Ngāti Rārua Whānau - Zella Morrison
It’s a fabulous treat catching up with Ngāti Rārua whānau hearing about their lives and sharing in their memories. Recently, we sat down with Auckland-based whānau member, wahine toa and business woman extraordinaire, Zella Morrison. We talked everything from family, love and business to keeping well in mind and body and inspirational thoughts. We were thoroughly inspired by her responses, her whānau and mokopuna. Here is what she had to say about her life’s story.
What does it mean to be Ngāti Rārua to you?
That’s a really cool question. It connects me with my koro, Hare Rore Stafford, my whakapapa and my whānau. Ngāti Rārua adds the enrichment to my life. It makes me who I am. I am proud to say I am part of Ngāti Rārua.
So, the story goes, my koro, Harry Stafford came up to Otorohanga, Ngāti Maniapoto, when he was quite young, about 13. He lived in Maniapoto for a long time, farming. That is where he met, fell in love with and married my grandmother who we knew as “farm nanny.” I always feel proud that I can whakapapa back to the whenua in the south because my pāpā is there. The connection is strong when you know you can feel the bloodline there and that connection with his whānau. And, it’s that sense of being that makes, me Zella.
What makes you, you?
What shapes me and who I am, is that my papa had a great sense of humility. He taught us humility. That was a great learning that shaped me.
What advice can you give to whānau?
There are always lessons that we learn. It’s how we treat the lesson. Some of those lessons I learnt in business, in starting my own cultural tourism business. Coming from a family of entertainers and singers, and performers in kapa haka, when I
started my own business in Auckland and I would work with people passionate about cultural tourism I’d expect that everyone understood what professionalism was. Professionalism to me, turning up to work, having all your gear – poi, piupiu,
bodice, deodorant, and your little towel in your bag. My paternal grandmother always said to us if you look after your piupiu then your piupiu will look after you. The lesson was about valuing your belongings and yourself and then they will bring
good things back to you.
It was a privilege and an honour to sit with Zella Morrison in her beautiful home on a beautiful day. We look forward to catching up with more of our whānau over the coming months.
This story is part of the September 2018 Ngāti Rārua Pānui. To review the stories in the September edition click here.