Susana Lei’ataua:The Waitakere rāhui is kaitiakitanga in action — so where’s the support from government?

Susana Lei’ataua talked with Edward Ashby, the executive manager of Te Kawerau Iwi Tribal Authority, about why there needs to be action from local and central government — not just for the rāhui, but for the Treaty relationship. Which, so far, they’re failing to honour. Te Wao Nui a Tiriwa has been covered by a rāhui for more than two months. The great forest of Tiriwa includes Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges Regional… Read more
Diseased kauri tree

A Yank in Kiwi Land Part 3: Grant Robertson

For the third and final part of my interview series with members of parliament I spoke with Grant Robertson of the Labour Party, who keenly related policy and ideological issues to me by referencing the political climate in both New Zealand and the US. Robertson had just finished a meeting with the Minister of Finance regarding the 2016 budget, and was ready to address concerns of an economic nature and beyond. I asked… Read more

A Yank in Kiwiland Part 2: Paul Foster-Bell

Early last week National Party list MP Paul Foster-Bell was kind enough to discuss party principles and policy, the New Zealand political process, and issues such as poverty and the Trans-Pacific Partnership with me. This proved to be an enlightening discussion as the MP was well-versed in American legislature and had quite a different perspective on the present state of things than Green Party MP David Clendon, with… Read more

Moana Maniapoto – The racism that too few of the privileged can see

We can all understand plain old personal racism. Like the time the friendly stranger at the bus stop struck up a conversation with me. Her farewell was: “I hope you have lots of nice little brown picaninnies.” It was like a scene out of Gone with the Wind. I stood there gasping like a goldfish as her bus pulled out. Or the time when, as a toll operator, a supervisor pulled me up for kicking my shoes off. “Put those back on,”… Read more

A Yank in Kiwi Land, Part One: Interview with MP David Clendon

Before arriving in New Zealand to intern with eSocSci, I outlined several personal goals to ensure that this experience would be both intellectually enriching and professionally useful (yes, even social science students are concerned with utility, at times). These goals, informed by my disciplinary orientation as a sociology major at Chapman University in California, include attempting to entrench myself within… Read more

A challenge to Alan Duff’s damaging words

Alan Duff, I find it hard to know where to start. As a mother of two beautiful Māori girls – you have offended my whānau deeply. Our immediate kura and kōhanga community and my girls hapū and iwi. In fact many Māori will be upset now, because your latest opinion piece infers that child abuse is a part of Māori life . This is simply not true, and so I will challenge you on the broad, ad-hock and completely disconnected… Read more

Moana Maniapoto: Māori bashers and the morality of the media who empower them

They’re back. There I was, a fortnight ago, strapped into a plane bound for Whangarei, unfolding my Sunday paper and settling in for a leisurely read. And there, on the front page, was a huge shot of Mihingarangi Forbes. That’s nice, I thought. Must be about The Hui, her new show on TV3. I knew that was coming up after she — and a number of others — had bailed out of Māori TV. Then I read on. Something about clothes missing… Read more

Why do we ignore the New Zealand Wars?

There is no shame in us pausing to grieve over the horrors and waste of human life in our overseas campaigns such as Gallipoli, but we shouldn’t be proud of the way we pay so little attention to the homegrown battles that shaped our nation. No one has built a tomb of the unknown toa. We don’t keep a cenotaph for the defeated tauā. There isn’t an obelisk for great rangatira. And, while we build and care for monuments… Read more

Aboriginal – Māori: how Indigenous health suffers on both sides of the ditch

Indigenous people in Australia and New Zealand, despite the distance separating them and varying histories, have one disturbing issue in common: poor health. A landmark comprehensive report published today in medical journal The Lancet has highlighted that this commonality is shared among 23 countries and 154 million Indigenous and tribal people around the world. Researchers assessed data on measures including… Read more

Moana Maniapoto: Why we’ve become reo refugees

I’m a refugee. Apparently. I didn’t know I was one until a Sunday newspaper told me. When our baby was two, our family moved from our cool Grey Lynn apartment to a ramshackle whare on an Auckland west coast beach. Our friends in the city thought we’d lost the plot. “You going all country on us, mate?” Drama queens, we thought. We’re only 45 minutes from Ponsonby Road, if you get a clear run. For the first two… Read more