Kia ora tatou
The e-tangata team is having a three-week breather. So the next batch of fresh stories will be on January 17. Meanwhile, nine of our contributors have each written a short introduction to one of the e-t stories that has caught their eye since the site began just over a year ago.
You may enjoy checking out those selections – three each Sunday.
The first of those selections included Nadine Millar reflecting on Victor Rodger's 'A Voyage Round My Father'. Dale Husband took inspiration from Jenny-May Clarkson's reo journey, and Lloyd Ashton connected with Nadine Millar's piece about her dad. Mamari Stephens and Victor Rodger shared their thoughts on articles that captured their interest in the second part of our e-tangata summer selection. This week's summer finale includes story highlights selected by Moana Maniapoto and e-tangata editor, Gary Wilson.
We look forward to being back in full production next week.
Summer Series Part III: Sunday, January 10
Summer series (9 of 9) – Gary Wilson, along with Tapu Misa, has been riding herd on e-tangata's stories from Day One. And he says you may enjoy meeting some of the talented folk flying under the radar. Like Tusiata Avia.
One of the pleasures coming from Dale Husband's Pathways interviews each week is what we learn about the background of high profile Māori and Pasifika New Zealanders. He's providing personal stories and social history all in one – as when he introduces Naida Glavish, Ken Laban, Annette Sykes, Hek Busby, Niva Retimanu, Kingi Taurua, Albert Wendt, and a host of other semi-celebrity guests. But he also welcomes others who you may not have met – and whose company you're likely to enjoy. Tusiata Avia, now based in Otara, is one of those. A performer, writer and teacher. A special talent too.
Summer series (8 of 9) – Moana Maniapoto has a chuckle about the impression that Jonah Lomu made on a teenage Julian Wilcox.
In this column, Julian doesn't present himself as something special as a rugby player. Perhaps that's just a becoming modesty on his part. Or possibly it was the reality. But, in this homage to Jonah, he recalls how desperately grateful he was in being a long way short of making Te Aute's 1st XV – especially that day, back in 1992, when the Wesley College team came to town.
Towering over everyone was this young Wesley man-mountain. Already a legend. Inspiring fear. Prompting misplaced bravado too. And cockeyed schemes to cope with him. This lovely, loony tribute is the sort of thing you can hear in the whaikōrero at a tangihanga – a mixture of respect, irreverence, sadness and mischievous delight. Nice one, Julian.
Summer series (7 of 9) – Moana Maniapoto says Nadine Millar nailed it in her column about Maori identity and the sense of belonging
Sometimes after I've been performing with my band, I'm asked if I'm Māori. What's that again? Am I Māori? Hang on. I've just just been singing in Māori. Talking about Aotearoa. Flanked by warriors. And I think you could say I "look the part". I've heard the question so often, I find it more amusing than offensive. It's a bit like asking a woman if she's pregnant. You don't do that unless you know she is.
Nadine, like many of us, has had to cope with the misconceptions and ill-informed, pre-conceived ideas of others about our Māori identity. And she has the good sense to see their views as irrelevant.
Summer Series Part II: Sunday, January 3
Summer Series (6 of 9) – Victor Rodger mulls over the style, thoughts and impact of Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu.
Say what you will about Eliota, but you have to admit he's got bolos. He's one man who's fearless when it comes to speaking the truth.
The thing about speaking your truth is that not everyone will want to hear it. Nor will everyone agree with it. But what is undeniable is that it is your truth.
Eliota's interview with Dale Husband was no exception.
And e-tangata readers, in unprecedented numbers, swarmed to check out his views. Whether he was dealing with systemic racism in education or within the rugby world, Eliota was unafraid to speak his mind.
And almost as entertaining have been the responses to his comments.
Summer Series (5 of 9) – Mamari Stephens suggests that Teresia Teaiwa is someone worth getting to know.
You may already be aware of Teresia as a poet – or for her ground-breaking appointment as a BA major lecturer in Pacific Studies at Victoria University.
That's where I first met her in 2000 and learned something of her fascinating journey.
Born in Hawaii. Raised in Fiji. Of African American, Banaban and I-Kiribati descent.
A few months ago she talked with Dale Husband about the path she's travelled and the issues she's dealing with in Pacific Studies.
She's an impressive woman and it's an enlightening kōrero.
Summer series (4 of 9) – Mamari Stephens reflects on Kim Webby's story about making her documentary on the Ruatoki raids.
Perhaps you remember where you were when the "Operation 8" raids hit the news in October, 2007. Or, maybe like me, you recall a sense of disbelief as events unfolded and Tame Iti and several others were arrested.
Unlike most of us, Kim Webby not only had the connections in Ruatoki, but also the journalistic skills to record and document family experiences of the raids – and, later, the trials of those charged with firearms offences which formed the basis of her award-winning documentary The Price of Peace.
Her thoughts and experiences through those turbulent years are, I think, worth reading again.
Summer Series Part I: Sunday, December 27
Summer Series (3 of 9) – Lloyd Ashton, like a lot of you, connected with this Nadine Millar piece about her dad:
Given that I’m a 61-year-old Pakeha male, how come I relate to Nadine Millar’s ‘The dad I never knew’ story?
Well, if you look at that photo of Nadine with her dad… our first home was beneath the trees above Nadine’s left shoulder. The quarry blasting would make our house shudder.
Nadine is also a good tour guide. She escorts me into a world I never knew.
I’m the dad of a woman about Nadine’s age – and I too have known my daughter’s grace and forgiveness.
So when Nadine takes me into that meeting house again, I take off my shoes.
Summer Series (2 of 9) – Dale Husband took inspiration from Jenny-May Coffin's reo journey:
I first heard of Jenny-May Coffin when I was a novice broadcaster at Radio Waitomo in Te Kuiti in the late 1980s. She was in her early teens and she was slaying them on the northern King Country netball courts. She went on to become a Silver Fern, a cop, a teacher and a radio broadcaster in the Waikato.
She's a talented wahine. Hosted Code (the Māori Television sports programme) for a decade. And, when a sports presenter and news reading role came up at TVNZ, she made that her own.
Lately, she's been adding other strings to her bow – as a student of te reo Māori, and as a mum-to-be of twins. Back in the early weeks of e-tangata, she told us her reo story. I, like many others, have found it inspirational.
Summer Series (1 of 9) – Nadine Millar reflects on Victor Rodger's 'A Voyage Round My Father':
Good writing can lift us out of our own lives and into someone else's. That's why, when Victor Rodger wept over his unopened mushroom burger at the news of his father's death, I wept too.
It's a certain kind of magic to be moved by a collection of words on a page. But it's more than just the words that casts the spell. It's the truth of the story they tell.
In this tribute to his father, Victor doesn't shy away from tackling the hard things. But he does so in a way that reminds us that, often in life, the good things and the hard things come as part of a package. I think that's a truth we can connect with.