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Rarapa ai ngā ringaringa auaha o Kathy Murry he ahakoa kua pehingia rawangia te motu whānui e te mate urutā.
"Kai te tiakina ahau, kai te kāinga e noho puku nei, kātahi tēnei mana o te mate urutā. Nā tēnei māuiuitanga kua whai taima ahau ki te torotoro atu ai ki taku wairua toi, e nui atu ai aku kame me taku mātauranga hoko".
Ko tana mahi he waihanga me te hoko pae-kanohi, ko ngā toenga kakahu hai hoi taringa, kai te pae tukutuku But Maori Made āna kame, me te mea hoki he wahine waihanga pōtae. Ko Kathy tētehi o ngā whakapakanga a Mere me Ruihana Phillips.
Kua pūmau tōna oranga ki te whare o Rēhia me te whare tapere hoki.
"Nōku e itiiti ai ka noho mātou ki te marae e noho tahi ana me tō tātou ao toi, kōwhaiwhai mai, whakairo rākau mai, harakeke mai me te taniko hoki. Nōku tētehi wairua kakamā ki te rāweke taputapu he ringā tā pikitia, waihanga poi, whatu kete me etehi atu taonga hoki nāku".
Ko Mere tōna whāea. Ko tona rahi kei te waru tekau mā wha, tūturu koia tētehi o ngā pou ako hāpai i te reo Māori no ngā rā kua pahemo. He wahine pūrei piana hoki ki te whare tapere whakahirahira i tū ki te wāhi e tū nei a Pak'N'Save ināianei, ko te hōro o te Ritz te whare tawhito, kua tanumia i ēnei rā, whoi anō he kaupapa nā Kipa Morehu i whakahaere.
He tohunga whakairo rākau hoki tōna matua tāne kai te ora tēnei mana i ōna tuakana tokorua, ko te mea hoki ko tētehi o rāua he tohunga tā moko.
Tokorima katoa ōna taina, he māmā, he pouako, he māngai tuku kōrero, kai te ao whai ora, hauora whoi anō he toki katoa rātou ki ā rātou nā tūnga mahi.
Ka toru tekau mā iwa ka tāhuri ai a Kathy ki te tā moko. Ka hemo toku matua tāne i te tau e rua mano mā whitu nānā ahau i poipoi ki te huarahi o te tā moko. Nā te mate urutā ka haupuaroaro ai a Kathy me pēwhea nā āna mahi.
He tata ki te iwa tekau paiheneti o aku apataki he wāhine, nā tēnei āhuatanga o te mate urutā ka whakakorengia e ia tana haerenga nei hai manaaki i tana whānau koia te mātua ki a ia."
Ka totohu toku wairua ki te tāmoko he kore pirangi nōku ki te whai I taua huarahi– nā reira i tāhuri ai ahau ki tētehi atu huarahi toi".
Ko Douglas Murray tōna hoa rangatira nō Matakana ia. Kai Tauranga te wahi mahi o Kathy, ki kōnei waihanga pae kanohi ai ia. Nō Tamaki Makaurau ōna pakihora. I te tau e rua mano kotahi tekau mā rima ka whakawhiwhia a Kathy ki tana tiwhikete toi Māori i Te Kura Tini o Te Waiariki nā reira i mātau ai āna kanohi ki te whare tapu o Mataora.
He tohu paetahi auahatanga hoki tāna ko tana kaupapa matua ko te whakaahua.
Ko tana ōta nui i tae mai i a Te Arawa Lakes Trust ko te kaupapa kirihimete whakanui i ngā koeke te take, nā tēnei kaupapa whakaharahara i puta ai te ingoa o Kathy hai mātanga ringa toi.
Nō Ngāti Porou tōna whaea nō Te Arawa tōna matua tāne. I whānau mai a Kathy i te waiariki nei ā he tamaiti piripoho ki tōna māmā a eke noa atu ai ki te ātamira whakangahau.
"He whakangahau tūruhi taku mahi e waru noa taku rahi – ka whāia rawatia te kapa haka tae rawa ki te taipakeketanga nā tēnei pūkenga i puta ai ahau ki te ao whānui, nā wai rā ka tae ki Ūrupi, ki Amerika, Kōrea, Hawai'i, Taiwan, Whīti me Ahitereiria"
He matakaikutu hoki ia i tae atu ai ki te mura o te ahi ki te ātea nui o Te Matatini nā tana kapa nā Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru o Te Arawa me ōna kākākura rangatira a Wiremu Williams me Taini Morrison, ka nui te aroha i tō rāua korenga ināianei.
