Dr Maxine Ronald: Treating cancer, fighting inequity

“When I was in high school, I was told by a careers advisor that Māori didn’t do medicine, and I stupidly took that on board. I defaulted to what people expected of me, which was to not do well.” — Dr Maxine Ronald, breast cancer surgeon.

Mihingarangi Forbes: I’ve still got heaps of gas in the tank

“I’m certainly gonna be around in the next 15 to 20 years. I want to be part of something incredible that really makes a shift for us in broadcasting in terms of rangatiratanga and motuhake. We need to be in charge of our own platforms. And that’s my goal.” — Mihingarangi Forbes.

Temuera Morrison: Walking in my tupuna’s shoes

“It was scary stuff to walk in those shoes. I just don't think we have anywhere near the gifts and the special powers that our tūpuna had.” — Temuera Morrison, on playing his tupuna Rewi Maniapoto in the film Ka Whawhai Tonu (Struggle Without End).

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.

Debbie Broughton: Whakapapa is everything

“Some people in cities have historical amnesia. They forget that Māori didn’t just move to cities after they were built. We were here before their cities. We were pushed out. Our homes became their cities.” — Debbie Broughton, Te Aro Pā poet.

Isla Huia: Sometimes writing is all you can do

“After Talia passed, I started writing again. I realised I write because I have to, because it’s all I can do in those circumstances.” — Isla Huia, on her debut poetry collection, named after her best friend.

Andrew Faleatua: ‘I’m bringing the village with me’

“I've always loved paying homage to the past. And that’s happened with my music as well. I suppose it's the whole concept of bringing the village with me, bringing my whakapapa into my present-day music.” — Dr Andrew Faleatua.

Ngāhuia Murphy: The mana and mātauranga of wāhine Māori

”Māori women's stories have been relegated to the margins of history. There are things that we don’t know about ourselves because the stories about who we are have been censored and omitted from the record.” — Dr Ngahuia Murphy.

Siautu Alefaio: Vent, pray and eat

“Prayer has been massive for me. I have a couple of friends, and we just vent and pray, vent and pray. And then we eat.” — Siautu Alefaio, psychology professor at Otago University.

Tama Potaka: Te Tiriti is fundamental to our country

“I'm very clear on my views on the place and space of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty of Waitangi in our society — past, present, and future — and I’m willing to have a very reasoned and professional debate about that.” — Tama Potaka.

UN Special Rapporteur: Pay attention to global Indigenous rights

“An essential aspect of the right to self-determination is recognising that the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the state is on an equal footing.” — UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, José Francisco Calí Tzay.

Te Kohe Tuhaka: Making movies the Māori way

“I distinctly remember hearing: “Hey, you know we don't do that stuff.” Meaning acting was only for Pākehā. So I was drawn to that side of things in secret.” — Te Kohe Tuhaka.

Maraea Rakuraku: Stories to tell

"I write for us. I want to see people on stage and screen who I recognise, who are our people, having complex, diverse, amazingly difficult, fantastic lives.” — Maraea Rakuraku.

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.

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.

We can’t carry it alone, but we can carry it together

“Part of showing aroha to yourself is accepting that you can only do what you can do. Some people can do more than others, and some people go about it differently, and all of that is okay as long as you're doing something. The little things that we're all doing come together to make a difference.” — Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki.

Ryan Bodman: Telling the story of rugby league in Aotearoa

“The policy of excluding Māori from tours to South Africa began in the 1920s — and by the 1930s, there was a big switch over from rugby union to rugby league among Māori footballers in some parts of the motu.” — Ryan Bodman.

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.

Nanaia Mahuta: Ready for a new chapter

“While I get the fact that an Indigenous party is a positive reflection for New Zealand about how we've evolved, if that Indigenous party is never in a position to exercise influence over the way that the country can go, then what is the point?” — Nanaia Mahuta.

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.

Ēnoka Murphy: It’s all about belief

“When the specialist tells me that I have only three months, I tell him: ‘Don't talk to me like that again. I'm not going anywhere. I just want to know the plan. Let's talk about the plan.’” — Dr Ēnoka Murphy.

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.

Nanaia Mahuta: Forward we must go

“I look at a number of politicians who are out of that place, and how relieved, relaxed and vibrant they look. So, you know, it's all in front of me.” — Nanaia Mahuta.

Tomasi Cama: I used my rugby to fit in

“We’re obviously from different backgrounds . . . But the one thing all the players align on is people working hard, making sacrifices, and being committed to their tasks.” — Tomasi Cama, All Blacks Sevens head coach.

