customary behaviours],” he said.
“I grew up spending a lot of time at the marae [a sacred place], and I’m always open to learning more.”