If you live in your own tribal area you could be attending a tangi most weeks.
Such are tribal: whanau, hapu and iwi connections.
The past six months have seen Te Arawa in overdrive with tangi. This does occur from time to time.
All quiet for months then a flurry of tangi. Sometimes it appears that's the only time families and their relations get to catch up with each other.
These days the pace of life and juggling work commitments can be demanding on family time.
That's why celebrating happy family occasions are important. At any time, without warning, we know we could be in mourning.
I am often asked "Why do Māori insist on celebrating every birthday and so many other special events"? And they do, just look at the birthday parties held for a 1-year-old and the number of twenty-firsts too.
These are celebrated in fine style just like the parties for those with the big 0 birthday milestones.
These events are not just about celebrating birthdays and partying with family and friends, they are opportunities to preserve and continue to foster family connections. "You are important to our family".
The celebrations can be expensive but most family members help with the costs by contributing in some way, often with koha and donations in kind.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait: Māori can be trusted to look after their own
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait: Problems didn't crop up overnight, and will take time to fix
Sharing costs means a big celebration is not a financial burden on one family member.
Everyone knows when their time comes and they have something to celebrate, family will be there to help and contribute as well.
Like most people I love a good party or celebration. This weekend I attended the Te Arawa Matariki Koeke Ball.
The ball has been a Matariki fixture for 10 years. It is a happy occasion where those aged 70 years and over, recently the age restriction has been relaxed, enjoy music, dining and dancing and the companionship of their Te Arawa relations.
It is an occasion to dress up, and if there's a dress theme this is embraced wholeheartedly.
Beautiful Te Arawa women outnumber their menfolk 10 to one. And they are beautiful. During the evening I often catch myself looking at them admiringly.
Even in senior years their youthful beauty is still evident. They would have had their share of love and laughter, tears and sorrow. Yet they carry themselves with confidence and poise. True to the expression, so within so without.
Janie Pou has played at every ball. She is the ideal entertainer, knowing many of the people present.
She sings and plays songs we know and can remember the words too. They bring back memories. When she sings we are transported back in time. To places with those we remember and loved.
Throughout the evening there is a photo gallery screening on the wall above the stage.
These are the photos from balls held over the years.
There is often a sigh of sadness when we see a photo of someone no longer with us.
Theo always knew the people who had passed away in the previous 12 months.
They were in his age group, often having gone to school with him. I sigh too now when I see his photo up on the screen, he was so handsome. Well I would say that wouldn't I?
My sister Lesley's photo pops up on the screen too. My enjoyment gets interrupted for a short time.
For 10 years the organisers have held an event that has brought smiles and happiness to a generation of Te Arawa koeke now declining in numbers.
But the ball and the other celebrations they attend throughout the year reminds them how loved and important they remain to Te Arawa.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait is a Rotorua district councillor, Lakes District Health Board member and chairs the North Island Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency. She writes, speaks and broadcasts to thwart political correctness