Watch: The Hui reporter D'Angelo Martin's week-long journey receiving his puhoro

As Aotearoa celebrates Matariki, a time to remember loved ones and a time for change and new beginnings, The Hui followed our reporter D'Angelo Martin on his journey to receive his puhoro, a traditional Māori tattoo which extends from the waist to the knees.

For Martin, receiving a puhoro was a journey of loss, reclamation, and a promise kept, upholding a sacred tradition passed down from his ancestors. 

At the beginning of this year, Martin's friend Kahi Takimoana Harawira died unexpectedly. Harawira was only 26 years old, a talented league player and a much respected and admired member of Te Hiku o Te Ika - the wider Far North community. 

Harawira and Martin had planned to receive their puhoro together, and so to commemorate Matariki, Martin decided to fulfil the pair's wishes and undertake the week-long procedure. 

The tā moko artist who applied his puhoro is Harawira's older sister Anikaaro Harawira.

"I am happy and pleased that a part of him will live on through your puhoro, I also know how excited he was to make this happen."

In all, Martin spent more than 40 hours on the table. Anikaaro says receiving traditional Māori tattoos is a form of therapy for many tāne Māori.

"For so long, our men have been the victims of this idea that it's okay to hide your emotions, and to assume that it's normal to keep these feelings and thoughts locked away," she says.

"This is why I think moko is important. Because no matter who you are, no matter what you're going through, the needle will break down those barriers where you will likely cry and can release your self-doubts, leave them on the table." 

Traditionally, puhoro was reserved for the warriors and leaders who had acquired speed, agility and swiftness. However the Tohunga Suppression Act and colonial attitudes towards traditional Māori tattoos nearly saw the artform die out before experiencing a renaissance in the 1990s. 

Today, a new generation of Māori are receiving moko as a commitment to Te Ao Māori and to represent whakapapa, whānau, and important life achievements.

Watch D'Angelo Martin receive his puhoro above.

Made with support from Te Māngai Pāho and NZ On Air.

Watch: The Hui reporter D'Angelo Martin's week-long journey receiving his puhoro