More activism needed

Marama Davidson
Marama Davidson

Please go to TheDailyBlog here for Marama Davidson’s post on inspiring more activism.

“We all have a responsibility to be politically active.

There – I said it. But the definition for being political is wide ranging. How people manifest their political action is up to them. For me it is simply making that conscious link between our personal lives to the political agenda of the day. From the breakfast we get to eat (or don’t), to the level of comfort (or not) that get we lay our heads on every night. As people have said, there is no longer the luxury of not being an activist of your own making. A new world is coming that will either suffocate us or revive us – it is up to us to make the new world a working one.”


Maori control over Maori frameworks – Why I advocate strongly for Kaupapa Maori

Dr Leonie Pihama
Dr Leonie Pihama

Was asked recently why I advocate so strongly for Kaupapa Maori and for Maori control over Maori frameworks. The question has also been asked recently by a Pakeha academic around who gets to determine the boundaries for kaupapa Maori? It’s simple. We do. For the past 200 years the majority  of our land has been stolen or taken through the use of foreign systems, structures & definitions, our language, culture, knowledge, practices and structures have been systematically subjucated, attacked and denied. Our voices and acts of struggle against oppression have, and continue to be actively targeted and suppressed in order to protect the interests of those who have benefited from such actions. All that we have now we have fought for. All that we have held within ourselves we have struggled for. For 200 years we have lived with other peoples definitions of who we are and what is our place on our own land. It is our time to take that space. It is our right to define ourselves, our struggles, our kaupapa, our frameworks. That does not mean we do not need or want allies, it means we do not want to be defined by others who do not know or feel what it means to live as Maori in Aotearoa. Those who work as allies in that struggle know that is the case and work to challenge the systems that continue to deny fundamental rights. It is no secret that many of those I am fortunate to work with advocate Kaupapa Maori is defined and controlled by Maori. That has been clearly articulated for many years. Until there is significant change in the power relationships in this country that way of being can not and should not change. 200 years of others theorising and researching ON us has brought little change in the colonial inequalities that exist. So why would we want that to continue? That’s a more critical question. The answer again is simple. We don’t.

Dr Leonie Pihama (Te Atiawa, Ngati Mahanga, Nga Mahanga a Tairi)

Citizen A Television – Cronyism, Marriage Equality and government GCSB spying

citizen AMarama Davidson, Martyn Bradbury and Julie Fairey speak to:

.the appointments of Commissioners to the Human Rights Commission
.Marriage Equality
.Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) seeking to extend it’s powers of spying

You an watch the 27 minute clip here.

Race Relations Commissioner out of her depth?

Marama Davidson
Marama Davidson

Please go to the link below for my blog on the Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy failing to do her job in speaking out against the racism that visiting Dane MP incited with her racist comments towards Maori culture.

You can read the blog courtesy of TheDailyBlog – here.

Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day (Bikini Day) 01 March 2013

33822-apNo te parau tia, no te parau mau, no te tiamaraa, e tu, e tu – For justice, for truth and for independence, wake up, stand up !

Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day (‘Bikini’ Day), 1 March, marks the anniversary of the US ‘Bravo’ nuclear bomb detonation at Bikini Atoll in 1954. The explosion gouged out a crater more than 200 feet deep and a mile across, melting huge quantities of coral which were sucked up into the atmosphere together with vast volumes of seawater. The resulting fallout caused widespread contamination in the Pacific.

The people in the Marshall Islands, and elsewhere in the Pacific, were used as human guinea pigs in an obscene racist experiment to ‘progress’ the insane pursuit of nuclear weapons supremacy.

Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day is a day to remember that the arrogant colonialist mindset which allowed, indeed encouraged, the horror mentioned above continues today and that the Pacific remains neither nuclear free nor independent. Today we acknowledge and remember those who have suffered and died in the struggle for independence around the Pacific; those who have opposed colonisation in its many forms and paid for their opposition with their health and life; and those who have suffered and died as a result of the nuclear weapons states’ use of the Pacific for nuclear experimentation, uranium mining, nuclear weapons testing and nuclear waste dumping.

We remember  France  as a brutal coloniser of Te Ao Maohi (Tahiti) carried out a total of 193 nuclear tests  from 1966 to 1996. On  Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day we remember that the arrogant colonialist mindset which allowed and, indeed encouraged, the horror mentioned above . Today  the Pacific remains neither nuclear free nor independent.

Earlier this month the Pacific governments of Tuvalu, Nauru and the Solomon Islands supported moves to re-inscribe Maohi Nui into the United Nations’ decolonization list.This followed a resolution of the Melanesian Spearhead group in Nadi last year to support self-determination in the French territory.

France, Australia and New Zealand are opposed to the move.  Today we ask  the government of New Zealand why did they endorse the Declaration of the rights of Indigenous Peoples when they are opposed to the Self determination of the Indigenous peoples of Tahiti ? The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples clearly states and affirms that Indigenous Peoples have the to self-determination, to  their lands and territories, to  their cultural identities, to self-representation and to their unique values and beliefs ‘

For too long Maohi Nui ( Tahiti)  has been fighting for her freedom and it’s time we, as a Pacific family, stand up with a united voice to offer our support.”It is critical that we see the connections so that we  as Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific  can continue to support each other across Te Moana nui a Kiwa, the Great Sea of Kiwa, and know that we are not alone in these struggles.