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.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer: ‘We know where we belong’

“We've got a small cohort who are scared of what tangata whenua represent, and what rebalancing our world represents. This is, sadly, the fear-mongering and race-baiting that we've been responding to.” — Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kevin Prime: We have a 700-year plan

“I never ever heard that word ‘kaitiakitanga’ as a kid even though our parents practised it. It was like a daily routine.” — Environmentalist Kevin Prime.

Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn: A radar for injustice

“When I see environmental destruction, ecological destruction, I’m compelled to do something. When I see human rights violations, I just feel aroha for people because, what's that saying? ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’” — Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn.

Jacquie Kidd: We need to get whanaungatanga right

“What's improved is that we've got these pockets of Māori excellence . . . But our general health sector is just as racist as it's ever been, and our outcomes are just as poor as they've ever been.” — Dr Jacquie Kidd.

Chris Hipkins on his commitment to te ao Māori

“There is an unfortunate sort of baiting that's going on at the moment that isn't going to take us forward as a country. It’s using Māori as a political punching bag. I hate that style of politics.” — Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.

Politicising the gang issue isn’t helping

"Banning gang patches is pretty pointless when you’ve got it on your face. What's that going to achieve?" — Warwick Godfery, Kawerau district councillor and former Mongrel Mob member.

Bic Runga: Reclaiming te ao Māori

“I’d never really been on a marae until my dad died. I was so out of my depth. I didn’t know how to do anything from an ao Māori perspective. And it’s only now that I'm learning it.” — Bic Runga.

Peter Brunt: Finding my way back to the Pacific

“My academic journey has been a way for me to find my way back to the Pacific, and to make sense of my own history — that history of European settlers from all sorts of places who lived in Sāmoa.” — Peter Brunt.

Professor Terryann Clark: This is where the gold is

“I use my privilege and my strengths as an academic, as a professor, as a nurse, as a māmā, as a wahine Māori with a disability, to provide and amplify evidence on things that are important.” — Professor Terryann Clark.

Te Kawehau Hoskins: A more Māori life at university

“There are still so few Māori in the university, relatively speaking, that we can often feel alone, and yearn for more Māori life.” — Te Kawehau Hoskins, Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori, Auckland University.

Dr Sue Crengle: Our health inequities and colonisation

“I knew that I’d got into med school with one of the lowest marks in the class, but I finished med school in the top 20 per cent, which I think goes to show that supporting Māori into med school is important.” — Dr Sue Crengle.

Hilda Halkyard-Harawira: Getting things done

“As you get older, you tend to choose your battles. But, back then, we probably jumped in on everything. Then, as we all got kids and mortgages, our responsibilities toned us down a bit.” — Hilda Halkyard-Harawira.

David Tipene-Leach: I wanted to make change

“There were so few Māori or Pacific students. We felt we had the ‘future of the people’ on our shoulders. We stood out — and we were determined to do well.” — Dr David Tipene-Leach on being a medical student in the 1970s.

Kieran McAnulty: It’s the right thing to do

“There is a history of recognising the particular rights of Māori in this country, but I don't believe giving Māori something necessarily takes anything away from the rest of us.” — Local government minister Kieran McAnulty.

Brooke Pao Stanley: An independent voice

“I want to use my privilege to serve something that’s bigger than me. And I want to use my voice to highlight that some of us have so much, and we don't realise that it's at the expense of other people and communities and also of Papatūānuku.” — Brooke Pao Stanley.

Marama T-Pole: Be proud and loud

“My dad was pretty disappointed when I told him that I wanted to do media and broadcasting. He thought I’d be an accountant. But he was so proud of me later on.” — Marama T-Pole.

Just don’t call her an activist

“We must never, ever take it for granted that freedom comes on the silver platter. It does not." — Titewhai Harawira.

Rewi Spraggon: Feeding the multitudes

“I’ve been fortunate enough to cook around the world, and in some flash restaurants too. But no one is doing hāngi — even though it’s the oldest dish in Aotearoa, it isn’t available.” — Rewi Spraggon.

What the hell is Three Waters? An explainer

“We want safe drinking water, reliable stormwater systems and clean beaches. Doing nothing is not an option.” And also: “Why give in to racism?” — Simon Wilson on Three Waters.

Phyllis Bhana: Recalling some of Pukekohe’s past

“You couldn’t avoid the prejudice. No Māori were allowed upstairs in the theatre. Swimming time for us Māori children was on a Friday when the water was dirty and needed changing.” — Phyllis Bhana.

Ariana Tikao: Pushing boundaries

“Often, people will say ‘Kia ora’ to me now — and it’s particularly lovely for me when kaumātua acknowledge me and people start talking to me in Māori.” — Ariana Tikao on the response to her moko kauae.

