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Visualising Te Tiriti

I haven't shared this illustration I created in collaboration with Isobel Joy Te Aho White on my website until now, but it feels like the right time. There's a prevailing sense of fear circulating in our country, with people taking their stances on Te Tiriti. While I have much to express on this matter, in this instance, I want the picture to do most of the talking.

What strikes me is the missed potential and power in our partnership. Aotearoa New Zealand seems to have adopted a scarcity mindset, as if respecting, honoring, and giving effect to our commitments and contracts somehow costs us. The reality is quite the opposite. In honoring this commitment, we unlock a collaboration that was previously impossible. The diverse strengths of the cultures in this land, when fairly delivered upon, promise a richness born from genuine connection.

It has been my great privilege to serve many different Māori organsations, iwi and rōpū over the past decade. I have experienced first hand having my assumptions and expectations blown apart. I was left with a feeling of being really short-changed by my culture and the institutions that made this type of connection and reciprocity so much harder than it needed to be. I hope that this post inspires something in you - to go out in pursuit of an enriching experience with Te Ao Māori, to learn that the primacy of our world view is not really serving us and it certainly doesn't serve any other indigenous peoples!

I'm excited about the creative potential our cultures can unlock together, cultivating from the fertile soil enriched by the decaying ideas - the archaic, racist, capitalistic, colonizing ideas of our past. Let's get composting so we can start growing some hua rākau (fruit)!

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