“U know I love you, even when you don’t try, I know that our love will never die” Nu Shooz

And yet, in the middle of that aroha there has been a storm of late, irate emails and hails to pull your damn head in you motherfucking hori.

You are lucky that you have me in your life.

But I can’t be mad forever and I most certainly won’t drag my heels waiting for you to sort your shit out, because I have a hell of a lot of work to do. You work on your stuff, now that I have pointed it out to you, and I will work on just being myself, as always.

I have been in Aotearoa for just over a week.

I can’t believe that the government has been so active in trying to eradicate us over the past few years. I feel like governance is completely threatened by the ways we are able to create pathways for ourselves and others. Maori people really do have some incredible ways, and they are ancient ways, times left for us by our ancestors, so that we can remember new beginnings in the winnings that so often feel like losings.

Snoozing’s for other people, we have no time to bite the bullet when a major battle is about to be won.

Fun and memories. This week I have been lucky, really lucky to spend time in my village hosting manuhiri from Vancouver, BC. Musqueam people, the tangata whenua of that place, have been staying on the steamy streets where I was raised. When I spent time with Musqueam people in August last year, lots of unexpected things surfaced in my personal like, strife that has kept playing out like a broken swoon, a jagged step, a wrangled nuance…but I feel like things have now come full circle. I am about to blossom again. Everybody has been telling me how beautiful I am, and so I have been trying hard to listen and hear and see the things that I so often am in denial about.

It has been nice to be home for a brief moment enshrined in steam and bubbling volcanoes which murmur beneath the ground, to a halt, the fault is no ones, it’s life and that’s just the way it is.

And yet while life is happening for me, some of my nieces and nephews and cousins are not in a good state. Synthetic weed is the new seed of social control. I smoked some on the day that I arrived and nearly passed out. It is full of tranquilizer, and now the government has legalised yet another yearning toward genocide. They can’t hide it though, because it’s equally killing the white kids too, and so people all over the country will march to have the crown commit to sorting their shit out.

In Aotearoa, we have a treaty which was an agreement made between the crown and the “Natives”. For nearly two hundred years, one party to that treaty has been making a hegemonic power structure accountable for its actions through the treaty’s use, now it is time for the rest of the country to realise that Te Tiriti o Waitangi, can protect everybody from oppressive forms of power.

Shower me in the rain, again and again, let it wash me to the bone and hone my electric senses so I can remain sensible and sensitive to the attempts for sanitation of my humanity. I don’t need to die needlessly so that an out of control economy, an out of control ministry and an out of control sinister synergy of disparate democratic dictatorships can wipe me from the face of the earth.

My hearth burns with the passion of life, and that passion is today even more fervent knowing how loved I am, how much love I give, and how much aroha there is in abundance.

Dance for me and make me smile.

Time to spread the love.

Taking Action: What you can do to support Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga

Last week, Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga, The National Institute of Research Excellence for Maori Development, lost its funding. For Maori researchers, this is a huge blow and raises questions regarding the disjuncture between political rhetoric for Maori development, education, equity and partnerships within Aotearoa New Zealand.

Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga has an incredible strategy and vision, and creates Maori and Indigenous scholar networks within and across all Aotearoa tertiary education providers. In the past decade, Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga has enabled a framework for Maori forms of knowledge to flourish both nationally, and internationally.

I am Maori PhD candidate who interrogates the ways that raranga, or the practice and conceptual underpinnings of traditional Maori weaving, can assist toward forms of self awareness, self acceptance and ultimately, self governance. For Maori, this is what we call tino rangatiratanga. Raranga just looks like old ladies sitting around making things out of grass, but that’s just the face of it. The process is ancient, and because it is so old, within the practice, my ancestors interwove our most fundamental knowledges. Raranga is relational and through its practice shows ways to enact enhanced connectivity to other people and our surroundings as linked aspects of a constantly evolving universe.

Raranga saved my life, so for me it is vitally important to interpret, translate and share its knowledge at a time when so many people in the world feel lost, hurt, confused and unheard.

It’s not particularly easy to convince a Western academy of learning how this constitutes high-level research. However, I have had incredible support for my research from Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga; through gathering with other Maori and Indigenous scholars, research writing workshops and avenues toward conference attendance and publication. Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga enables me to disseminate my creative research processes and findings, and to be uplifted by the research intent of other Maori and Indigenous scholars. It has given me the opportunity to see the vast extent of knowledge that is implanted within everyday people everywhere.

Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga has helped me to feel empowered as a Maori researcher, and as a result, to share knowledge that can empower others. Now that it has lost its funding, I wonder about how much more difficult my journey to share the simple, pragmatic, healing and incredibly logical knowledge left for us by my ancestors will be.

I wonder if governance structures really care about people being well today. They seem more concerned with keeping people demoralised, as a means to continue the consumption of our energy and resources toward capital gain for the few who actually benefit at the cost of all others.

The loss of funding for Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga; an Indigenous research institute with such incredible and obvious positive outputs, shows how effective governmental strategies to silence Indigenous voices can be. It makes me scared to witness how overt contemporary governance has become in it’s continuing colonising agenda.

The only thing that keeps my fear at bay, is that if there’s one thing about raranga as a form of research, it is that its threads are eternal.

Te Wharepora Hou

mqdefault Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith

 Opening Statement from Te Wharepora Hou

Over the past week we have posted commentaries from Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith about the decision to not continue the funding for Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga, the National Māori Centre of Research Excellence.  Our reason for supporting and utilising social media to share these commentaries is because we believe that Māori research, and in particular Kaupapa Māori research, has a critical role to play in Māori aspirations for wellbeing and development.  Many research initiatives that have been led through those who spent endless hours of work and struggle to develop Ngā Pae and then through the many research, community, iwi and academic programmes that have come to fruition and been supported by the innovative approaches taken by Ngā Pae.   This the third comment from Professor Smith comes in the form of providing ideas and reflection in…

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An Open Statement on the true impact of the non-funding of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga

Last week, it was announced that Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga, the National Institute of Research Excellence for Maori Development and Advancements, would no longer receive funding. What era are we living in when, governance so easily disassembles pathways toward empowerment for communities? This is an open statement by Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, author of ‘Decolonising Methodologies’.

Te Wharepora Hou

Over the past Imageweek the Māori research, academic and wider Māori community has been dealing with the announcement that the Tertiary Education Commission, through the Royal Society of New Zealand, will not be continuing support for Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga.

Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is the National Institute of Research Excellence for Māori Development and Advancement and is one of seven national Centres of Research Excellence that were selected for funding by the New Zealand Government in 2002 and subsequently, established as an Institute on 1 July 2002.

 This ‘Open Statement’ has been released by Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith who was a Founding Co-Director of Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga with Professor Michael Walker. Te Wharepora Hou invited Professor Smith to share her response as a Guest Contributor and do so in support of the critical views raised.

An Open Statement on the true impact…

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The Denial of Maori Research Development

This is what happens when colonial governments begin to fear the agency that Indigenous forms of knowledge, can create for people.

Te Wharepora Hou

Dr Leonie Pihama Dr Leonie Pihama

[Note from Te Wharepora Hou: This article reflects the personal views of Dr Leonie Pihama and is endorsed by Te Wharepora Hou.]

This week Iwi and Maori researchers and research organisations received notification that the Maori Centre of Research Excellence (CORE) ‘Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga’ would not be funded in the next round of the National CORE funding.

The Royal Society of New Zealand states:
“The CoREs are inter-institutional research networks, with researchers working together on commonly agreed work programmes. CoREs focus on the development of human capital, so they undertake outreach activities (for example, within the wider education system). CoREs make a contribution to national development and focus on the impact of their research.”

For the 2013/2014 round there are NO Maori CORE’s in the final round for consideration.

There also appear to be no Maori on the selection panels. Well at least…

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I went shopping

I went shopping

Today I am in the library. The library is my life at the moment.

Yesterday I was in Vancouver, but yesterday in the strictest sense, I was also in Piha. Yesterday I was in San Francisco. Yesterday I was in Seattle. Yesterday I was in Egegik. Yesterday I was in Rotorua. Yesterday I was also in the sky. I wonder, does the sky have placenames?

One of my supervisors encouraged me to find ways to document my process, which for me has always been problematic. I have this anxiety about “live” footage. My foot is sore. So is the other one. I don’t like to document. I meant to not document, u mean that doctor?

I am on a mission to figure out the source of my anxiety surrounding the documentation process. As I lay in bed this morning, thoughts churned in my brain about the nature of the real, and the nature of the symbolic. I cried for a few hours, and blew my nose on my underwear which were next to my bed. Cum, snot and lube all crusting together on my Diesel undies… die sellout. I will never sell out, nor die.

In terms of position, this is where I am according to the internet: 153°25’11″E, 27°58’11″S 153.4200000,-27.9700000.