Black Ferns’ Stacey Fluhler: Freedom on the field

“We’d play in a whānau touch tournament every year just after Christmas. And it’s so competitive. Honestly, you have to pretty much trial for our team because there's so many of us and they’re cut-throat as.” — Black Ferns Stacey Fluhler.

Tearepa Kahi and his pathway to Muru

“It's such a personal story for so many people in these communities who were badly treated by our government for over a century.” — Tearepa Kahi, on the film 'Muru', which we wrote and directed.

Suzanne Pitama: Part of a turning tide

“We want it to be normal that Māori success happens because of the policies and procedures that are in place within our universities, not in spite of them.” — Professor Suzanne Pitama.

Joanne Baxter: Seeing fairness differently

"We’re dealing with a societal good that is much broader than an individual focus.” — Professor Joanne Baxter, dean of the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine.

Michael Bennett: The power of words

“Being part of a fight that led to a young, innocent Māori man being exonerated and compensated for the injustice that had happened to him. There could be no greater reward.” — Michael Bennett.

Adrian Rurawhe: Fairness is important

“One thing I've learned through all of my experiences is that fairness is really important. No matter what the rules say, people respond to being treated fairly.” — Adrian Rurawhe, the new Speaker of the House.

Luteru Taylor: ‘Just call him Ross’

“There's only one New Zealand cricket team to play for, and I had to keep my mouth shut, keep my head down and score runs, and hopefully win games of cricket.” — Ross Taylor.

Oscar Kightley: Waking up to the Dawn Raids

“There was no one discussing it. There was no one feeling bad about it. . . We just had to deal with it on our own as a bad memory. And that's why I wanted to write it.” — Oscar Kightley on the Dawn Raids and the play he wrote about it.

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.

Buck is back — as Sir Wayne

“There are other things in the world more important than rugby. In New Zealand, that might not be true, but, in my world, being around family and friends and enjoying each other’s company is more important.” — Sir Wayne Shelford.

Judge Heemi Taumaunu: Steps towards more justice

“I simply thought the system could be improved. That was the lesson I learned from my experience as a youth advocate, and I took that idea with me when I joined the bench.” — Chief District Court Judge Heemi Taumaunu.

Hope Tupara: Stepping up again

“The League was really uplifting for us because we got to understand that we weren't alone. We got to hear of other women and how they managed to work through problems.” — Dr Hope Tupara, new president of the Māori Women's Welfare League.

Sarah Hirini: Back to work

“I definitely respect my opponents, but I don’t think I’m a good loser. I love winning too much to enjoy a loss, although I know that our losses have made us a better team.” — Sarah Hirini, Black Ferns captain.

Ron Mark: People make the difference

"If I look back at my childhood, I resented everybody for a long time. But later, you develop a strong sense of affection for your foster families. As an adult, I have nothing but aroha for my foster parents." — Ron Mark.

Building a Pacific influence in architecture

“We had eight kids and our parents in a four-bedroom house with one bathroom . . . So my floor plans were a way of imagining how we could all live together comfortably." — Dr Charmaine ‘Ilaiū Talei.

Falling through the gaps of the Covid response

“There’s a clear mismatch between what people really need and what’s going out during Covid. Especially for a lot of families that we work with — those who aren’t well connected to health services or a GP clinic.” — Penina Ifopo.

Riana Manuel: Finally, a Treaty partnership in health

“We run it by Māori, for Māori — but we take everyone with us. And I figured, if we could do that locally, what if we could pull it off nationally?” — Riana Manuel, who heads the new Māori Health Authority.

Ngarimu Blair: We’ll never lose our mana

"Our ancestors were basically the masters of the isthmus and the masters of the Kaipara, and within six or seven generations, that changed to us being paupers. It has a significant impact." — Ngarimu Blair.

Oriini Kaipara: My values are Māori

“Manaakitanga, kotahitanga, whanaungatanga — all those values are what make me Māori. It's all-encompassing. My wairua is Māori, my whakaaro are Māori, my reo is Māori.” — Oriini Kaipara.

Ronji Tanielu: From the grassroots

“I was growing up angry at the system, and angry at everyone else for making me poor and brown. And I also had a lot of family responsibilities.” — Ronji Tanielu.

Ardie Savea: Inspired to dream bigger

“When a coach shows that he has my back, and when he treats me like family, I'll go out on the field and do anything for him, for the brothers, for the team.” — Ardie Savea.

Margie Apa: Our new health boss

“One privilege that comes with being senior is that I see my job as creating an environment where discrimination is just not acceptable.” — Margie Apa, chief executive of Health NZ.

