Two important aspects of karanga culture are used in this proverb. One is the importance of greetings which define relationships and spaces. When one is visited by someone who has not visited them in a long time their first expression is welcome (mauya). The second is the level of reverence at someone's death. It is expected that anyone who knew the deceased and/or the bereaved would come to that home to comfort the bereaved and pay respects to the deceased. A previously private home is at that point open to all who come to mourn and comfort. The many salutations here, which represent a change in relations, are as a consequence of the death. The proverb links these two aspects in showing that a home that was once difficult to visit due to animosity, long standing disputes or even jealousies is now filled with people including the ones who used to be distant. Circumstances and relations have changed due to someone's passing.
Sometimes we develop deep seated enmities with others to the extent that we begin to avoid those persons and pass them when they are in distress. However some difficulties such as loss of life will warrant sympathy and condolence messages from all including those who hate or despise the person. In so doing the proverb teaches us to bury the hatchet with someone who is bereaved or in serious distress and focus on supporting them in their hour of need. However it also indirectly instructs us to not bear grudges until a funeral brings people together. It is actually embarrassing to hear someone you are meant to be close to, saying "mauya" at a funeral. The proverb can thus also be used to lament or mock the sympathy that is only made possible by a funeral.