Politics & Culture
Stuff to do with stuff I care about.
I had been writing for a long time before my first article was published in e-Tangata nearly three years ago. There was an unfinished novel, a few short stories and some scraps of poetry. But mainly, I was writing status updates on Facebook. I was exploring topics to do with language, identity, and finding my […]More
This article was first published in Matters of Substance, the regular magazine of the NZ Drug Foundation, and republished in The Spinoff on 4 April 2018. I never hit rock bottom. There wasn’t any great reckoning or moment of truth. Just a series of low-bottoms and near misses culminating in the urge to just be done […]More
This article was originally published in The Spinoff on 5 March, 2018. One thing I’ve noticed about being a te reo speaker is just how often people assume I can do translations. I’ve had requests to translate proverbs and prayers, lines of songs, ingredients, whole passages of books and even some wedding vows. Sometimes, it […]More
The call to make te reo Māori compulsory is getting louder and louder. This year, with Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori falling smack bang in the middle of the election, it’s almost impossible to ignore. But making Māori compulsory isn’t necessarily the magic bullet people are looking for. It’s not that we shouldn’t strive […]More
Yes, te reo is a taonga. But it’s not the same as Nana’s precious china, stored in a glass cabinet only to be rolled out on special occasions. Te reo is a living language, and we should be speaking, loving and celebrating it, every day of the year.
The debate about whether te reo Māori should be compulsory in schools is a massive distraction. What many people don’t realise is that schools already have a responsibility, under the Education Act, to provide instruction in te reo to every parent who asks for it. The key point? You have to ask for it. 1 (Tuatahi): Find out what […]More
Whether we realise it or not, whether we speak Māori fluently or only a little, every time we put pen to paper, or raise our voice to sing, or stand up to recite mōteatea, we draw on foundations that go back centuries. We reach deep into literary traditions that are colourful, vibrant, rich and entertaining. It's in us. It's part of who we are.