IT’S NOT THAT ONE CULTURE IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER. BUT PĀKEHĀ NORMS AND VALUES ARE SO DOMINANT IN NEW ZEALAND, THEY’RE INVISIBLE TO A LOT OF PEOPLE. PĀKEHĀ OFTEN THINK CERTAIN WAYS OF DOING THINGS ARE NORMAL, WHEN IN FACT THEY’RE FOLLOWING CUSTOMS AND RITUALS THAT ARE BASED ON A SET OF VALUES THAT MAY BE ENTIRELY FOREIGN TO OTHERS.

My Whāngai Family

My grandad grew bananas. I never got to eat one — the garden was off-limits to us kids. But the palms of that exotic tree swayed gently in the breeze above the garden walls, tempting us with its forbidden treats. A cousin bragged once that he’d snuck into the garden when no one was looking, […]

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