Nō taku taitamarikitanga kua tū ahau ki te waiata, kātahi ka whakahono atu ai ki tētehi pēne nōku e kotahi tekau mā ono noa, ha hakoke te mahi, kai āku tūeke taku ao, ka whakawhiti atu ai mātou ki Ahitereiria ā ka takahia te nuku o Aotearoa hoki".
Nō te puku o te wā e kīa nei ko te 80s ka tūtaki ai ki tētehi kaupapa Access music he kaupapa ka whakahaerengia ai ki ngā marae."
E rua tekau tata ki te rua tekau mā rima o ngā tauira kai ia kaupapa ka haere etehi ki Ahitereiria ko etehi ki Te Waipounamu, ko Rim-D-Paul tō mātou pouako he tino mātanga ia, he tupua!".
Ko Rim tetehi o ngā pou waiata tawhito o te pēne Quin Tikis kātahi rā ka puta hai pou waiata takitahi, nā wai rā ka whakahaerengia e ia te Rōpū Tira-a-Motu. Ko te māmā o Kathy, ko Mere tētehi o ngā manu tīoriori o te rōpū nei.
Nā te āhuatanga o tēnei ao hoki ngā mātua o Kathy i tūtakitaki tahi ai.
"He wahine pūrei piana ki te hōtera o Brents a māmā onamata, ka hau atu a Pāpā ki te hōtera e mau pueru hōia ana – hōtō! kua takapauwharangia".
He hōia i hoki mai i te pakanga weriweri o Vietnam, ko ia hoki tetehi ūpoko mārō kaha ki te tukituki i te rae o te Kawanatanga kia tahuri pono mai ai rātou ki ngā taumahatanga i uhingia ai ki ngā tinana o ngā hoia i taua pakanga, ko te paihana pūatū te tino kaupapa. Ka hemo ia i te mate pukupuku."
He tāone kaha ki te pāti a Rotorua nōku e itiiti ai he ahakoa haere ai te tangata ki whea, kai reira tētehi pēne e whakangāhau atu ana, ko Tudor Towers tetehi wāhi whoi anō me ngā pāparakaūta huhua hoki o te takiwā.
"I ngā wā whakanā o te raumati whakangahau ai te hunga ki te Soundshell, nā wai ko te whakakitenga whakamiharo a te tau hou Pākehā, e tā kī pai ana ngā tīriti i ngā reo rōreka i ngā reo tīoriori".
Tērā tētehi haerenga mai i Te Kirikiri ki Tamaki-Makaurau ka tū mātou i ētehi tāone pēnei i a Heretaunga.
"I Heretaunga ka noho mātou ki te kāinga o Maku Huata ko tō mātou tino kāinga tēnā, kāre i tua atu o te noho tahi me ngā tini whānaunga".
"E hoki kau ana ngā whakamaumāharatanga ki te huarahi kua takahia e ahau, ka nui te ora o te ngākau, e hākoakoa nei ahau!"
O āna mahi whakahirahira katoa ko tana puka waiata nui te ihiiihi ko te mea i whakaputaina i te tau kotahi mano e iwa rau e iwa tekau mā tahi he wā waiata ngātahi ai me te tino manu korohī o te ao waiata ko Wiremu Williams, ko te waiata i waiatangia ai e rāua ko, "Home is where the heart is".
I te tau kotahi mano e iwa rau e iwa tekau mā waru ka whakaputaina e ia tana puka waiata reo Māori ko Mātahi Pu Mano Hawaiki Tautau he puka waiata mahi tahi ai me Ngairo Heretaunga.
I te tau e rua mano mā rima ka puta ko ia te manu whakahīhī katoa takitahi o Aotearoa i te whakataetae New Zealand Apra Silver Scroll Award.
"Nā taku waka waiata ahau i kawe mai ki taku pakeke wha-tekautanga he ahakoa tonu nei ahau e tiaki ana i aku tamariki toko-rima, ā, me aku mokopuna ne."
Hai whakakapinga māku, ka rere te atua iti e kore e mārama te rangi; ka rere ko Tamanuiterā , ka mārama te rāngi.
Covid-19 restrictions have literally played right into Kathy Murray's creative hands, making time for her to devote to her art.
