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TE KARAKA

From the CEO
A walk down memory lane

For the past nine years I have brought this column to you in a way that has reflected the day-to-day reality of my multigenerational whare in Tuahiwi. Recently we bid farewell to our dearly loved father, William Ruwhiu QSM, who was the centre and life-force of our whānau. With his effervescent personality he would begin each day with “mōrena” and when I would ask “how are you today”, his cheeky reply would be: “Well, I’m still alive.” Dad was a quick-witted social character who easily brought humour to any situation. It was easy to see how he could build rapport with anyone as he made you feel like you were a star no matter who you were.

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Whenua
Mātakitaki

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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