We Are Who We Are

There’s a heap of political stuff happening at the moment. And I’ve seen some quite disturbing things lately…

One of them is a page that has been created here on FB in opposition to a Māori MP and I’ve seen shocking comments in other forums to do with things relating to Māori. It has been a reality check for me that racism is still alive in this country. It annoys me. It annoys me because most of the comments that are put out there are uninformed, with no tact or thought and just plain outright racist.
koru hand painted rock
I used to participate in these forums, just to give my view but realised that they weren’t worth participating in. People didn’t want to listen, they already had it firm in their minds what they believe about Māori and I don’t think anything is going to change that. There really are people in this country that are downright rude and disrespectful.
I wish that people would actually find out about Māori and who we are. Find out about our history, where we have come from, not because we want pity but because you will see that we were an independent people before we were colonised into a way of life that was unfamiliar to us, we were a strong people who lived in harmony with the land, we were healthy and educated within our own systems and we were creative, intelligent and resourceful.
Today we continue to be all of these things, still, but within a system that continues to keep us within boundaries and dictates to us how we as Māori should live our lives. 2011 – not much has changed.
Yes, we are not perfect but I believe the raru we as Māori are experiencing today, is a result of colonisation. But that is no reason to keep us in that colonised state. And most Māori are wanting to get on with their lives and contribute positively to society and ultimately the rest of the world. Most Māori are not wanting a hand out or a leg up, we are wanting to be independent. We don’t want to be dependent on nobody.
So I say to people, get to know us, come and live with us and find out who we really are. Let go of the fear, fear of not being in control…you might actually realise that we are willing to live with others side by side as a community. We have always been willing…
We are not about ownership, or money or power, we are about kaitiakitanga – being the guardians of this beautiful planet that we have been blessed with, whanaungatanga – family, sharing resources and living together as a community and manaakitanga looking after each other…this is who we are.
Arohanui,
Jo x

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