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Posts Tagged ‘Ka hao te Rakatahi’

Ka hao te Rakatahi
Life on campus

The opportunity to be a part of Takere* earlier this year showed me what I am capable of when I want to succeed. After being so indulged in my culture, and being around people with similar lifestyles and passions, it affected me in a lot of ways that I didn’t think it would – and it was truly a privilege to be accepted into such a group. This scholarship and experience have given me so much hope for the year to come and excitement to be moving out and into a new place. Once the live-in academy finished, we thought we were prepared for the onslaught of these new students coming in to live with us but, as they began to move in, we realised that that was not going to be the case.

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Ka hao te Rakatahi
My never-ending journey of learning te reo

I remember my māmā speaking te reo in our whare. I don’t remember what she said, only that she was telling me off. But I also remember times when tamariki at our school spoke more reo than we learnt in class and feeling left behind; feeling like I could never learn this and as a five-year-old told my parents I wanted to move into an English-speaking class.
Looking back at my five-year-old self, I wish I had told her that it was her birthright to freely speak her mother tongue and that a few mistakes is part of learning, a part of life.

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Ka hao te Rakatahi
The spaces we will fill

We are two young wāhine who have grown up often being called on to be the “rangatahi Māori advisors” in the many spaces we find ourselves in. There is seemingly a rising need for a rangatahi perspective. To have our voices heard has been validating, especially at a young age, and the experience that we have gained due to being a part of those conversations has been invaluable. This is not to say we have not experienced times where we have been asked to take a seat at a table so the Māori box could be ticked, or the rangatahi or wahine box.

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Ka Hao Te Rakatahi
COVID-19 and Te Ao Māori in 2020

A pivotal moment in our lives. I must admit I have remained pretty calm despite Aunty Cindy declaring a state of emergency and the World Health Organisation announcing this a global pandemic. On the other hand, I am here to hold space for te iwi Māori and let this serve as a reminder that we have the right to make our own decisions about our issues. We’re not here merely to provide ‘advice’ or ‘consultation’. We make our own decisions, period.

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Ka Hao Te Rakatahi
Ko Te Aho Matua te tāhuhu o tōku whare. Ko te reo me ōna tikanga te poutokomanawa. E taku iwi Māori, whītiki tāua!

Today I was asked for my opinion on the Bob Jones trial. If you don’t know about it, cool. But allow me to explain it to you. Long story short, author and businessman Bob Jones sued film-maker Renae Maihi for defamation after she presented a petition to Parliament. A petition with over 90,000 signatures, calling for him to be stripped of his knighthood in response to a column he wrote for the National Business Review in 2018 that suggested Waitangi Day should be renamed “Māori Gratitude Day”. I don’t know about you, but nothing could stop the fire that I felt the moment the words “Māori Gratitude Day” started ringing in my ears.

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Ka hao te Rakatahi
The dodgy world of deepfakes

A big step up from simply “fake news”, a deepfake is a particular kind of manipulative media in the form of doctored videos. Deepfakes present real challenges to democracy and our electoral process, especially at the hands of those with the money to drive influence.

The term “deepfake” is a combination of the words “fake” and “deep”, as in “deep learning”, an Artificial Intelligence function. Using deep learning, a machine can analyse thousands of images and recordings, and use this to convincingly transpose one face over another in a recording. This creates increasingly hard-to-spot videos of deception. Increasingly, believable-looking videos are depicting people doing and saying things they have never said or done. It’s sometimes described as “Photoshop on steroids”.

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Ka hao te Rakatahi
Caring for our planet

I was born on the cusp of the second millennium. As a child, the stuffed huia birds at the Canterbury Museum captured my imagination. The idea of “extinction” – something being here and then not – fascinated me. Extinction happened in the past, when people were careless because they did not have the knowledge that we have today … or so I thought as an 8-year-old.

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Ka hao te Rakatahi
Let’s cut the toxic banter

Nā Nuku Tau I want to begin by acknowledging the horrific events that took place in Christchurch on 15 March. It’s genuinely hard to find words to express how disgusting and heartbreaking the massacre was. I was gladdened to see our tribe wrap support around those affected, and sincerely hope we as a nation can…

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Never make assumptions

Mental health awareness was huge in 2018, which was fantastic. It’s no secret the classic New Zealand culture of hypermasculinity and keeping a stiff upper lip is a fertile breeding ground for all sorts of mental health woes. Publicity campaigns and heightened general awareness of the issue can only be a good thing.

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The Wisdom of Drug Testing

I write this article the day after the University of Canterbury Students’ Association Tea Party, a big dress-up-themed party on Ilam Fields where students drink in the sun and dance to bands and bass. A few friends asked me if I had put on any sunscreen. I replied that I was a “hearty brown boy” and didn’t need to, so naturally I’m pretty red – sunscreen, water, food, break-out spaces, and support workers were all provided to those smart enough to use them. All told, everyone had a great day. However, one thing was missing – drug testing kits. And by that I mean kits to check that drugs are not cut with dangerous chemicals, rather than kits to test whether you’ve been taking drugs.

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