Whakahau Whakamana Whakahihi

Forge a positive way forward for all tamariki Māori.

Kia ora koutou,

Im a bit behind the times, with my conversations, but theres been so much korero about lots of kaupapa, that Im overwhelmed by what to add here. So I thought I'd just add, a few at a time, that I thought were interesting for me.


Anei te mea tuatahi:

One of my conversational pieces was with whanau members (4 including myself), whilst having dinner.

Granddaughter (11): “Nan, mums voting for the Green Party this year.  Who are you voting for?”

Me: “ Oh really?  Why is she voting for the Green Party?”

Granddaughter: “ Because they are for looking after Papatuanuku, Tangaroa, and Tane Mahuta”.

Me: “Oh?  How are they going to look after them?”

Granddaughter: “They are going to stop people from mining, and drilling, and cutting our trees down for overseas selling.”

Me: “ Wow! Thanks for that information.  I didn’t know that.  But what about education?”

Paula: “ The Green Party have a good education policy, that looks at more funding for te reo Maori and tikanga for all.  I like that a Party is thinking about our culture, and making sure it is protected. That tells me they are honouring the treaty of waitangi.

Me: “ Have you been reading the other Political Party Policies?  Like the Maori Party, Labour and National?  There might be some good policies around education there?”

Paula; “ Like what? National Standards, and measuring my son’s achievement levels, to see whether he can read or do maths?  How about measuring the achievement levels for him as Maori? Measure his understanding of the Maori Atua, or his whakapapa and pepeha? Nah! They don’t want to know if my son knows anything about his own culture. That’s not important enough for them to know. But it is for me. And the green party, will recognise and acknowledge that, I believe.”

Me: “You may be right too. Well then what do you think is Quality Maori Education?”

Paula: “ Quality Maori Education to me is having access to our taonga (te reo, tikanga, marae, waiata, karakia, himene, kai, etc) at all times to my children,  no matter what school they attend. And it should not be in the general stream just as a tokenistic thing. It should be there, so that other cultures acknowledge us as the tangata whenua, as the kaitiaki of this land. And this includes my tamariki, being those kaitiaki. Maori Education should have people who can pass this knowledge on to my children, whether they are Maori or non-Maori.

Me:  That might be a big ask don’t you think?  How can that be achieved, if we don’t have the people, Maori or Non-Maori to pass this knowledge on?”

Hemi:  Government should already have that in place.  They should encourage more Reo Maori programmes in tertiary education, at all levels, and in all subject areas.

Me: That would be great, but a bit blue sky here in Aotearoa?

Hemi: Not really, if we have the right government in parliament. That’s why  the green party would be good for parliament. They recognise Maori as tangata whenua, and kaitiaki of the land.

Me: So whats your views on the new Hone Harawira Party? Ah, the Mana Party?

Paula: Oh its just like the Maori Party?  Fighting for rangatiratanga!  But end up fighting amongst themselves until they leave to start a new party, then they turn on each other?  And isnt tauiwi having a big laugh at the Maori and Mana Parties fighting each other?  Why cant we just stand together as one. Kia tu kotahi tatou, te iwi Maori?  We would be stronger together?  But, no!!! I think power has gone to some of those Maori parliamentarians heads!!! They have forgotten about us, the real Maori!!! But, Im voting for the Green Party. They represent what I believe in. What about you Mum?  Who are you going to vote for?

Me: Hmm, my view is that there really is only two parties that make up our govt. Either Labour or National. Now National doesn’t get my vote because of the ECE budget cuts they have made this year, which will affect centres, parents, teachers and children. Secondly, National is pushing the National Standards, which I am totally against, because Maori in general stream schools are marginalised, misrepresented and of course at a disadvantage.  Labour  have good policies for education. Especially for the early years development of children, which they deem as very important.  Now if they teamed up with the Green Pary on the environmental issues, then that could also suit me as well.  So my party vote could go green, while my member vote may be for an early childhood person. Maybe!! And if the other parties like the Maori party etc get a place in, then they will have to get back to tikanga, to get any look in from me!!!

Hemi: Yep, I reckon this years elections, could be quite interesting. Although, I think National will get in again.

Me: Well what could we do to change that?

Paula: Spread the word?

Me:  Exactly!!!!  So who can you talk to about what we have discussed?

Paula: Oh my friends, and the whanau, and class? You know, if this was a few years ago, I wouldn’t even been having this conversation with you.

Me: What has changed this for you?

Paula: Since Ive been studying, Ive been made aware of a lot of things, especially Maori values, te tiriti o waitangi, and realising the importance of my Maoritanga to me and my family.

Hemi: Same with me. I probably wouldn’t have voted this year, but since Ive been studying too, Ive found out who I am, and where my place is in Aotearoa.

Me: Kapai you two. And the more people (especially Maori), that we can talk to about voting, and taking an interest in whats happening in our country, the more we will be able to understand the need to have a voice, for each other and our families, nera.

Paula/Hemi: Ae, and we can start by talking to our class tomorrow about this. Making sure, everyone is on the Maori roll (because its our Maori class), and even checking that our families are on the roll to.

Me: Nga mihi ki a korua. This was a great korero.


Since this conversation, Paula and Hemi have used this as a debate topic in their class which received lots of different veiwpoints (they said). But what hit home for them, was the fact that their classmates, were not really interested in Politics, Voting, Government, an Policies. And now they are taking an interest in whats happening around them. Kapai you two!!! 


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Comment by Kaye Hyams on August 24, 2011 at 10:12
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