Sarah-Jane Paine: Embedding whakamāori research

"I’ll bring the experience of being a mum into my research, just like my experience of being wahine Māori, of being Tūhoe, of growing up Wairoa." — Dr Sarah-Jane Paine, who leads the 'Growing Up in New Zealand' study.

Metiria Turei and her new world

“Both Māori and Pākehā students . . . see that, to be an effective person in this country in the 21st century, they need to be competent in te ao Māori, te reo, and tikanga Māori.” — Metiria Turei.

Dr Api Talemaitoga: A GP’s talanoa

“I love that ability to explain things to people. Especially when English is a second language, like it is for me . . . That's been really important in our Covid work." — Dr Api Talemaitoga.

Teremoana Rapley: An Original Creative Native

“I’m not a product. And the reason why I'm so anti that is because my tīpuna on my African side were listed as assets, as chattels, on asset registers.” — Teremoana Rapley.

Qiane Matata-Sipu: A disrupter from Ihumātao

“We have to disrupt. And it’s not just disrupting the government or the United Nations. It’s about disrupting our thinking and disrupting the everyday choices in our households.“ — Qiane Matata-Sipu.

JP Pomare: Writing on the world stage

“I do want to encourage Māori and Pasifika writers to not feel as though they have to be an activist voice in a traditional sense — they can be subversive in another genre.” — crime writer JP Pomare.

Tina Ngata: An adherence to justice and fairness

“I’ve always felt it’s important for us to clearly articulate what the trajectory of justice should look like for our people, and to articulate for ourselves our vision of justice.” — Tina Ngata.

Bryan Williams: Sidesteps, tries, and pioneering

“The dean of the law school, Jack Northey, said: ‘Listen here, Mr Williams. They tell me you’re bit of a rugby player, but as far as law school is concerned, you’re going to have to shape up or ship out.’” — Bryan Williams.

Dame Cindy Kiro: A pōhara kōtiro from the wop-wops

“My first cousins are as close as brothers and sisters, and we still are a loving extended family. It just so happens that I remember changing their nappies.” — Governor-General, Dame Cindy Kiro.

Tamasailau: Pau ā — just because

“I’ve grown to appreciate the place of law in today’s society, but I struggle with its monoculturalism.” — Tamasailau Sualii-Sauni.

Talking to save lives

“I would spread the word to anyone. If you ever have trouble with the old fella, you better go and get it checked out.”

Toa Fraser: Swimming in different waters

“There’s nothing like an incurable brain disease to give you focus, Dale. I feel lucky that I’ve been able to continue to work.” — Toa Fraser.

Susana Lei’ataua: Spreading her wings

“Am I being truthful? Am I being respectful? Am I prepared? And am I responsible? Those are the four things that really guide me.” — Susana Lei’ataua, RNZ Pacific's News Editor.

Donald Hollingsworth: This is what God gave me

“Although I was harassed by other kids when I was growing up, today, with the internet, it’s much worse. What we say to people face to face tends to be more moderate.” — Donald Hollingsworth, on growing up takatāpui.

Korohere Ngāpō: Hauraki is my magnetic north

“I most certainly believe there is power and mana in the karakia that were performed. Our Māori spirituality is a big thing. It always has been and it always will be.” — Korohere Ngapo.

Dianne Sika-Paotonu: The duty to act

"For a long time, we’ve had more of a focus on equality in health, where the approach has been 'one size fits all'. But we know that this doesn’t work for our Pacific and Māori communities. What's needed is an equity focus." — Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu.

We must be brave and use the reo

“Everything I say in the courtroom now is said in te reo Māori. All of my submissions, every written document.” — Alana Thomas.

Tommy Wilson: The taiaha of knowledge

“I lived and worked in 30 countries, going around and around the planet trying to find out where I belonged. And, hey, the answer was right back where I started, where I am now in Te Puna.” — Tommy Wilson.

Our success belongs to a whole island of people

“You know, anyone’s success belongs to a whole island of people. That’s one thing that Mum taught us. Never forget that your success is dependent on every person connected to you — and who’s helped you.” — Leatuao Larry Tua’i-Lavea.

Judge Mike Mika: I just smile now

“I grew up as a young Sāmoan kid watching rugby, and Bryan Williams was my idol. . . . So there we had the first Sāmoan All Black who was also a lawyer, and I thought: ‘Man! That is really something.’” — Judge Mike Mika.

Sulu Fitzpatrick: Leading with love

“It's really cool to see the narrative change, with people speaking up about their struggles — sharing all the different shapes and shades of ourselves, and not just talking about the things that are good.” — Sulu Fitzpatrick.

