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A challenge not a threat

The recent attacks on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) are not just ill-informed — they’re “dangerously provocative”, writes Moana Jackson.
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WAKA Episode 1: The revival

"The knowledge of wayfinding and waka building was almost lost as a living practice, destined to survive only in historical journals and museums. Luckily for us, a small group took up the battle to keep them alive." — Simone Kaho.

WAKA Episode 2: The future

"Billy Harrison isn’t just carrying the mana of the Aotearoa team in this symposium. He’s the future of waka building in Aotearoa. If tārai waka is to survive here, it will need more like Billy and his teammates." — Simone Kaho.

WAKA Episode 4: The edge of old times

“I can look at the wood and see parts of the canoe. The shape. Like a vision in my head.” — Freddie Tauotaha, Tahitian master waka builder, who came to Aotearoa to finish the va'a his father started 27 years before.

They’re not worthy — they’re not ‘us’

“We demonise these guys, right? And then we've got reason to hate them. But when they try to do something for themselves, we're going to bash them again anyway. They can't win.” — Harry Tam.

Rereata Makiha: Holding on to ancestral knowledge

“It’s only recently that we started to talk about ‘the Māori calendar’ — which doesn’t actually make sense. Because there’s over 500 of these calendars." — Rereata Makiha, an expert on maramataka and ancestral knowledge.

One law for all?

“The evidence is clear that the white supremacist who was threatening slaughter should have been charged from the get-go and been treated the same as the brown Mongrel Mob members.” — John Tamihere.

Focusing on the wrong end of the problem

Teachers "don’t realise they spend more time with Asian and Pākehā students. Māori students see it, though, and retreat to the back of the classroom, where they sit in groups and disengage.” — Anton Blank.

The Dawn Raids: Why apologise?

“The government must acknowledge that ugly racial stereotypes were officially promoted for political gain, leaving a lasting legacy of prejudice against Pasifika peoples in New Zealand.” — Joris de Bres.

‘We’re gonna need a whole new everything’

“It occurred to me as we drove around Westport that you might feel private about flood damage. We looked at the piles of rubbish, carpet, toys and clothing and we said we would hate to have strangers looking at our sodden mess.” — Becky Manawatu.

Farewell to a woman of fire

“Like the Hawaiian atua Pele, portrayed as a goddess of volcanoes and fire, Haunani-Kay Trask could be volcanic in her thinking and writing, a lava flow of protest.” — Kennedy Warne.

Chronic Kaupapa Fatigue

“I’ve known many individuals who grew old before their time because of the energy they expended, and the risks they took with their health or their domestic happiness, all to be able to serve a vital kaupapa that uplifted the wellbeing of the people.” — Tainui Stephens.

Policing the Dawn Raids

“The attitudes of the special squads which had been formed to do this work was appalling. The latent racism, usually judiciously concealed, was blatant and paraded for all to see, with constant talk of ‘getting the coconuts’.” — Tā Kim Workman.

Reclaiming what was lost

“That bridge tragedy in 1947 severed my links to my taha Māori. And only now, in my early 40s, am I reclaiming what was lost.” — Cornell Tukiri.

Calling in on The Godfather

“I sometimes get: ‘Kei te takahi koe i taku mana’ — you’re trampling on my mana. And I think to myself: ‘Well, you're murdering my language. Which one is it going to be? Murdering my language or your mana?’" — Tīmoti Kāretu.

This doesn’t make us less

“We can be Māori and reo-less at the same time. It’s not ideal — especially in the hidden places we never talk about — but we can keep our heads held high. This doesn’t make us less.” — Shelley Burne-Field.

Reforming Māori media

"Sometimes I think we have too big an expectation of the reo Māori sector. Yes, broadcasting is part of the reo revitalisation plan. But it’s not the only mechanism." — Bailey Mackey.

Breaking the circuit

“There are unhealthy consequences for our society if the mainstream media doesn’t become much more accomplished at looking beyond Pākehā interests.” — Gary Wilson.

The Māori voice comes in English as well as te reo

“English is the language that reaches all the politicians and the voters, including the journalists and teachers and lawyers and doctors and nurses and academics and business leaders and all the others who play a part in shaping our society.”

Remembering Richard Nunns

“He looked more Pākeha than any Pākehā I knew . . . But his was a life deeply immersed in te ao Māori. He was one of the best taonga puoro players in the world. A leading force behind their revival.” — Moana Maniapoto on Richard Nunns.

Restoring a lifeline

“If knowledge is power, then the draft curriculum is signalling a significant shift in society’s power base.” — Kennedy Warne.

Te Tāpihana

“He was a born adventurer. Neil Armstrong-astronaut class. He was also a Bear Grylls-type survivalist — though his dramas were for real, and not invented for TV.” — Lloyd Ashton on Phillip Tapsell.

The Dawn Raids of 1974

“No one was safe. The police just went to addresses where they knew Tongans lived, maybe tipped off by a disgruntled neighbour. And the checks were indiscriminate.” — Joris de Bres.

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