Toni Anne Wiringi

I am writing in regards to the work undertaken by Brenda Fergusson who was tasked with organizing a tangihanga for our mum in Napier. A hui was held in Rotorua prior with our mum, Brenda and other whanau members were called to discuss her final wishes and to be buried with her late husband in Napier when the time came. 

Pre-planning – Brenda made clear and mum’s final wishes were shared amongst all so whanau would be prepared when the time came. We understood that there would be two final resting places here in Rotorua for three days then moved to Napier for the service, burial and kai  hakari.

Brenda and her whanau in Napier moved quickly and her whanau started to prepare the burial ground i.e. moved cobblestones and the hole was prepared. Brenda’s philosophy is “Even though you have a plan in place we are never ever prepared to lose a loved one”.

Brenda made this transition from Rotorua to Napier possible by her expert planning, organization, communications and whanaungatanga. Upon arrival at Napier’s Beth Shan funeral home Brenda and whanau were there to greet us and manaakitanga was shared.

Brenda had also organized covid level two restrictions only allowing 100 people to attend the tangi and the well being of the people and the wider community. This transition into the funeral parlor was made easy as Brenda had organized all information regarding who attended. A minister was organized to officiate the service, photo eulogy, music tribute of favorite music, opening service sheet with order of proceedings, and venue hire for kai hakari.

Through hui Brenda organized the place of burial returning our mum to her late husband and consultation with the Iwi.

These events were made possible by Brenda and her whanau (communication was key for Brenda) to whom we owe huge gratitude to and for their hard work, sacrifice and time. She is truly an inspiration to us all and a true leader when faced with situations such as this one being close to the person who had passed away. We wish you all the best and look forward to seeing what the future holds for you Brenda…We cannot thank you enough.

Nga mihi nui kia koe, e kaha ana ki te whakatauki: “He aha mea nui o te Ao? He tangata! he tangata! he tangata!

Michelle Bradley

Kia ora koe

Ko Otatara Hikurangi me Heipipi nga Māunga

Ko Tutaekuri Te Awa

Ko Takitimu te Waka

Ko Ngāti Kahungnunu me Ngati Porou nga Iwi


This letter is to tautoko Brenda Ferguson in her initiative Manaaki Ora Events.

Brenda was integral in facilitating and organizing a number of things for the whānau when our Aunty passed away. Because many of our whānau live away, we needed to rely on Brenda to take care of the many details that were either stressful or some too difficult to sort through from a distance.

I would like to list some of the things she handled with Aroha, care and attention to detail;

Organising with the funeral director and making the service sheets.

Keeping all of the whānau updated with the plans and transport when required.

Communication with the Church Elders

Sorting the Kai hākari and making sure all of the cuzzies were involved and sharing in the    workload to ensure that they played a part in the process.

To help with; legal paperwork re: life insurance for funeral costs; after care in assisting to sort closure of accounts; a change of ownership in the Maori Land etc

Organizing and booking the venue for a whānau Dinner after the Tangi, for all to share stories, aroha and laughter with a waiaita thrown in.

What I saw and appreciated more than anything was the love and care Brenda took to ensure all of the whānau were taken care of, in particular for me was how caring and thoughtful she was with my Mum and my Aunty Noli, our kaumatua, it was their sister that had passed.

Many of these things can be too much for whānau under stress to handle, so having someone trustworthy, like Brenda, to facilitate and manage us through this time was amazing.

I have no hesitation in recommending Brenda to any whānau, who are dealing with the tangihanga process or for that matter, any occasion as her initiative of being a one stop resolution hub has been proven to be absolutely awesome and I wish her every success.

Ngā mihi maioha

Mel Mansell

When a precious daughter and grandson are suddenly taken away, you cannot comprehend why and how this has happened. You just want to curl up and die yourself. 

However you must keep going for them, they need to be taken care of one last time. They need to be farewelled and put to rest with as much love and care as you can give them. But how, when you are so grief stricken you can hardly breath?

You call MOE, because Manaaki Ora Events KNOW. They know what you are going through, they know you are in pain, they know you can’t think straight, and they KNOW what to do.

They do it with all the care, love and compassion like it’s their own family who have suffered such great loss.

Brenda liaised with the Funeral Director and made preparations for bringing our Jessie home from the Manawatu to the Hawkes Bay.

  • She organised a Marae to host the Whanau pani and travelling whanau for the remaining 2 nights.
  • She organised a crew of whanau to prepare kai for the whanau pani.
  • She had regular hui with the Kai mahi in the wharekai, to make sure they had all that was needed.
  • She collected and recorded Koha (money and food), and regularly reported to us with costings and ensured that our wishes were adhered to.
  • She liaised with the Sailing Club for the funeral service and catering for the Kai Hakari.
  • She was always supporting us and giving us options, taking away the stress of organising so much.
  • She allowed us to have all the time with Jess, Reign, friends and whanau.

Thank you our friend from the bottom of our hearts, we will be forever grateful.