A respectfully curious approach

“Any time we’re on the world stage, it’s Māori things front and centre. As if those things are in a strong and healthy state. As if we have a bicultural country.” — Keri Opai.

Pepeha for non-Māori

“I believe that it’s inappropriate for non-Māori people to use the same pepeha as tangata whenua. It is not a matter of mere opinion, of like or dislike, of right or wrong: it simply doesn’t make sense. It is a matter of indigeneity.” — Keri Opai.

Sisters on and off the field

“For as long as anyone can remember, the team has always had a chant of ‘Sisters!’ It’s often heard before a game or at the end of the halftime huddle, but . . . there was a time when it was shouted with little meaning.” — Rikki Swannell in ‘Sevens Sisters’.

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.

Judge Frances Eivers: A voice for all our children

"What we need to do is put our mokopuna, our children first, and at the centre of all our decisions. Only then can we make this a better place for them." — Judge Frances Eivers, Children’s Commissioner.

Nanaia Mahuta: We need to look to each other first

“I have seen far too much positivity in New Zealand to be pulled down by nameless, faceless critics who want to create a perception that is designed to do nothing else but bring out the worst in people.” — Nanaia Mahuta.

Judge Lope Ginnen: We have a place in the law, as ourselves

“I learned that the pursuit of excellence includes embracing our own identities, as Pacific women and as Māori women. That we have a place in the law, as ourselves.” — Judge Lope Ginnen on what she learned working in an all-wāhine Māori and Pacific law firm.

Confronting climate change means sharing power

“Sea level rise is a slow-moving disaster for our Māori communities. They’re disproportionately at risk because our wāhi tapu, our urupā, our marae, are generally in low-lying coastal areas, or in river valleys.” — Dr Shaun Awatere.

The right words to say

“I sometimes find myself on the speakers’ paepae at a formal hui. It’s always a daunting thing. Never to be taken for granted. Always to be reflected on.” — Tainui Stephens.

What’s in a Māori name?

“I carry my name with pride. It’s a very public signifier of the reclamation of my whakapapa, and mine is the first Māori name in our direct line in 186 years.” — Atakohu Middleton.

Threads of red

"I can’t stand it any longer. I send away for a DNA test. It arrives in a little white packet, and I’m excited. I tell my husband that I’m sure I have Māori in me." — Aimee Milne.

I’m not plastic — I’m Sāmoan

“It made the racism that came with being Sāmoan in Australia even harder to deal with. On one hand, I didn’t cut it as a real Sāmoan. On the other, I was being stereotyped as dumb and a troublemaker.“ — Lefaoali’i Dion Enari.

Memories of a master

“No one knows exactly when it happened, but once these migration voyages ended, the practical application of celestial navigation was quietly lost to the people who would become known as Māori.” — Jeff Evans, in ‘Reawakened’.

Assaulting the ears of government

“Whina and the other League women are remembered for ‘assaulting the ears of Government Departments’, particularly on issues related to housing and mortgages.” — Dr Aroha Harris.


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