mauri of me #32 ~ he kākano āhau

He Kākano Āhau (Born Of Greatness) ~ Hohepa Tamehana, 2001



He kākano āhau

I ruia mai i Rangiātea

And I can never be lost

I am a seed, born of greatness

Descended from a line of chiefs,

He kākano āhau

Ki hea rā āu e hītekiteki ana

Ka mau tonu i āhau ōku tikanga

Tōku reo, tōku oho-oho,

Tōku reo, tōku māpihi maurea

Tōku whakakai marihi

My language is my strength,

An ornament of grace.

Ka tū ana āhau,

Ka ūhia au e ōku tipuna

My pride I will show

That you may know who I am

I am a warrior, a survivor

He mōrehu āhau.

Ki hea rā āu e hītekiteki ana

Ka mau tonu i āhau ōku tikanga

Tōku reo, tōku oho-oho,

Tōku reo, tōku māpihi maurea

Tōku whakakai marihi

My language is my strength,

An ornament of grace.



I am a seed

Scattered from Rangiatea

And I can never be lost

I am a seed, born of greatness

Descended from a line of chiefs,

I am a seed.

Wherever I may roam

I will hold fast to my traditions.

My language is my cherished possession

My language is the object of my affection

My precious adornment

My language is my strength,

An ornament of grace.

Whenever I stand,

I am clothed by my ancestors

My pride I will show

That you may know who I am

I am a warrior, a survivor

I am a remnant

Wherever I may roam

I will hild fast to my traditions.

My language is my cherished possession

My language is the object of my affection

My precious adornment

My language is my strength,

An ornament of grace.


mauri of me #31 ~ karakia




Homai to Aroha



My god.

I let Go.

Bring Love.

I Agree.

The beautiful thing that exists within our language, is the use of ‘definites’ and the lack of confusion.

It is what it is.


activism ~ john ballance who?

Whanganui: where the ‘H’ became a debacle.

Nevermind that there was always a ‘h’ sound in the name,

prior to colonisation.

And in this place, where the grandiose buildings stand;

as a reminder of what they could build:

our memories are of where our tipuna nurtured the whanau;

of where our Nannys taught their mokopuna to ‘mind the pakeha‘.


And speaking of pakeha.

Upon his throne,

outside of the council building,

sits the right honourable John Ballance.

The plaque reads:

“To commemorate nation builder and Wanganui citizen John Ballance,

premier of New Zealand (1891 – 1893)

also founder and editor of the ‘Wanganui Herald’ newspaper.

Born in county Antrim, Ireland, 27 March 1839, 

died in Wellington, New Zealand, 27 April 1893.”

But how inaccurate are the words of the pakeha,

that the Nannys warned off.

They did not build the nation:

They stole it.

You see, in our world,

John Ballance is infamously known as the racist twat who stated,

and I quote:

“The only good Maori

Is a dead Maori”

So what became of the right honourable twat

John Ballance?

If you make your way through

the open gates of the

Whanganui Cemetery,

You will find a rather large piece of stone,

where the Ballance is truly restored.

And on this plaque, its noted:

That Johnny was the PM;

where he was born and where he died.

And some other lame ramble

that I cut out of the photograph,

because I can.

And the moral of the story:

Even Racist Pricks Eventually Die Too.




Maori Land March 40 year anniversary

I was 3 when my Mama took me on the land march. The only vivid memory I have of it was crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and it swaying and the road parting and then coming back together. It’s a memory I had for years and never really understood what it was about until I relayed it to my Mama one day. She grinned and said she was surprised I remembered it…then she told me what it was about.

My Mama is an activist…as labelled by mainstream society. I like the term ‘activist’, as it evokes thoughts of revolutionaries and standing against injustice and fighting for what is ‘right’. Not right, as in the good old Christian morals of old…but what is right. From my point of view ‘right’ is equality…protection of the vulnerable…balance of power and control, knowledge…choice.

