TE KARAKA - Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu



MĀTAKITAKI is the correct spelling for the Matukituki River, which flows from Kā Tiritiri-o-te-moana (the Southern Alps) into the west side of Lake Wānaka.

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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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He Whakaaro
Do you have to be a racist to do racist things?

When I think of the future I want for my mokopuna, I imagine one free of racism, prejudice and the barriers that have kept us in the headlines of all the bad statistics and rarely in the good ones. Whether it is Judith Collins playing the racial division card to get votes, Tauranga Ratepayers Alliance’s booing of a mihi, or the online rants of keyboard warriors like Eagle Brewery’s David Gaughan, it’s clear we still have work to do in Aotearoa. A big part of the challenge is that most people don’t see themselves as racist despite exhibiting racist behaviour.

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Kia kuru pounamu te rongo – Treasuring our mokopuna

It’s leading the way in making mātauraka māori the rule, not the exception with a clear vision of ensuring Aotearoa is a place where all mokopuna can thrive. Independent from the Government, it advocates for the interests, rights and wellbeing of children and young people, while also serving as a watchdog of sorts – monitoring spaces where young people are detained, from care to youth justice residences. While 2021 has seen a slew of changes announced within the public sector that signal a deeper commitment to embracing Māori, for Māori models – the announcement of a Māori health authority, for instance – the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) has long been a vocal, and visible, proponent of fully realising the intention of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

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