As we commence another Tauhou Tauiwi, my thoughts turn to our tūpuna Māori. Whether they lived in Te Ao Kohatu or Te Ao Marama, they are still teaching us ones coming after them to approach Te Ao Pākehā through the filter of tikanga Māori so that we may fulfil our rangatiratanga.
They teach us that, while colonialism and racism may slow our rangatiratanga down, we are not derailed by those things when we understand and live universal truths. Ka marama i roto ka tiaho ki waho he kaitiaki mauri ora e. Ngā moemoea, he kaupapa, he kaitiaki mo te whānau hapū iwi – mauri, mana, tapū, tikanga, wairua, whakapapa e.
They teach us to support what is good and do what we can to help those who are derailed by things like racism and colonialism (including Pākehā) to either get on the right track or return to it. Ko wēnā ngā mea mā tātou e ako ki a tātou tamāriki. Tautokongia ngā mea e tika ana. Awhinatia ngā mea e he ana kia haere i runga i te taumata tika.
They teach us that the most important purpose of our lives is not so much to accumulate material things, but rather to receive the spiritual gifts of internal peace and enduring happiness. Aruhia te harikoa, kei tutuki koe i te mārie.
They teach us that it is better to die fighting for justice on our feet than to live under injustice on our knees. Kia mate ururoa, kei mate wheke.
They teach us the importance of keeping people together to work and strive toward common goals and to protect against harm. Titiro ki te moana he ngohi e ranga ana. Titiro ki te whenua he tira tangata a hāereere ana. Mā wai e raranga kia kotahi ai?
They teach us that once we embark on a course of action, we must see it through to its end, no matter how long it takes. He rāngai maomao ka taka ki tua o Nukutaurua, e kore a muri e hokia.
They teach us that the hakapapa relationship between generations is paramount when it comes to raising tamāriki mokopuna and caring for kaumātua kuia – the two most venerable and vulnerable links in our whānau, hapū and iwi. He tūpuna he mokopuna. Mā wai i whakakī i ngā whawharua o ngā mātua tūpuna? Mā ā tātou mokopuna! He mokopuna he tūpuna.
They teach us all the above and many more things. As a result, our whānau hapū iwi have not only survived the afflictions of colonialism and racism, we are relentlessly overcoming them, and will continue to do so, through the tikanga lens and lessons of our tūpuna.
TITIRO WHAKAMURI KIA ANGA WHAKAMUA.