I don’t really know what this means, and to be honest, I don’t really care, cos according to me I am just at the library again, and my position is fiercely academic, because if I don’t commit to the research I am doing, my relations will keep on dying while other academics argue about their theories; trying to get one up on each other, while real people starve to death, and corrode from the cancerous pollution that endless academic debates do not stop. I hate seeing people I love die, it has been happening my whole life long, too many memories of people who used to be able to give me a hug.

Very soon, I will get back to writing my current piece of research, a paper that I am presenting in Florida in about a month. I have started it with a line from a Whitney Houston song, which really isn’t very academic, but I could give a fuck cos it says more in 22 words than I could write in 220 words of academic style. Layers of emotion, that’s where real meaning is.

I had cereal for breakfast. One of these days I will be able to afford berries and yogurt to flavour my breakfast again, but not today.

My shoes are falling apart. I want to go shopping for a pair of very nice sneakers, but I don’t have the money for them. It doesn’t really matter too much, because I roll barefoot most of the time anyway. I only wear shoes to make the world around me feel comfortable, because in civilised society, for some reason, it makes people uncomfortable to see a person in a public space without shoes… even though they fuck our feet and our bodies up. I want to buy cool kicks, but I also need running shoes.

My sex life had been quite dead for a long time. In part this was due to trauma. I had been colonised to think that sex was dirty, especially sex between men, not that I have ever really seen myself as a man, more a hot chick in a hot guy’s body. In the past that trauma led to even more trauma, including rape, but those days are over because I won’t let anyone ever rape me again. If my drink hadn’t been spiked I would have killed those two guys, so perhaps I was in some ways quite lucky to have my drink spiked by them, because otherwise I would have ended up in the clink, chic-synch. “Showtime Synergy”. Some people are so sick.

I have been decolonising on all levels, from the outside in, and from the inside out. I feel quite powerful to have been able to fix my broken self-perception, and to have repaired the damage caused by the insecurity of others. I wonder how my new journey in life will affect my sex life? I am hoping to be a full human-being from now on.

I have always felt somewhat like an alien.

About a year ago, at thirty seven years of age, I finally found out who my biological father was. His name was Henry, but he is dead now. I think the discovery of my biological father has helped me to feel less like an alien. I also found out about my biological grandmother. Her name was Powhiri. She could make anything she saw and liked, as is with me too. I found out my great-grandparents’ names were Te Rangihiroa Te Moana Papaku and Horina Te Rauparaha, which makes me a descendant one of the most famous Maori strategists of the nineteenth century, Te Rauparaha. He was an incredibly infamous warrior, and although he was not born of chiefly status, he rose to become the most famous chief of his generation. Today, he is legendary. I am also descended from one of the most powerful and reputed Maori spiritual-knowledge keepers of the last millennium. My adopted family lineage is filled with very prominent names too; master artists, academics, athletes, performers, musicians, singers, warriors, chiefs and chieftainesses, composers and orators. My ancestors were famous, intelligent, creative, worldly, and even royal…and yet they were so normal because they were just like Maori people today. My ancestors were incredible!

And so must I be, on some level, as it is their blood that runs through my veins, their knowledge and identities that frames my today-skin. I mustn’t be an alien at all. My ancestors were real people. I must be too. Although in our very old stories, some of my ancestors came down from the sky with no placenames and no sky-highrises, rising high on the mist and steam, seemless shiftings between realities. So I must actually be part alien too. Whakapapa is so important, and yet for most of my life I have lived without it.

I am doing a PhD, and I cannot believe it.

I cannot believe it takes a PhD these days, to figure out who I am.

These are the things that I write research about; the ways to search out the idealised and glowing self. Maybe I am not really that poor.

In the afternoon, my middle nephew will come and meet me at the library, where my sister will pick us up. He’s one smart cookie, very handsome and very happy. I worked with him on a history assignment last night; about the industrial revolution, one of the beginnings of our Maori woes. It was awesome to realise he has an intellectual critical consciousness. I don’t ever want him to have to deny all the brilliant things he has to offer the world, the way I was not was, way back as an offering to the world of brilliant denial.

Yesterday commemorated 17 years since my adopted, or real father passed away. I miss him all the time, he was the awesomest. My little sis sent me a MMS of my dad doing kapa haka when he was about 17. Jesus he was handsome.

It is now 11.08am Pacific time (-8 hours). I reject the term Pacific.

I am no longer pacified.