Reflections

Of your moko you cannot be deprived

“I got a lot of flak from Māori, especially men who refused to hongi me, who said I was too young, who refused to speak English to me when they knew I couldn’t speak Māori as a way of proving to themselves that I shouldn’t have it. I had Māori tell me it made me look ugly, that it was too tapu for me to have. It went on and on.”

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Identity

I’ve tried to learn Tongan, and I’ve tried to be Tongan

There was a line of Tongan mothers sitting in front of us watching. One mother giggled and nudged her neighbour. Then it caught on. They didn’t bother to hide it, the row of them laughing and pointing. Their heads thrown back, happy. I kept “dancing”. Not because it didn’t hurt, but because I accepted it was painful to try to be Tongan.

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Reo

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Brian Easton: Māori have been trapped in a poverty cycle

“The truth is that the Treaty settlements aren't that big. Initially, when the $1 billion fiscal cap for the settlements was announced, I calculated that what was needed was in fact around $100 billion. So Māori are getting a very small contribution.”

Comment & Analysis

Reflections

One tough mother

Remembering the mother of the nation, Whina Cooper — a tough, uncompromising mother who understood the power of protest and the political fray.

‘He’s the one who came home’

“The same courage that saw us move back to Tauranga Moana after an absence of many generations is needed again to take this next step. To finally be invested completely in the whenua of our ancestors. Our branch of the Bidois whānau will have a foothold again.”

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