Dr Maxine Ronald: Treating cancer, fighting inequity

“When I was in high school, I was told by a careers advisor that Māori didn’t do medicine, and I stupidly took that on board. I defaulted to what people expected of me, which was to not do well.” — Dr Maxine Ronald, breast cancer surgeon.

Robert Oliver: Believing in Pacific cuisine

“In the Pacific, food strengthens and creates communities. The story of food is also the story of people. There’s wisdom, there’s survival, there’s knowledge in the growing of crops and methods of food gathering. It goes way beyond the recipe.” — Chef Robert Oliver.

Staying Māori in a global system

“Māori are accustomed to seeing how domestic institutions and systems impinge on our rights as tangata whenua. We must take this same lens with us when we explore the world and consider international institutions and systems.” — Rhodes scholar Rhieve Grey.

Lady Muck

“I’d been so judgmental and had no idea what this woman had been through. In fact, it didn’t even take the whole eulogy before I realised that I really needed to stop calling her Lady Muck.” — Kirk Mariner.

We’re a people who need to pray

“Prayers and karakia are not a matter of religion. They’re a matter of faith: of placing your trust and confidence in something you can’t see. To get in touch with the companions of your heart and soul.” — 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.

Mihingarangi Forbes: I’ve still got heaps of gas in the tank

"I'm certainly gonna be around in the next 15 to 20 years. I want to be part of something incredible that really makes a shift for us in broadcasting in terms of rangatiratanga and motuhake. We need to be in charge of our own platforms. And that's my goal." — Mihingarangi Forbes.

Temuera Morrison: Walking in my tupuna’s shoes

“It was scary stuff to walk in those shoes. I just don't think we have anywhere near the gifts and the special powers that our tūpuna had.” — Temuera Morrison, on playing his tupuna Rewi Maniapoto in the film Ka Whawhai Tonu (Struggle Without End).

Manase Latu: There’s no shushing him now

“My mum is an awesome singer, and my sisters would sing as a trio. And when I was younger, I used to stand behind them and hum along, but I would always be flat. I would always be told to shush.” — Lyric tenor Manase Latu who starred in New Zealand Opera’s production of Le comte Ory.

Dismantling ‘kind’ colonialism

“It’s a mythical kindness because it’s always conditional on us being submissive. As soon as we stop submitting to Crown authority, that kindness, as we are seeing now, disappears.” — Tina Ngata.

Making mokopuna decisions

“With just three days’ notice, thousands responded to the call of Toitū Te Tiriti, and they responded in the name of making good decisions for our mokopuna.” — Eru Kapa-Kingi.

Let’s do better for Māori in civil service

“Revealing to my bosses how vulnerable I feel was out of the question. To say such things out loud creates a damaging cycle of anxiety, hope, vulnerability, and disappointment that most Māori in the public service are probably familiar with.” — Aroha Gilling.

Joe Walsh’s awakening at Ōtātara

“It was here on a visit many years ago, up on the hills, that I had a moment of clarity. I don’t understand it, but I reconnected with my soul, and I remembered who I used to be . . .” — Legendary Eagles' guitarist Joe Walsh, on his awakening at Ōtātara, Hawke's Bay.

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.

Tom Roa: The whakapapa of a photo

“A Maōri photograph is not a pretty picture to be sold to a tourist. It’s about the whakapapa and the mana of what’s in the picture.” — Tom Roa on his photography project with Rodrigo Hill.

Home and harakeke flowers

“How could I have forgotten the harakeke flowers? I had looked at them every summer, my whole life. But I hadn’t remembered them at all.” — Lauren Keenan.

The stolen people of Tokelau

“In Tokelau, in the 1860s, those responsible were Peruvian. Their slave ships came to our atolls and took most of our able-bodied men, as well as some women and children. Virtually half of our people were taken.” — Artist Moses Viliamu on blackbirding.

The pain of perpetual leases

The scheme is “one that many in Aotearoa are either unaware of, or have come to accept as a fact of life — an ongoing injustice that’s baked into the law books and become too hard to undo.” — Eugene Bingham on perpetual leases.

Calling for a Free Kanaky

“It’s through these two contexts — our ancient Moana ties and our common experience of colonialism — that the Māori and Kanak struggles have come together and stood in solidarity with one another over the years.” — Tina Ngata.

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.

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.


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