Tag: Siena Yates

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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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.

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Back to the future, marae style

“I think about how I grew up with my grandparents, and I’m hoping we can get back to that idea of “a village raises a family”, and not just for the kids but for our kaumātua and others who might be struggling with loneliness and anxiety.” — Miriana Stephens.

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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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Embrace the whakamā, embrace the mamae

“The reo journey is hard and confronting, and a lot of the time you just have to push through. There’s no skirting around it, especially if you’re Māori and carrying the language trauma that many of us do.” — Siena Yates.

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Learning from legends

“The kura reo is specifically designed to challenge you, to push your limits and demolish any concept of a comfort zone. But it’s done in a way that is manageable for you, and with aroha.” — Siena Yates.

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A space to breathe

“The full-time, full-immersion learning environment gives us a space where we don’t have to try so hard to be in te ao Māori.” — Siena Yates.

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A whānau affair

“We have almost four generations of te reo Māori speakers in our family. My goal in life before I leave this earth is that those teachings will funnel down to the next three generations after my children.” — Eli Smith.

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Reflecting the reo world

“Their decision to be a reo Māori-speaking household instantly cut off friends and whānau who either didn’t agree with their decision or found it too challenging to communicate solely in te reo.”

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Hinewehi Mohi: Beyond Twickenham

“I was often defined by that moment which was probably, what, a minute? I get it. I understand the importance of it, but it’s nice to be able to focus on new and important developments.” — Hinewehi Mohi.

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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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