Identity

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.
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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.

Ngahuia te Awekotuku: ‘Never give up, girl’

“I've always felt that, within the Māori world, there were never absolutes. I mean, yes, most people were heterosexual. But, in my community, there were also extraordinary, visionary, talented, astonishing human beings who defied convention.” — Ngahuia Te Awekotuku.

It’s about whakapapa, not measurements

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked the question: ‘What percentage Māori are you?’ For most of my life, I’ve answered with what I thought was an honest and correct explanation: ‘About a quarter, I think.’” — Tarryn Ryan.

Becoming Pākehā: A work in progress

“After two centuries and more of living together on the same islands, you’d think Māori and Pākehā would have got to know each other.” — John Bluck in his book ‘Becoming Pākehā’.

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.

Reclaiming what was lost

“That bridge tragedy in 1947 severed my links to my taha Māori. And only now, in my early 40s, am I reclaiming what was lost.” — Cornell Tukiri.

Language, identity and ‘real’ Sāmoans

"The issue of language and identity haunts all Sāmoans who were raised in New Zealand. I know this because of the recurring conversation on social media around whether you can call yourself a 'real' Sāmoan if you don’t speak the language." — Patrick Thomsen.

Ihumātao feels like how I wish Auckland felt

“I can’t think of a time I’ve been in such a mixed group. There is a vibe of considerateness, gentleness. People are careful with the kids, and with each other. If you make eye contact, people say 'Kia ora', even if you don’t say it first.”

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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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