With all that’s going on in the world at the moment, especially within te ao Māori, it is really important that we more actively think about and work toward the Aotearoa New Zealand that we want to live in.
Appropriation of Māori culture and motifs, rushed legislation that breaches human rights, racism and major suppression of tikanga are continuous battles that in 2020 we’re still fighting as a result of colonisation, need I remind amidst a global pandemic too… These kaupapa among many others have made their way on every social media platform and is collectivising Māori voices. But we shouldn’t wait for shit to hit the fan to rise up. We have a history of being active and fighting against injustice. At the end of the day, its imperialism that plays the constant role in our oppression.
I envisage the day that all Māori are employed in the practices of mana motuhake. That every Māori is in pursuit of Māori sovereignty and self-determination. It is absolutely easier said than done. There is not one same version of Māori sovereignty when we consider how each and every one of us has been conditioned by colonisation.
Te iwi Māori have a history and tradition of resistance in the pursuit of protecting our mana motuhake, our taonga, our futures and our lives! Resistance is liberating! But how long is enough? The digital blame game that has taken place over social media lately has had some of te iwi Māori turn on our own Māori politicians. Ka aroha. The fight is against imperialism. Not the individuals who sit in Parliament and are ridiculed 24/7 who then have to go home and parent their tamariki and mokopuna. Who is someone’s son or daughter. Let that sink in… I think we are at a stage now where we need to recover from tactics of nasty personal ridicule and empower each other like never before! Ki te kāpuia e kore e whati.
Racial power imbalances are inherent in our country when we are supposed to be in partnership, participation and protection together. We know this isn’t happening. But current hegemonic practices of westernisation doesn’t allow any of the aforementioned anymway. This is evidenced by the development of a great number of counter-strategies that are more reflective of, appropriate and applicable to the Māori agenda. In modern day warfare these have been our weapons against the system. Empower each other, Māori mā!
Tā Himi Hēnare once said, “It is preposterous that any Māori aspire to become a poor Pākeha, when their true destiny, prescribed by the Creator, is to become a great Māori”. Māori have the potential to achieve greatness as a people but we need to operate with the collective interests of our people to fulfil that vision. This will provide the foundation to break new ground as Indigenous leaders of the world and of our own nation.