Author: Dale Husband

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.

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Tofiga Fepulea‘i: Laughing at ourselves

“When I heard that first crack of laughter, it felt like time had frozen. It was like: ‘Man, this is what I was called to do.’ For me, it isn’t just about getting paid and looking after my family. This is my ministry. This is what I was born to do.” — Tofiga Fepulea‘i.

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Clive Aspin: The epidemics still raging

“We’ve got the pandemic of HIV, we’ve got a pandemic of Covid, and, in my eyes, we also have a pandemic in relation to suicide. There are commonalities right across those three areas that disproportionately affect Māori.” — Associate Professor Clive Aspin.

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Baye Riddell and his clay creations

“There’s the satisfaction of taking a lump straight from the earth and making something that you can fire and use to eat or drink out of, rather than going to the Warehouse or buying something that’s been made in China or wherever.” — Baye Riddell.

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A kōrero with David Seymour

“There are always people who say I’m not a proper Māori because I don’t go to a marae. Well, the way I look at it, some people have a religious faith but don’t necessarily go to church every Sunday.” — David Seymour.

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Vitale Lafaele: An immigrant son’s story

“In just a little over a year, I’d gone from being promoted to area commander to sitting at home. Disabled and without a job. Which is trauma enough after so many years in a position, but on top of that, I was seriously ill, and I thought I could die.” — Vitale Lafaele.

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Leilani Tuala-Warren: Combining two worlds

“We’ve been a self-governing country for more than 60 years, but we were imposing on ourselves all these ways to become more western and become more Pālagi rather than finding value in our Indigenous culture, customs and values.” — Professor Leilani Tuala-Warren.

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Wayne Panapa: 50 years as a policeman

“I can remember every fatal accident I’ve ever been to. And every murder. Date, time, and place. And, when you go past a particular place where something serious has happened, the memory just comes back.” — Sergeant Wayne Panapa on his 50 years in the police.

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Donté Kelly: Staying grounded

“With aerospace engineering, there’s this high degree of attention to detail associated with making the aircraft safe for flying. It’s not like you can park an aircraft on a cloud and change the tyre.” — Flight Lieutenant Donté Kelly.

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Don Mann: Like father like son

“We’ve always been strongly both Māori and Tongan. You sometimes hear people talk about being half this and half that, but I’ve never felt that. I’ve always felt Tongan and always felt Māori.” — Don Mann.

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Warwick Godfery: Leading by example

“Being in the gang gave me an identity. No one questioned who you were. No one cared if you’re Māori, Pālagi, or Pacific. You were a Mobster, that’s who you were. You were just one of the bros.” — Warwick Godfery.

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