Sunday, 31 March 2019

Be a Kahawai

As so many have said, the tragedy of the senseless Christchurch mass killings may just be the wake up call we need as a nation. There is no turning back, we either grasp the mantle or pathetically wilt back to our acceptance of what we know is wrong. That is, not to get involved, look the other way and meekly accept the world as a flawed place and fall back on the excuse that our individual effort won't amount to anything.

Well, I feel optimistic! I am hopeful that not only will individuals start calling out racism but call out all sorts of wrongs, including workplace bullying. 

We are more than ever before in this together. ‘He iwi kotahi tatou.’ (We are one people) 

Metaphorically, I like the view of New Zealand as a fish. Maori culture is the backbone and all the many other cultures are the bones running off this backbone. The many, many cultures that make up Aotearoa are equally important as each other. 
Maori culture is rooted into our land and our DNA as a nation and needs to be central, honoured and celebrated so we can all be proud citizens of this wonderful country. Equally so, let us celebrate and respect the many other cultures not only because they add tremendous diversity and richness of spirit into our lives but because we are ‘one’. We are all fragile human beings that need and deserve respect, support and kindness. It has been refreshing to hear our Prime Minister put these things out front and forward in her speech to the United Nations Assembly where she called for a different world order - one that puts "kindness" ahead of isolationism, rejection and racism. This last week she has more than 'walked her talk'. Let’s not hide away now but be strong because as Martin Luther King said, ‘silence is complicity’.
Note to self: maybe Kahawai---love this fish’s character traits.

Kahawai is the traditional Maori name which when translated means "brave" or "strong" (kaha) water (wai). This in reference to the kahawai's tendency to jump and fight when caught. In New Zealand it is often caught in abundance at river mouths and is a highly popular sports fish that punches above its weight" in terms of challenge to land. (

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