THE first episode of a new hunting television programme has featured a Whakatane couple.
The premiere of Hunting With Tui, on Maori Television, featured Mawera Karetai and Dave Barrett. The show aired on Tuesday night and is still available on demand on the Maori Television website.
In the show, the couple take host Tui Keenan, a mum-of-five and former police officer, into the back country to help fill the freezer.
In a recent interview with the Gisborne Herald, Tui reveals that while she was a police officer for eight years, it is only recently that she took up hunting. She says filming for the TV show has brought another watershed moment as she climbed Mount Hikurangi.
“I grew up in an overwhelmingly pakeha environment in Christchurch and I came through into adulthood believing Maori were inferior,” she says. “The day I climbed the mountain was a beautiful spiritual moment.”
She says something clicked inside her and she discovered who she is as a Maori woman. “I was crying, but it was a good cry. It was because I had recognised the truth, that I’d been believing a lie for so long,” Tui says.
“I call myself a born-again Maori now because of that moment on my mountain. Life just hasn’t been the same since. It was like that lie about Maori being inferior exploded.”
Tui says she was inspired by the Whakatane couple’s self-sufficient lifestyle, which means they never buy meat.
“Small game such as turkeys, peacocks and goats are all on the menu and the experience ends with a remarkable hakari (feast),” she says.
“Dave and Mawera have a pest-culling business and nothing goes to waste, with them eating their kills and selling feathers to artists all around the world.”
Mawera says she and her husband loved doing the show. “We’ve been on several TV shows now,” she says. “It’s great, we get to celebrate our mates, who give their weekends to come hunt with us.”
The programme is also about the next generation of kids learning how to feed their families. “They are all learning how to hunt, process and cook their food,” Mawera says.
“It’s just great, we get the opportunity to share our knowledge and excitement about wild food.”
The 10-part series follows Tui showcasing hunting from a female perspective as she heads into the bush, rivers and sea with her five daughters, aged five to 18, and her police officer husband in tow.
The show airs 9pm on Tuesdays on Maori Television and on demand at Maoritelevision.com.