(Te Wharepora Hou wahine collective.)

Native Affairs panel – Marama Davidson speaking on the appointment of Susan Devoy

Marama Davidson
Marama Davidson

Marama Davidson joins a Native Affairs panel with John Tamihere and Martyn Bradbury to debate the appointment of Susan Devoy to the role of Race Relations Commissioner.

You can view the Native Affairs video clip of the panel discussion here:

Radio NZ interview with Marama Davidson – Idle No More

Marama Davidson
Marama Davidson

“Ideas this week talks to Marama Davidson, David Geary and Clayton Thomas-Muller about the Idle No More movement which deals with the rights and identity of First Nations people, starting in Canada with a predominantly female lead.”

Cree activist Clayton Thomas-Muller is first up in this interview with Chris Laidlaw.

David Geary playwright of Nga Mahanga descent is second up (around 22mins in) as a Vancouver based New Zealand playwright.

Marama Davidson of Te Wharepora Hou features as the final interviewee (around 40mins in).

You can listen to the interview here:

“Annette Sykes is a stupid person” says Judith Collins

Marama Davidson
Marama Davidson

Please go to the link below for my post on Judith Collins calling Annette Sykes ‘a stupid person’ over the appointment of Susan Devoy to Race Relations Commissioner. Reblogged courtesy of TheDailyBlog.

You can read the blog here.

‘Feed The Kids’ Initiative one to be supported.

Dr Leonie Pihama
Dr Leonie Pihama

Next week a small Māori research team will begin a series of six regional hui with Māori Providers who are committed to bringing to fruition a philosophy of whānau ora.  I am not speaking of whānau ora as policy or as structure, but whānau ora as a way of living, a way of being, a way of seeking wellbeing for this and future generations.  These hui are a part of a wider kaupapa of bringing forward tikanga and whakaaro that link to childrearing practices of our tupuna.  To discuss and share tikanga that we can draw upon to enhance the wellbeing of our tamariki and mokopuna.  This is a part of a wider kaupapa of whānau ora.

In a time when right wing, neo-liberal policies privilege the wealthy, where unemployment is on the increase and where just making ‘ends meet’ is having a growing detrimental impact on our people, we must take stock and look for innovative ways to support those most affected.  A growing number of Māori and community based initiatives are seeking to take the lead in fighting poverty in this country. The Mana Party initiative ‘Feed The Kids’ is described as “a simple easy and immediate way to address the growing levels of poverty in Aotearoa” ( and is an initiative that deserves and needs support.  There is ample evidence that our tamariki going hungry to schools has a direct impact on their ability to engage and participate in learning.

Brazillian educationalist and activist Paulo Freire once said;

“I didn’t understand anything because of my hunger. I wasn’t dumb. It wasn’t lack of interest. My social condition didn’t allow me to have an education. Experience showed me once again the relationship between social class and knowledge”.

In light of this statement there is not doubt that the Mana Party insistence that we must make changes at whānau, hapū, iwi, kura, regional, national levels to ensure the wellbeing of our tamariki and mokopuna, and of our wider whānau must be supported.

Freire’s work has for many years resonated with our people.  His critical analysis within Pedagogy of the Oppressed developed as a process of engaging with poverty, with oppression, with subjucation.  Within Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire makes deliberate connections between oppression and processes of dehumanizing the oppressed.  Denial of fundamental human rights is central to that process of dehumanization.  Poverty and the impositions of policies that maintain and reproduce poverty are processes of dehumanization.  That is reflected in the neo-liberal ideologies and practices that have determined policies within Aotearoa since the inception of the new right policies of the 1990s and which have been increasing entrenched with subsequent National governments.

What is clear from the reflections of Paulo Freire is that the oppressor has no interest in changing the power relations that exist.  It is for the oppressed to take that role.  It is for those who are most denied to both initiate and struggle for the humanization of all.  What that says is that we as Māori must take control of our destinies at all levels.  We must find ways that we can support our whānau in ways that enable us all to realize our full potential, that enable us to be fully Māori, that enable us to be full participants in society both now and in the future.  The struggle is multi-leveled. It is both cultural and structural. It is both about challenging systems of oppression and enhancing cultural approaches for wellbeing. It is about reminding ourselves that our tupuna worked collectively for generations to ensure the wellbeing of our whānau.

We live within a system that is not of our making, it is a system that values money over people, it is a system that privileges the individual over the whānau, it is a system that fails to value the inherent mana and tapu of all people, it is a system that is grounded within a capitalist intention of accumulation at no matter what cost, it is a system that will destroy our whenua, our awa, our maunga, our moana with no thought for current and future generations.  This can not continue.  We must make changes that bring a return to collective wellbeing and a movement to ‘Feed The Kids’ is a movement that must be collectively supported.

Dr Leonie Pihama (Te Atiawa, Ngati Mahanga, Nga Mahanga a Tairi)