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In case you were wondering - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 5th, 2010

08:38 am - In case you were wondering

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From:tatjna
Date:October 5th, 2010 07:44 am (UTC)
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Access denied (i'm not a member any more).
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From:phaetonschariot
Date:October 5th, 2010 08:02 am (UTC)
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so sad, so sad. so far it's a few kiwis being all agreeing. Comment text:

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
Ko Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa te moana.
Ko Ngā Pukemāeroero te maunga.
Ko Opawaho te awa.
Ko Ngāti Pakeha te iwi.
Ko Ngā Nau e Wha te marae.
Ko Kei ahua.

This week has been unpleasant for a lot of reasons. Most of them are very familiar to me. One was much more unexpected, and the fact that it overshadowed even having to explain myself to one stand-in doctor since my GP wasn't working yesterday and a city psychologist for my assessment at the Anxiety Disorders Unit today really says something.

I do not like confrontation and will usually censor myself. I second guess myself constantly. If I'm the only one bothered by something, I usually assume that I'm just being stupid, that it's not that important. But when I see other people having the same reaction, I start to get upset.

I dislike respecting and trusting people, only to be ignored when concerns are presented to them. I dislike feeling invalidated because my experiences do not fall into the accepted narrative of a progressive and open-minded place. I dislike being told that everything I am working for, that thousands of people in my country are working for, is something we ought to be ashamed of, that someone who has never set foot on this land could ever really know or understand Aotearoa.

When I was five years old I went to the New Entrants classroom at my school and sang and danced - songs like "Mahunga, pakihiwi, puka hope waewae!" and "Oma rapiti, oma rapiti, oma oma oma!" (I still sing this to my rabbits.) We had the usual posters you'd expect on a classroom wall - how to count to ten (tahi rua toru wha rima ono whitu waru iwa tekau), colours ("ma is white, whero is red, kakariki green!" This was also a song). We would be told, "E noho, tamariki!" when we were to sit down and "E tu, tamariki!" when we were to stand. Of course there was English as well - most of us were white and did not speak Te Reo very well, so the largest part of the information we were taught was English. But the message was very clear to a five year old me: I was a pakeha, and that meant living in a country that pakeha and Maori shared. Was that idealistic? Fuck, yes. I've since learned a lot about the racism that permeates society if you just dig a little. But do I still believe in it? Fuck yes.

Here we are taking baby steps, wobbly and awkward and sometimes we fall down and cry to ourselves because it hurts, but at the other side of the room is the idea of a bicultural society, not taking the best from each but knowing the good and the bad of both, and I know I'm not nearly alone in wanting to make it there.

And I know that it's not wrong of me to want that. So I will not let anyone tell me I am, because this is something we work for in the name of aroha. It is tino rangatiratanga. It is taonga. And to tell us that we are wrong is to tell us that this thing we treasure is wrong, when in fact it's precious and complex and so, so difficult. I may not live to see it, but the people who plant kauri trees to restore native plants to New Zealand will never see them at full growth either. We just have faith that it will happen one day.
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From:phaetonschariot
Date:October 5th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
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So, our attempts to clarify what happened here were met with utter silence. It feels like a slap in the face. It is the ultimate cruel irony that the issue stemmed in the post that it did, but had it happened anywhere it would have hurt. To do as we've been told by people who live half a world away (at least some of them from a country that completely screwed us over in the 80s and then dismissed the issue as a "relic" in 2006; the same country that consistently borrows our SAS for their military missions and then has a large newspaper blithely print their location, something not even their family members should know) would be to completely disrespect our people, because only those who have no regard for Maori whatsoever would slice them cleanly from their lives like that. For the rest of us, it does honour to be able to stand up and say where we come from in the words of tangata whenua, the people of the land. To congratulate someone with a heartfelt "ka pai!" or to express amusement with the neologism "roflnui". The soil here holds the blood of Maori and pakeha, mixed together as Papatuanuku rolls and groans, just as their blood is mixed together in the people who live here today. We are, after all, born of the land - not literally, but spiritually, the thing that causes an ache in the chest when you're a long way from home and you hear Pokarekare Ana on a tv ad.

I cannot excise the Maori influence from my soul. To do so would be to destroy a piece of myself. To ask me to do so is cruel. That is simply how it is, for me and for many others I've spoken to.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 5th, 2010 08:08 am (UTC)
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Whoah, that's pretty moving. Well said!
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