Metiria Turei, the Green Party co-leader, resigned yesterday. There’s a long twisted witch hunt that preludes this; you can Google it. I won’t give it any air time.
This has been my response.
Yep, this is a long one. Yes its Metiria Turei related. Not Sorry.
Theres an extremely awkward sadness slash frustration in the air today. I can feel it in my puku and my chest. Think it’s actually grief, boarder lining on rage.
I haven’t weighed in on the Metiria Turei debacle and resignation … sometimes it takes a little while to process shit like this.
I watched her live interview the other day; where she had rapid fire questions thrown at her and she answered every one and named each reporter respectfully as she answered: and I thought “You Gangstah Gurl”. And while I’ve chosen not to vote this year, She has had my vote since the Maori Party and Labour fucked us up the ass. The reason for voting Green? Or for Metiria really … Simple.
She’s a strong brown woman. A strong brown woman who has experienced life – the chaos of life, not the tequila slammer by the poolside kind of life – and she brought that experience to politics, and didn’t lose who she was in the process.
Now that is extremely rare for any politician.
I don’t mean to disregard men or single fathers in the next part, but really I am lol and I won’t apologise for that. I am a woman, and have been a single mother on a benefit, so thats the reality i bring to my korero.
I think today, just quietly, all single mothers, that have struggled to make ends barely meet – have smiled at their kids and told them lunch is sorted, knowing dam well that it isn’t; have tried to figure out whats more important this week – power or school bus tickets; have starved while their kids are away with family, so they can pay for school uniforms and books; have sat up till 430am typing out bitch ass assignments to meet a deadline, knowing all the while their kids will be up soon, and you need to feed them on 4 weetbix, 1/2 cup of milk and 4 teaspoons of sugar and 2 apples, so they’re not hungry, till you get a fucking food grant to buy more food … after you’ve finished scrubbing some rich fuckwits toilets who may pay you an extra $20 under the table – and that’ll be dinner sorted … Yeah – All of them have quietly felt the choke of disempowerment as we’ve watched Metiria being circled by the media vultures and hoping she doesn’t have the life sucked out of her. Knowing that it’ll probably come down to a choice she shouldn’t have to make, but a choice single mothers make every single day.
But with her resignation came the collective grief of every activist, environmentalist, single mother, mothers, benefit recipients, working parents and tangata whenua. Because whether we like her or not, she represents everything that we are, are becoming, fighting for, striving to change and represent. And yet again, yes again, we watch as another strong brown woman has to chose between her career and protecting her family. She didn’t ass cover or protect her reputation but she still had to make a choice. And thats a kick in the fucking vulva we have all felt at one time or another.
And as every mother knows … protection of their babies, will win every time. Hands down.
I wonder though, what happens when all of the aforementioned disenfranchised pissed off souls, who had enough along time ago, have finally, collectively, all really had enough?
Is that the prelude to Revolution? History alludes to the fact that when you pull the proverbial rug out from under what is left of the already tired of fighting disenfranchised fucked off souls … Violent Change Occurs.
The System Is A Vampire ~ Shapeshifter
When I went to Australia for a holiday, years ago, (we were on the ‘Gold Coast); one of the first questions I asked a ‘local’, was ‘Where are all the Indigenous Peeps?’, as in where do they hang out. I wanted to get a taste of who they were; their culture; their arts … their lives. I was met with a blank stare. Then it registered for them, that I was asking about the ‘Aboriginal’ people. The short sharp reply was that they don’t live ‘here’, more in land … and apparently I wouldn’t like them; ‘They’re violent, drunken, filthy people’, was what I was told.
I continued to look … and it saddened me, that the only ONE, yes one; I met, was in a ‘souvenir’ shop on ‘the Sunshine Coast’. When I asked him the same question, he looked slightly offended but got what I was asking eventually. Very politely, he explained that he was a ‘half-caste’ … that most of his ‘tribe’ lived ‘outback’ on a type of ‘reservation’. They owned this shop and this is where they made their living. He didn’t go into great depth … but this is the jist of it:
Indigenous peoples all around this world, have been demonized, terrorized, tortured, butchered and annihilated. Australia and its Indigenous, are no different.
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 ❤
However you dress this proposed policy up, it is completely and utterly misogynistic in its entirety.
Only ‘beneficiaries’ would be made to have contraception, noting that ‘taxpayers’ shouldn’t have to foot the bill for women having unplanned pregnancies. It doesn’t take into account those that had planned pregnancies and still needed financial assistance.
To boot, our abortion laws are archaic and women are penalised for choosing this as an option also. Which ever way you look at it, women are penalised and punished for an act they didn’t complete on their own!
‘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.
Thought provoking piece of writing from “The Artidote
‘Just because it is how it is’, never was, and is definitely no longer, an acceptable reason.
The colonialists have always told their stories through ethnocentric glasses. Their view has misshapen and distorted the beauty and history of Indigenous throughout the world. They have also slanted their version of events to tarnish the knowledge and capabilities of those they ‘conquered’.
The following is a beautiful depiction of The Cook Islands history and perspective.
As with our own stories in Aotearoa, I am left wondering, who were the actual ‘savages’? Because all that is espoused here, makes perfect, beautiful, synchronistic sense in my world.