My Mama is hugely knowledgeable. She sees clearly what is unfair and unbalanced in this world…and she voices her concerns. She fights for our environment, our children, our health and the indigenous. And it was her fight for the indigenous and first nation people of this country, that led her to join the land march.

I soaked up those roots…that fight. And while I have fought long and hard for myself and my children…I’ve also fought for us…we…the indigenous of this country. My voice has been through art and writing…knowledge and protest.

I’ve taken both of my children on protests that pertained to the corrosion of Maori land and rights. I taught them both to defend who they are as Maori women and armed them with the knowledge that they would need to educate others when they were confronted with ignorance. They’ve both done that. I urge them to teach their children, my mokos, now.

But 40 years on, and I am forever grateful for having experienced the first of our land marches and the ‘awakening’ that followed.

The fight for indigenous rights is by no means over. And as with all first nations people, we all continue to educate ourselves and others. And we continue to fight.

First Published on: Sep 18, 2015 @ 22:28 ❤


mauri of me #30 ~ karanga

‘Maori’, or Tangata Whenua, are the Indigenous or first nation peoples, of Aotearoa. We have a ‘call’…’karanga’…that happens when other visitors are being brought into our space/area/marae. It’s a eiry kind of sound, song…that acknowledges those that have gotten you to where you are, those that have gone before you, the ancestors…our tipuna…it describes who the people of that place are.

This is a very narrow explanation of the term karanga. This link is to a video from a series featured on Maori Television /NZ, about Karanga – the first voice. The people in the interview are from the Tuhoe nation.

But when you hear it…something else happens. All the hairs on the back of your neck stand up…it moves your insides, your spirit. You can’t help but feel ancient and young all at the same time. Its spine tingling and humbling all at once.

I was watching a news clip the other night, that featured this karanga and welcoming First Nation Americans. These people had a similar call that was also just as moving as ours.



dragons and demons ~ herbs

Dragons and Demons – Herbs, 1981



activism ~ police violence

Police Violence has been highlighted in big bold neon signs recently. And the continuing conversations still read like something out of the dark ages.

Recently there was an article published, relating to the fatal shooting by New Zealand Police, of a 57 year old man. The tone of the discussion on this article, was one of blaming the dead guy and ‘people like him’, and praising the police for their excellent service.

I noted the following point:

“We seem to be missing the fact that they (poupou) are trained to restrain and use other tactics BEFORE shooting someone, irreversibly, dead. And they are employed, by us, to protect and serve, not shoot dead and ask questions later. I don’t think we have the right to blame a dead guy. But we should be holding all civil servants accountable for their actions. Especially irreversible ones.”
Like · Reply · June 10 at 7:02pm

And was met with a tirade of verbal abuse all singing the same tune:

“Police in New Zealand do not shoot and kill people just because they can. You’ve obviously been watching too many videos of cops in America to understand that police have strict guidelines when it comes to shooting people.”
Like · Reply · 3 · June 10 at 8:26pm

Now this kind of mentality is nothing new. But what surprised me the most, is that even with history a click away, and recent events relating to police brutality, in our country and those abroad, also only a click away; Naivety and ignorance still reigns supreme.

As a country, we should be asking … what the hell?! This isn’t about blaming the police; this is about asking questions about a public service and their performance. We seem to have more concern about the performance of who is picking up the rubbish from our front gate, than how our ‘law enforcement’ are enforcing.

We should be asking why the police are taught to racially profile. Shouldn’t this ‘profiling’ be focussed on an a specific action or behaviour instead of trying to brush stroke an entire community with a stereotype based on an ethnocentric ideology?

And yes, the new Zealand police are taught to racially profile. Why do you think Maori are more likely to be pulled over – arrested – and locked up? It has nothing to do with our actions but entirely, what we ‘look’ like.

Do we remember the last time this happened?





activism ~ the systemic failure of the New Zealand prison system

The following video is a six part series, looking at and discussing the recent events within New Zealand prisons. Whilst these events are ‘new’ to the public, they are in no way new to those working within the system or for prisoners themselves.