Molecules and mātauranga

“Instead of Pākehā academics questioning the validity of mātauranga Māori, they ought to take note of how Indigenous researchers with a background in both science and mātauranga Māori conduct their research in a way that’s innovative and entrepreneurial.” — Dr Jonni Koia, molecular biologist.

Tania Pouwhare: Siding with the underdog

“My job is to create compelling alternatives to the policy failure and the market failure that continues to keep South Auckland poor.” — Tania Pouwhare.

They’re not worthy — they’re not ‘us’

“We demonise these guys, right? And then we've got reason to hate them. But when they try to do something for themselves, we're going to bash them again anyway. They can't win.” — Harry Tam.

Rereata Makiha: Holding on to ancestral knowledge

“It’s only recently that we started to talk about ‘the Māori calendar’ — which doesn’t actually make sense. Because there’s over 500 of these calendars." — Rereata Makiha, an expert on maramataka and ancestral knowledge.

Will Winston rise again?

“No party member is interested in anyone else beyond Winston leading the movement and fighting the good fight in 2023.” — Shane Jones.

Lama Tone: Building to fit our Pacific ways

“Rather than looking towards North America or Europe for inspiration, I took inspiration from Māori and Pacific ideas because that’s what I could relate to.” — Lama Tone.

Justice Joe Williams: Let’s try and get it right

“Both sides are saying: ‘We want to do it a different way.’ It's just no longer right to say evil nasty Crown, good angel iwi. It's not like that at all.” — Supreme Court judge Sir Joe Williams.

Restoring mauri is what drives me

"Without the authority to practise kaitiakitanga, it’s all just talk. We need to have mana, but gaining mana isn’t what drives me. Restoring mauri is what drives me.” — Dan Hikuroa.

Reikura Kahi: Fuelling a love for te reo

“It's up to us to keep fighting for our language and ensure its survival. Our language is essential to our identity as Māori.” — Reikura Kahi.

Deidre Brown: ‘Hey, Dad. What’s an architect?’

“You’ve got hundreds of years of research and development behind the wharenui that we see today. That doesn’t even take into account the building knowledge that our ancestors brought with them from Polynesia.” — Professor Deidre Brown.

Traci Houpapa: What keeps me up at night

“Even though our Māori asset base is now worth $70 billion, that doesn’t mean anything if our families, who are still the working poor, can’t look after one another.” —Traci Houpapa.

Briar Grace-Smith: True reflections of ourselves

“We weren’t seeing true reflections of ourselves on screen. The reflections we were seeing on screen were nearly always driven by Pākehā. Mostly Pākehā men.” — Briar Grace-Smith.

Ella Henry: Creating a new Aotearoa

“When you’re around those whānau and individuals who’ve been broken, at the heart of that brokenness is a lack of belief in how extraordinary we are as a people.” — Dr Ella Henry.

Ngarimu Blair: For Ngāti Whātua, a new fight

“No one was jealous when we had one-quarter of an acre. No one was jealous when we had the city sewer pipe spewing tiko and baby foetuses and amputated arms and legs right in front of our meeting house.” — Ngarimu Blair.

Talking with Tame

“Being a short-arse, I got bullied hard by people. So I had to learn how to move, to look after myself.” — Tame Iti.

Claudia Orange and the Treaty

“We need to acknowledge that this is a partnership that we can move further forward — and that there still needs to be an open-mindedness in government, and in the public at large.” — Claudia Orange.

Tania Sharkey: The treasure in the struggle

“We were poor, man. Mum had multiple cleaning jobs, and she always told us kids to do the best jobs we could, no matter what it was. That message has stuck with me throughout my working career.” — Tania Sharkey.

Neru Leavasa: A history of service

"Before I got cancer, I wanted to be an All Black or a professional athlete." — Dr Neru Leavasa, GP and MP for Takanini in Auckland.

Hirini Kaa: Māori and the church

“Part of the challenge for non-Māori, particularly for Pākehā, is to understand that we are not a secular culture.” — Dr Hirini Kaa.

Barbara Edmonds: Sacrifice and success

“Dad knew that a better education could mean a better life. So he sent us to Carmel, and he was still paying off our school fees for decades after we'd left school.” — Barbara Edmonds, MP for Mana.

Willie Jackson: Primed for politics

“One of the beauties of this Māori development portfolio is that it’ll give me an opportunity to help shape the future of Māori broadcasting.” — Willie Jackson, Minister of Māori Development.

Glenis Philip-Barbara: Stepping up for Māori kids

"The fact of the matter is that tamariki Māori are far worse off than their non-Māori peers, and we know that racism plays a huge part in this.” — Glenis Philip-Barbara, Assistant Māori Commissioner for Children.

