‘Not one more child’

“The story that Māori are bad parents was pushed relentlessly to justify policies that have removed tens of thousands of Māori children from their whānau since World War Two.” — Kim Mcbreen.

The long struggle of the Kanak people

“They came with the Bible in front of them, in the hands of the Catholic missionaries, and the army behind them. And when we woke up, it was us with the Bible in our hand, and they had our land.” — Kanak leader Susanna Ounei, who died in 2016.

Poetry is our heritage — and our future

“When I started Anahera Press, there were a lot of Māori and Pasifika poets around, but they just weren’t being published. The reason certainly wasn’t anything to do with quality. It was because mainstream publishers didn’t want our kind of writing.” — Kiri Piahana-Wong, poet and publisher.

‘There’s joy in the struggle’

“For Indigenous people, our rituals are a shortcut to joy. When we connect and when we share, we secure our sense of belonging. I see and feel Indigenous joy in all the occasions our people gather, because we’ve overcome so much.” —  Tainui Stephens.

Moana Jackson: Portrait of a Quiet Revolutionary

“To be honest, it’s been hard to revisit this documentary. To look at his face, hear him speak, watch him laugh. To understand that he is no longer with us.” — Moana Maniapoto on the making of ‘Moana Jackson: Portrait of a Quiet Revolutionary’, made with the support of NZ On Air.

Isla Huia: Sometimes writing is all you can do

“After Talia passed, I started writing again. I realised I write because I have to, because it’s all I can do in those circumstances.” — Isla Huia, on her debut poetry collection, named after her best friend.

Andrew Faleatua: ‘I’m bringing the village with me’

“I've always loved paying homage to the past. And that’s happened with my music as well. I suppose it's the whole concept of bringing the village with me, bringing my whakapapa into my present-day music.” — Dr Andrew Faleatua.

Ngāhuia Murphy: The mana and mātauranga of wāhine Māori

”Māori women's stories have been relegated to the margins of history. There are things that we don’t know about ourselves because the stories about who we are have been censored and omitted from the record.” — Dr Ngahuia Murphy.

Siautu Alefaio: Vent, pray and eat

“Prayer has been massive for me. I have a couple of friends, and we just vent and pray, vent and pray. And then we eat.” — Siautu Alefaio, psychology professor at Otago University.

The Crown versus Māori children

“I was adopted by good parents and grew up in a good home. That didn’t stop the damage that adoption caused. And, yes, Mr Luxon, being Māori did exacerbate it.” — Aaron Smale on the repeal of section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act.

Hanging an axe over the Waitangi Tribunal

“What these types of comments do is hang an axe over the Waitangi Tribunal which threatens to drop if they behave and exercise their powers in a particular way. This has a potential chilling effect.” — Natalie Coates.

Fanning the flames beyond Matariki

“Ritual and celebration are absolutely a form of resistance. Matariki, for example, is a very loud statement that we don't need to follow someone else's idea of ceremony or celebration.” — Dr Rangi Mātāmua.

Reason to feel hopeful about Aotearoa

“The tamariki received a standing ovation, partly because they filled the audience with hope and belief that the disrespectful and demeaning politics of the present will fade like mist before the sun of our nation’s culturally adept youth.” — Denis O’Reilly.

Who’s the wannabe Māori now, Mum?

“She wanted us kids to assimilate, believing wholeheartedly that this would protect us from white judgment. Being good, compliant coconuts would mean we wouldn’t be exposed to negativity as Sāmoans.” — Kirkpatrick Mariner on his mum.

A most diplomatic intent

The 1972 Aboriginal and Māori tent embassies in Canberra and Wellington “were created by frank and fearless young people sick of the status quo. They declared that the Indigenous tribes of these lands would no longer be aliens in their own country.” — Tainui Stephens.

My reluctant journey as a Pākehā

“The starting point is to recognise that Pākehā are on the wrong side of history for all things concerning Māori, including the rights and promises afforded to them through Te Tiriti o Waitangi.” — Brook Turner.

Dancing in the footsteps of our ancestors

“Our girls echo their female ancestors in ways they cannot imagine. They dance with this DNA buried deep in their bones. They dance in the footsteps of a line of women that snakes back across the Pacific to the islands.” — Tusiata Avia.

Going back, coming home

“One of my goals is to get into a position where I can work for Ngāti Pikiao, as someone who helps our people to come home . . . to help them discover this whole other way of life.” — Te Atamairangi Emery-Hughes.

Making room for the reo

“As life got harder and more things started cropping up, it was the reo that kept being put on the back burner — something I swore I wouldn’t do.” — Siena Yates on life after full-immersion reo learning.

Learning te reo as an adult: Tips for success

“There is a common factor that I see about those who are very quick adult learners. They quickly see that there is no point trying to maintain their ego . . . they are able to laugh at themselves, even if they make lots of mistakes.” — Matiu Ratima.

New Zealander of the Year

“My reo journey is one of constant conflict. There are times when the reo just flows out of me, from a place that I believe lies somewhere both within and beyond myself. Then there are times I can’t even string a basic sentence together.” — Tīhema Baker.

Asking the hard questions

“In a tribal society with an age-related hierarchy, reporters who push for answers or display scepticism at what they are told can be accused of a lack of manaakitanga.” — Atakohu Middleton.

How crime news harms us all

“Not all crimes receive equal coverage. Nor are they framed in the same way, however violent they may be.” — Criminologist Sara Salman on the Auckland shooting last month.

Stories about us

“I’m a person who always wanted to write a novel about Te Ātiawa history, but still let herself be convinced to write about 1940 London instead.” — Lauren Keenan.

Fires burning in their throats

“We’re committed to opening the stage to exciting and confronting kōrero from Māori creators, thinkers and change-makers with fires burning in their throats. Fires that burn even more urgently today.” — Michael and Matariki Bennett, co-curators Māori for the Auckland Writers Festival, May 14–19.

Kharl WiRepa and the power of fashion

“I could manufacture in China and mass produce and chase the money. But there are old kuia in those factories, and there’s nothing less Māori than having a kuia paid $4 a day to make your kākahu.” — Designer Kharl WiRepa.

Rātana’s London mission

“Ratana had publicly committed himself to a political programme for the first time in a speech at Ratana Pā during the Christmas hui of 1923. He would go to London and take with him the Bible and the Treaty of Waitangi, symbolic of the spiritual and social sides of his mission.” — Keith Newman in ‘Ratana: The Prophet’.

Parihaka and Te Waipounamu

"It’s often assumed that the 19th-century New Zealand Wars fought between the Crown and various groups of Māori were exclusively a Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island) story. But there is a largely unknown history of southern engagement with these conflicts. " — Historian Vincent O'Malley.


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