We should be disgusted.

Instead, our laziness as a nation, has given us exactly what we invested in. There is plenty of research to suggest that the punitive justice system does not work. And it definitely doesn’t work for Indigenous, with our people disproportionately taking up the insides of these prisons.

Māori Law academic Moana Jackson is calling for the abolition of prisons in NZ and says Ngāti Kahungunu would set up their own system to deal with tribal members that commit crime. Jackson presented his evidence at an urgent hearing before the Waitangi Tribunal over the alleged failure by the government to address the high Māori prison population.

We addressed our own ‘crimes’ pre-colonisation, and I believe we should return to our own systems. The current Crown system is not, at present, nor has in the past, ever done any good for us!

So why do we continue down this track?

Politics and Money.

Again, we should be disgusted.

The entire series can be found on YouTube.


an activists beginning ~ why do i do?

To some it seems ‘derogatory’ and ‘angry’. That in the reposting of ‘angry black responses’ and not evidencing everything I write, I do myself a dis-service and give off the impression that I dislike white people and am an embittered and ‘wallowing’ soul.

Whilst I generally don’t feel the need to clarify much anymore, I realise that there are intricacies that others are not aware of which have led me to respond the way I do. That this ‘responding’ isn’t always pleasant and at times can give the reader or receiver a sense of discomfort.

And that there-in, lies the point.

Cultures throughout the world have been raped and pillaged over the course of our history. To say that this is just a part of history is fine for a while. But to not look at that history and try to improve on it, so as not to replicate an ugly past, is at the least, a duty, is it not?

For Me, this lie was started at school and was part of a larger scheme, that I didn’t recognise at the time.

– captain cook discovered NZ
– the maori ate the moriori
– your people are lazy
– your people worship false gods
– your people are unproductive
– your people are a dying race
– you need to renounce your culture and embrace the one true god

The essence of superiority, I heard in Social Studies as they discussed the ‘issue’ of apartheid. In the 80s it wasn’t taught as a great white complex or an act of thievery and brutality. It was taught as a separation of the ‘uncivilised’ and unchristian from the educated and enlightened.

They also failed to teach us that women were more than chattels and worth more than what they could cook or what was between their legs. Instead we were still plied with the lie that we were angry and ungrateful if we wanted more than marriage and children. That we were stroppy and imbalanced if we decided to respond to any form of maltreatment or abuse.

– that’s not how a woman should act
– its unbecoming for a woman to be angry
– if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it
– don’t react
– a woman should be seen, not heard
– it’s not a womans place to speak

And what was even more fucked up, is this whole ‘woman should know their place’ routine was also taken up by lost indigenous souls, trying to get a grasp on their original culture. I found it most confusing, being off white, or more beige really; and being in possession of a vagina and breasts, meant according to this lot, that I could not speak or sit certain places, in either culture; that as a married person, I was a chattel; that my usefulness was cooking, sex and giving birth … in that order.

– you need to learn tikanga
– you’re not a real ‘maori’ if you don’t speak maori
– if you can’t recite your pepeha, you’re not ‘maori’
– women don’t do that in maoridom
– women can’t sit there

So as a woman, raised in a ‘christian environment’, who had an absent brown father, who had been the recipient of unintended and intentional racism, who grew up ‘uneducated’ and strived to educate herself in a pakeha system;  the daughter of a ‘white’ mother; the mother of two daughters; the grand mother of 4 grandchildren;  who now has the right to vote, who is heterosexual, who has been sexually assaulted more times than should be recounted, who believes in autonomy, who loves truth and who practices transparency (not the government kind!) … I have learnt that I will always be just underneath the bottom of the pile and that if my thoughts and actions make someone else uncomfortable, they believe they have the right to ‘change’ me – subtlely and/or violently.

This is how it is to be a woman of colour.

We can never get it right. And our best is never good enough.

