Author: Siena Yates

Kharl WiRepa and the power of fashion

“I could manufacture in China and mass produce and chase the money. But there are old kuia in those factories, and there’s nothing less Māori than having a kuia paid $4 a day to make your kākahu.” — Designer Kharl WiRepa.

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Paddle like a girl

“Waka, paddling, reading the water and the wind, navigating our own paths — all these things are in our whakapapa. In our blood. As wāhine Māori, there’ll probably always be barriers in front of us, but there will always be ways around them too.” — Tui McCaull.

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‘This being Māori thing ends now’

“My nan… had completely turned her back on being Māori. She was of the opinion that you just had to make it in the Pākehā world, and that speaking Māori and being Māori wasn’t going to get you anywhere in life.” — Stacy Gregg.

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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.

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Matua kind. We lucky.

“I had a lot of ideas. But every time I tried to turn them into a sentence in te reo, it amounted to: ‘Māori good. Colonisation bad. Matua smart. Me dumb.’ And also: ‘Me tired. Want nap.’” — Siena Yates.

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Robyn Bargh: Inspiring more Māori to write

“Yes, we want people with in-depth mātauranga Māori writing about that knowledge. But we also want people who are struggling with their identity as Māori, or who have just come to it, because those are valid experiences in Aotearoa today.” — Robyn Bargh.

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The Haka Party Incident

“Their plan was simply to show up at the students’ common room and ask them to take off the grass skirts. But the meeting became a confrontation and quickly blew up.” — Katie Wolfe, on the haka party incident.

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E-Tangata is an online Sunday magazine specialising in stories that reflect the experiences of Māori and Pasifika in Aotearoa.

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