Rhys Jones: Taking a sovereign stance

“Government agencies and various ministries seem to think that part of their role is to uphold their colonial power.” — Dr Rhys Jones.

Piki Jakeman: Life on the river bank

"When we had king tides at night, we’d have to put our mattresses on Mum’s bed and wait until the tide went down. And Dad would put the babies, asleep, in the plastic baby bath, and they’d just be floating on the tide."

A man of contradictions

“When you ask me whether I’m in parliament as a Māori? No, I'm a New Zealander lucky enough to have Māori in my background.” — Winston Peters.

Melani Anae: Educate to Liberate

“It's the Sāmoans living outside of Sāmoa who value and hang on to the vestiges of our Pacific culture and indigenous knowledge.” — Melani Anae.

Tamatha Paul: Show up and be counted

“Overall, I think working at KFC has probably been the most formative experience of my whole life so far.” — Tamatha Paul, 23, Wellington City councillor.

Rawiri Waititi: Unapologetically Māori

“There's a kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa generation of us coming through who want something different for Māori. And many Pākehā have no issue with that.” — Rawiri Waititi, Māori Party candidate for Waiariki.

Kiri Allan: Always raising eyebrows

“The values we were raised with were to work hard and serve others. So you had to have a job. (Dad made sure I had an IRD number when I was six.)” — Kiri Allan.

Harete Hipango: Not a textbook politician

“There's been a tendency to judge me by how I sound, how I speak, how I look. I look too Pākehā. I sound too Pākehā.” — Harete Hipango, National MP for Whanganui.

Arena Williams: Making changes from the inside

“I think it's right for us not to forget the times in Labour's history when they went with what was popular and lost sight of Labour's values.” — Arena Williams, Labour candidate for Manurewa.

Shane Reti: National’s rising star

“I arrived in Boston about three months before my family, and I thought: ‘Okay. The best way for me to meet people is to take my guitar and my squash racket.’” — Dr Shane Reti, MP for Whangārei and National's health spokesperson.

Teanau Tuiono: I knew I had to do more

“I walk in a couple of worlds at the same time. If I’m in a Pacific situation then I’m obviously a Pacific Islander — and the same applies to the Māori context.” — Teanau Tuiono, Green Party List candidate.

Steven Ratuva: Decolonising our ‘differences’

It's important for us to look beyond the "artificial and nonsensical" demarcations imposed by early Europeans and see ourselves "as just one people connected at different levels through the ocean", says Professor Steven Ratuva.

Manu Caddie: Focusing on the good from cannabis

“I never used it as a young fulla. I've tried it a couple of times as an adult. But it didn't do anything super exciting for me — so I don't use it myself.” — Manu Caddie, co-founder of Rua Bioscience, developers of medicinal cannabis.

Joe Daymond: Unfiltered

"Probably 99 percent of what I talk about are things that my nan would hate." — Joe Daymond.

Rangi Matamua: Matariki and Māori astronomy

"I hope that Matariki can become a beacon for us . . . Why should we follow the northern hemisphere and the rest of the western world and celebrate the new year because that’s when they’re celebrating it?" — Professor Rangi Matamua.

Collin Tukuitonga: Looking after our people

“There are Pasifika families who want their daughter to succeed in medicine but she still has to teach Sunday school, cook food for their family, and look after the young ones — and those expectations aren’t realistic.” — Dr Collin Tukuitonga.

‘Only a global movement can eradicate racism’

“When we say that we're struggling for Black lives, it's not just for Black people, it's for a different framework, a different system, a different future. A future that involves all of us.” — Angela Davis.

Dr Canaan Aumua: Beyond textbook medicine

"As a GP in Māngere, I soon realised that medicine wasn't the solution I was looking for. These people were coming in with problems that medicine, and my textbooks, couldn't solve.” — Dr Canaan Aumua.

Pou Temara: A modern tohunga

“In my generation, many of us were brought up by our grandparents, especially if you were a mātāmua, or first born, as I was.” — Pou Temara.

Reflecting who our courts serve

“I didn’t come from a legal family. And I didn’t know any lawyers, so it wasn’t as if, by osmosis, I’d taken a bit of that legal stuff on board. I was a blank page.” — New Family Court judge Robyn von Keisenberg.

Pero Cameron: Big man, big impact

“We had a very practical Māori upbringing but not much in the way of Niuean or Scottish.” — Pero Cameron, head coach of the Tall Blacks.

Alan Wendt: The Interpreter

“My journey into the Deaf world has been a true gift." — Alan Wendt, New Zealand Sign Language interpreter and language geek.

