WAIRUA- Explaining the mystery behind the Maori spiritual world

Patupaiarehe - Faerie

Everything you want to know about the spiritual world from a Maori perspective will be explained in WAIRUA, a new series premiering on Maori Television on Wednesday October 6 at 9.30 PM.

No stone is left unturned in this thought-provoking series, which covers various systems of Maori spiritual beliefs and customs around birth, death and the afterlife, over a total of 16 episodes.

From the unborn child to ghosts, WAIRUA will shed light on questions about the spirit world with the help of various tohunga (men of knowledge), kaumatua (elders) and matakite (clairvoyants).

Packed with insight and real-life experiences, it is a must-see for those with an interest in spirits and a helpful guide for those wanting to know more about the Maori system of beliefs.

Episode One gets straight to the point to explore what exactly wairua or the spirit is from a Maori perspective. Looking back from ancient to modern times, the episode explains the wairua of human beings and the wairua that is in all things and exists everywhere.

Other topics investigated include the spirituality of children and the unborn child – and what happens in the case of death, be it through stillbirth, miscarriage or termination.

Patupaiarehe are the fairy-like creatures believed to live in the forests and mountain tops. Rarely seen, an air of mystery and secrecy surrounds them. WAIRUA tracks down people who have had personal experiences with the forest dwellers and finds out how they overcame them.

In later episodes, modern day seers talk about their ancient art, and we hear from experts in the fields of Makutu (witchcraft) and Maori sickness or disease.

Whatever your beliefs, WAIRUA offers an informative and engaging view into how the spiritual world is central in what it means to be Maori.

WAIRUA producer Ngatapa Black, from Maori Television, says the series is about raising awareness.

“Wairua has always been a part of our lives so this was a natural thing to do,” she says. “We touch on some big issues so getting the message out about our spiritual side and understanding what is happening today from a Maori perspective is really important.”

Find out more by tuning in to Maori Television on Wednesday October 6 at 9.30 PM.


  1. Jan Aunmihi Naera Vincent says:

    Ko Jan Aumihi tenei,
    I have watched with interest your programme. It is excellent to a point, I teach the mahi you have filmed. I would love to korero with you.
    No Te Arawa te iwi. My stepfather was Eruera’s koroua. My dad was Claude Naera and my mum was Cissy Stirling, No Raukokore.

    A Tohunga is not a teacher but one who scatters their seeds of knowledge to those who dare to pick them up. A Matakite is a Seer who walks through different dimensions and many other things.
    People are born with awareness but frighten themselves out of it. They work on different levels or fall in the wrong one. You attract to you what level you believe, then it gets interesting.
    Dreams are really good but not indicative of Matakite mahi. Seeing, hearing, scanning, doing diagnostic mahi with Wairua on the tinana, Papatuanuku, maunga then the world begins to open up to the right people.

    A medium passes messages from those passed over. Sometimes not very reliable.
    A psychic is one who picks up bits off the radio waves around us.
    A clairvoyant can see pictures or events, but if not clairaudient, abe to hear, have little value to carry the message.

    These are not Matakite. So who am I?

    Na naku Jan Aumihi Vincent.

  2. Jan Aunmihi Naera Vincent says:

    I hope Ngatapa gets to read the above.
    Kia ora Jan.

  3. J says:

    Wairua is my new favourite show. It is mean, I love it that something that is so shrouded and often rebuked is openly celebrated and explored.

    Just tonight I googled “afterlife” and all I got was a new movie from Clint Eastwood” and sceptical articles on ‘near death experiences’. Matekite converse often…

    I’ve seen several episodes of Wairua and missed a few too so I’m sad that Maori TV don’t have these on demand like TV1 & 2.

    As for your comments above Jan, I’ve never seen such a well-put definition of tohunga and matekite or comparison with mediums, psychics et al. I especially like the ‘walking through dimensions’ analogy. I envy your ‘open’ view of the world and when the time is right and I’m ready, I might enjoy more of what you see


  4. Owen Eagle says:

    Kia Ora, I am extremly interested in this programme and I have some unusual happenings surfacing in my family and I think this programme would be able to answer alot of questions but unfortunatly I cant understand maori and there are no subtitles. Maori television can you help me out on this one?

  5. Vicky says:

    i love this show but I keep missing it due to family commitments, etc. How do I acquire copies of each episode? – the season/s??


  6. Shadowmaster says:

    Kia Ora Whanau

    Interesting topic I wish I was able to have seen this episode so I am able to understand what was given or handed down to me. My whanau have a history of tohungasim and Matakite, which goes right back to as far as the 1600. I have 3 Tupuna’s who were involved in the world of Tohungasim, one was called the bird-man who apparently flew from kawhia to Te Arawa in one day to settle a dispute, all 3 tupuna’s had connections to the Paimarie movement and the 12 tribes……

    I am curious to find out if there is any other’s out there that may have been given similar gifts as myself…….?

    Aroha mai whanau……………

  7. I would love to see this documentary series. Any chance of it screening again in 2012?

  8. courtney kete says:

    I would love to see this :) can anyone tell me if it available any where?
    kia ora

  9. Tamara Bell says:

    Kia ora,

    Is there any way of accessing this porgramme now? I would really like to watch this series, is it online at all?

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