– you need to train your children properly
– you need a proper education
– you need to get a decent job
– you need to work harder
– you need to get over it
– you need to let it go
– you need to move on

Which is why, when I discovered I could ‘self-determine’ and had the right to ‘respond’; I responded to everything and anything that fucked me off, or I had an opinion on, or wanted to, just because!.

And then I discovered that this ‘process’ was also on my ‘Nurture’ playlist. The journey of righting wrongs and fighting for self determination, was set in my DNA.

In 1975, Dame Whina Cooper, in her 80th year, led a Hikoi from one end of the North Island to the other. This Hikoi was used to declare to the Crown that “Not One More Acre Of Maori Land” would be alienated from us.

I was 3. And my Mama took Me with her on this journey.

For Me, responding is a part of the process. It’s a part of self discovery and self determination. It’s a part of reconciliation.


Hikoi Photos are from, please visit this page for more.






he infuriates Me more than most …

I conversed, sort of, with my father this evening. I knew about 6 minutes in, that it was a bad idea.

A really bad idea.

He is back in the country and is getting himself sorted for his big ‘move’ back onto his land on the coast.

Now I’ve talked about this quite bit in other places so won’t rehash all those details. But just to highlight:

  • I’ve told him I won’t be part of any Land Trust he sets up.
  • I support his cause as part of his own journey of self discovery.
  • I’ve told him he can’t tell Me what to do.
  • I’ve told him he doesn’t know who I am.

If you’ve read anything about how I feel about colonisation and results of it in this country; or how I feel about being cornered or manipulated; or how I feel about racism, sexism, homophobia or any cocked eyed view like those; or how I feel about having my choices made for me … if you’ve read anything about that … then you’ll know it’s shit I’m pretty passionate about. I believe peeps are welcome to their differing views, in their own corner of the universe. But Do Not slam dunk those views in my hoop.

My father breaks all rules of engagement for Me. In fact he reminds Me of an internet troll that just doesn’t let up. He’s ignorant; a know it all; a racist; a ‘phobic’ and narrow minded twat. He believes he is right and won’t hear any one elses view or opinion … including mine.

I’ve explained to him why I won’t do a Land Trust; be part of it, run it, sign up to it … I’ve explained to him that if that is what he wants to do with his parents land, then all good, that is his right and his journey … I’ll support that for him … it’s not my view or belief, but thats OK. But I won’t ever sign up to something I do not support.

So what has he done:

Thats right – he put my name on the Land Trust as a trustee and shareholder.

Oh my fuck.

Now I can overlook the fact that he doesn’t know the ‘real’ history of his people or his country; that it is probably way to fucking late to teach him or for him to even hear any of it. I can also overlook the fact that he is a perfect product of his generations colonial programming. He believes Maori are lazy, useless, uneducated and can’t get by without the governments help. He believes that we can only move forward if we become ‘white’, literally. He believes our cultural heritage is backward and uncivilised. While it revolts the living fuck out of Me, I get it, and can overlook it.

But to pull the old ‘I’m your father, you shall obey Me’ card is way beyond my overlooking capabilities.

As he was telling Me that he had signed Me up, I could feel my blood boiling. I tried to compose myself and respectfully say that I wasn’t interested in doing that, as he well knew.  He asked Why. For fucks sakes. I just repeated that he already knew why and shouldn’t have signed Me up to anything as I wouldn’t be doing it, at all. And he wouldn’t hear Me. He tried the convincing routine and the guilt routine and the ‘this is for the good of the whole family’ routine. Get fucked!

In the end, my partner pulled the wifi cable out and the call went dead! LOL … just as well! But it has grated Me something fierce. And what fucks Me off more, is that he fucks Me off!!!

Selfish cunt asked how I was and when I told him about the brother in law passing, he flipped that conversation around and back to himself and his land. I know, if he was someone I had just met (which he is really), I wouldn’t continue a conversation, let alone a relationship with him.

Which brings Me to this:

Do I cut him off completely? I don’t know if I have the patience or love for him, to continue trying to form some sort of relationship or lame ass bond with him.

I’ve managed quite well without him, so what do I have to lose.