"I'm staying at home keeping safe. Covid has been a blessing in disguise. It has seen me explore my creative side more extensively, it's had me creating more ideas and researching better ways of making product and selling online."
Kathy's current mahi is designing and making masks. She uses the leftover fabric to make matching earrings. Her products are sold on a Facebook page called Buy Maori Made. She also makes hats.
The second youngest of eight children of Mere and Ruihana Phillips, she has led a life devoted to whanau, music and toi Maori.
"My upbringing was mostly being amongst and around the marae and Maori art forms of kowhaiwhai, whakairo, harakeke, taniko.
"I have always loved to draw, make poi, make pare, make kete, make anything Maori."
Her mother Mere, who is now 84, worked as a full-time reo Maori kaiako. She also played the piano at the late Kipa Morehu's Maori theatre experience at the old Ritz hall which used to be on the site now occupied by Pak'N'Save in Rotorua.
Her father was a tohunga whakairo (master carver) and her two brothers are also carvers, one of them an accomplished tamoko artist. Her five sisters are Mothers, teachers, lecturers, social service workers, health workers, all very successful in their own right.
At the relatively late age of 39 Kathy also took up tamoko.
"My father sadly passed in 2007. He was my inspiration to start my tamoko artist journey 2009 to 2021."
In 2015 Kathy obtained a certificate in Maori Art at Bay Of Plenty Polytechnic, which gave her an even deeper insight into the art of taamoko.
The arrival of Covid prompted the rethink on Kathy's taamoko work.
Ninety per cent or more of her clients were women but she decided, for the safety of her family, that journey was finished.
"I just lost my mojo for tamoko and turned to other creative work."
Married to Douglas Murray from Matakana Island, she set up a studio at home in Tauranga and turned to mask making for which there is a steady demand. Her fabric comes from an Auckland supplier.
Kathy has a Bachelor's degree in Creative Industry majoring in Fashion and design.
Her biggest order was for the Te Arawa Lakes Trust pre-Christmas event for koeke.
But it was on the stage that Kathy first made her mark.
On her mother's side Kathy is Ngati Porou and Te Arawa on her father's. Born and raised in Rotorua she joined her mother on stage at the age of eight.
"I was entertaining tourists, doing kapa haka four nights a week from age 8.
"I continued performing kapa haka till the age of 29 as this was my ticket to travel the world, places such as Europe, the US, Korea, Hawaii, Taiwan, Fiji, Australia."
She perfomed on Te Matatini stage under the tutelage of the late Wiremu Williams and Taini Morrison for Nga Pumanawa e Waru o Te Arawa.
"During my teenage years I became a singer.
"I joined my first professional band singing at age 16, living out of my suitcase most weekends entertaining in cover bands around New Zealand and Australia."
During the mid 1980s Kathy was introduced to Access music courses run on marae.
"There were about 20-25 students per course. Some went to Australia and some to the South Island.
"Rim D. Paul was a tutor and he was a perfectionist. It was awesome."
Rim, a former member of the Quin Tikis and later a solo performer would go on to produce the National Maori Choir. Kathy's mother was in the choir.
Music also features in how Kathy's parents met.
"Mum used to play the piano at Brents [Hotel]. Dad walked in in his soldier's uniform and that was that."
Her Dad served in Vietnam and battled the Government to get recognition of the harm done to soldiers by chemical warfare. He died from cancer.
"Rotorua used to have a real musical culture when I was growing up. There were regular gigs at Tudor Towers and the various pubs.
"Over the summer holidays there was the Soundshell and we had New Year's Eve parades round the streets."
Kathy recalls going on a tour from Queenstown to Auckland, stopping in at towns like Hastings.
"In Hastings we stayed with Maku Huata, we always stayed there. It was good having whanau in the towns we visited.
"I wouldn't change anything in my life even if I could."
Among musical highlights Kathy lists the 1991 Kapohia Album in which she sings a duet with Wiremu Williams"Home is where the heart is".
In 1998 she released my first reo album Mātahi Pu Mano Hawaiiki TauTau, a collaboration with Ngairo Heretaunga.
In 2005 she was best Solo Artist in the New Zealand Apra Silver Scroll Award.
"My singing mahi took me into my late 40s, all while being a mother of 5 and now Nanny to 3 mokopuna.
"I think the only one still on stage from my time is Chrissy Knapp."