Lupe Taumoepeau and her life-changing surgeries

“When I take the clamps off the vessels and see the shrivelled-up grey kidney become purple and then pink and then pulsate with blood, nothing else I do beats that.” — Dr Lupe Taumoepeau.

Denise Wallwork: Keeping people out of prison

“As a defence lawyer for 32 years and trying all that time to keep people out of prison, it’s going to be tough, eventually, having to send someone to prison.” — New district court judge Denise Wallwork.

Anjum Rahman: We can do better

“When March 15 happened, one of our reactions was anger because we'd raised the alarm much earlier — and pushed and pushed. And nobody took us seriously.”

Sandra Alofivae: Hearing the call

“Things need to change for our babies, children, and young people who are still in the system today.” — Ali'imuamua Sandra Alofivae

Peter-Lucas Jones: Storing our reo treasures

“In spite of all the opportunities in the mainstream Pākehā education system, having access to native speakers of te reo Māori is much more beneficial.” — Peter Lucas Jones.

You shouldn’t forget where you come from

“My sister always said I was a natural nosey parker as a kid. She reckons I’m really in the best position to do the work that I do — and that’s asking questions.”

Haare Williams: A child of the community

“'Whatever you do, remember, you’ll never be a Pākehā.' Everyone then wanted their children to grow up in a Pākehā way. Speaking English was the norm, the wanted thing."

Eteuati Ete: The things we don’t laugh about

“She'd say: ‘Ete, you're a Laughing Sāmoan, and if you start telling your story of how you were violent and what you did to overcome that violence, that would be really awesome.’” — Eteuati Ete.

Karamia Müller: Building futures that resist inequality

"I saw parallels with an earlier process of gentrification which displaced communities — largely Pasifika — from Ponsonby, St Mary's Bay and Freemans Bay in the late 1970s to 1980s. That displacement has had ongoing ramifications for Pasifika people.”

Jade Kake: Māori by design

“There’s a lot of ways that Māori design can be woven into a building. But I think the essential thing is that whoever holds mana whenua in that area is engaged in the process."

Tuari Potiki: Fighting the darkness with the light

“This year, there’ll be another 4,000 convictions just for cannabis offences. Forty percent of those will be Māori. So I see decriminalisation and regulation as a way of reducing harm, particularly to Māori.”

Kerry Warkia: A chorus of Pacific voices

“In filmmaking, the essence is collaboration. For something to be really good, there needs to be different perspectives, techniques and skills from lots of different people.”

Dilworth Karaka: Singing songs of freedom

“You do miss the brothers who've passed on. And you miss the vibe that they all brought to the gigs. You miss their mannerisms. You miss what made them individuals.”

Peter Cordtz: Learning to talk about money

“One of the reasons that many of the more vulnerable whānau turn to third-tier lenders and shop trucks is that they're treated nicely. They have things done for them, and aren’t made to feel stupid.”

Ngāti Kuri takes flight

“Our Māori knowledge is thousands of years old. It ties in every element and aspect of the world — it can teach us a lot about the planet in this age of climate change and environmental sustainability.”

‘Vea, you made me cry’

“There was a really beautiful thing that happened during the filming. We had a change of heart which changed our head.” — Vea Mafile'o on learning to understand her father through the making of 'For My Father's Kingdom'.

Caren Rangi: Leading and dancing

“Being able to express myself as a Cook Islander through dancing and singing and teaching is still important for me.” — Caren Rangi.

Kura Forrester: Rudely funny

“Everybody knows what it's like to be on a first date. Or have rude thoughts. And, as long as you're being honest, it can be funny.” — Kura Forrester, Billy T award winner.

Chester Borrows: The blue leftie

"I think some of it is well-meaning and paternalistic stuff. But it’s racism nevertheless. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s malicious or accidental or just ignorant racism. It’s still racism. And the outcome is just the same."

Hoturoa and the waka legacy

“People don’t realise that we’re descended from scientists. They just think we’re a bunch of indigenous people who fluked getting to places.”

Gordon Toi: A top gun in tā moko

“I see moko as a reflection of our society. We’re now at a stage where we can celebrate who we are as Māori people.”

Indira Stewart: When one of us wins, all of us win

“When I think about the shortage of Pasifika journalists, I'm a bit surprised there aren't more of us, because we're powerful storytellers and we always have been.”—Indira Stewart, host of RNZ's new morning news show First Up.

Rees Tapsell: Dad wasn’t soft on us

“Teaching your kids that they need to develop some resilience and strength of character is essential, but it's just as important that they know and feel the love from the people bringing them up.”

