In the short introduction to this collection, the editors vow to “go beyond the edges of what is expected from Oceanic writing” – the boundaries of where (all over the Pacific), what (endlessly diverse), and how (gender-bending and experimental amongst other styles) we write.

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He Tangata
Jane Davis

Born and raised in Murihiku, Aunty Jane Davis has always had a strong connection to the Tītī Islands, which was shared by her late husband, Bill. The two of them became involved in Te Kerēme in its early days, and in 1989 Aunty Jane was elected to the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board.

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Ngā Hau e Whā
From the Editor

“Cultural connection” or “connectedness” are terms used with increasing frequency, but what do they really mean? The reality is that cultural connectedness means something different for everyone, and most largely relates to one’s life experiences. In a Ngāi Tahu context, does being culturally connected mean living in the takiwā and being actively involved in the local activities of the iwi, or can one have a meaningful connection living in the North Island or further afield? With more than 50 per cent of the iwi living outside of the takiwā, this is an interesting consideration.

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From the CEO

So whose responsibility is it to build engagement? Members themselves? Or should Te Rūnanga widen its net? It’s a debate that has been around for a while, as we have our ahi kaa who are religious volunteers protecting and practicing the kaitiakitanga responsibilities of tikanga on the marae, while at the other end of the spectrum we have our whānau who live away, and over the generations some have become further disconnected. The overwhelming feedback from our road shows is that whānau are motivated to be involved, and they are hungry for more information.

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