Karanina Sumeo: Speaking for ourselves

“It’s not being Māori, Pacific, disabled, or rainbow that’s the disadvantage. It’s the discrimination in the system that disadvantages us and treads on our dignity.” —EEO Commissioner, Dr Karanina Sumeo.

Mike Stevens: Bluffies and Kāi Tahu

“The first land purchase began here in Otago in 1844 and, within 50 years, Kāi Tahu were virtually landless."—Mike Stevens, historian and Bluffie.

Tiana Epati: Be the change you wish to see

“It’s great to have this role, but it won’t mean much if, over the next 20 years, we don’t see anyone else coming through the door and rising up through the ranks.” — Tiana Epati, president-elect of the NZ Law Society.

Becoming Mika

"There weren’t many Māori in Timaru in that period . . . In fact, I first learned about Māori culture from a Weet-Bix card."

Fa’afetai Sopoaga: Connecting communities in Dunedin

"We challenge students to think about their own perceptions and prejudices and how these impact on the provision of healthcare."—Associate Professor Fa’afetai Sopoaga, winner of the Prime Minister's Supreme Award for Excellence in Tertiary Teaching.

Steph Matuku: Putting Māori kids on the page

“It’s so important for me to get Māori kids on the page, which is why my protagonists are always Māori. Because when I was growing up, you just didn’t see yourself.”

Kris Faafoi — a minister on the rise

“Pacific Islanders do things a bit differently — especially because of their respect for authority or for elders. But you can have respect and still question without challenging offensively.”

Andrew Little: Stepping aside — and forward

“I had confidence in Jacinda. That’s the other thing I’ve learned on my journey. It’s the importance of recognising talent — including talent that’s better than you.”

Ainsley Gardiner: The power is never ours

“I think the global indigenous cinema needs a global indigenous fund. We need to see the value of our stories, which somebody else takes the profit from.”

Tāmati Kruger: Down that way, glory waits

“Mana whenua has to do with acknowledging that the land has mana, and fulfilling your obligations and your kinship relationship with the land. That’s what it is — not an ownership or property relationship.”

Madeleine Sami: No holding her back

"I was so lucky to grow up with my 23 cousins. We all liked to joke around. I was used to banter and coming back with one-liners. And being a smartarse."

Ruakere Hond: A language and a legacy

“If we're not going to use the reo on a regular basis in our homes, as we’re raising our children, we're probably going to miss the main way forward for reo Māori.”

Chelsea Winstanley: My idol was Merata Mita

‘I loved listening to Nan’s stories about how, when she was a little girl, she’d sit there with her nanny, who used to smoke a pipe … and read the Pākehā newspaper to her in te reo Māori.”

Bobbie Hunter: Maths belongs in every culture

“I have come to realise that maths belongs in every culture. Yet, kids growing up in New Zealand get taught that there’s only one way of doing maths, and that’s a white way. As I see it, my Cook Islands family were the real mathematicians.”

Tipene O’Regan: We must remember to remember

My mother used to say: “Forgive thine enemies, my son, but write down their names.” You forgive and remember what you've got to do because you can't keep carrying those things forever.

Leonie Pihama: Let’s start by returning the Waitara land

“If I could do anything today, it would be to have the Waitara lands returned to the hapū. For me, it's about self-determination, and seeing hapū rangatiratanga that was guaranteed in Te Tiriti o Waitangi becoming embedded in this country.”

Jamie Tuuta: When I go home, I’m still Boy

"I like taking the kids back to Waitara and Urenui. Going back home and realising that wi-fi is not the norm ... that Sky television is not normal either. Most of the whānau don't have doors on their bedrooms, let alone wallpaper on the walls. There's a stark contrast that they can see."

Vui Mark Gosche: From groundsman to chairman of the board

"I've been through tough times … and it’s made me much better equipped to do the health work that I do now, because I understand, through my own experience, just how tough disabilities and mental health problems can be on families.” - Counties Manukau DHB chair Mark Gosche.

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.”

Simon Bridges: Our leaders should be culturally competent

“If you're an MP — and certainly if you're a leader of a party — you should be thinking these things through, and upskilling yourself to make sure you have the maximum cultural competence and a sense of the full breadth of the issues we're dealing with as a country.”

Vincent O’Malley: Too many Pākehā don’t know our history

Vincent O'Malley is a New Zealand historian who, over the last 20 years, has been focusing on how Māori and Pākehā have been getting along. His research has led not just to a PhD from Victoria University but also to articles in scholarly journals, blogs, and a series of influential books.

Gilbert Enoka’s winning formula

Graham Henry and Steve Hansen used to say to me: “Where are you going with this, Bert?” And I’d say: “I don’t know. But I know I’m heading in the right direction.”


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


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