April 19, 2021
Proud to be Maori. Reclaiming our right to sit at the table
Proud to be Māori. Reclaiming our right to sit at the table
Te Whānau o Waipareira has launched a powerful campaign this morning; unapologetically celebrating Māori identity with a message of resilience and hope.
The campaign fearlessly calls for Māori to be proud of their identity, whakapapa and tikanga, while acknowledging the challenges faced by being Urban Māori.
Within a landscape of systemic racism and oppression, Waipareira COO Awerangi Tamihere explains they created the campaign with the intent to empower the West Auckland Māori community, whom they service and advocate for. “We know the challenges that tomorrow will bring. But we want – as the waiata goes – our people to hold their heads up high and let our voices fly, I’m Proud to be Māori.” Awerangi says.
The long-overdue message at the heart of the campaign is more timely than ever. One does not need to look very far to find examples of the challenges Māori face today; Ihumātao, John Banks’ on-air racist statements, complaints to the BSA around the use of Te Reo are just a number of recent incidents. Waipareira felt it was time for an empowering call for Māori to respond to the ongoing issues.
“The continuous fight for equality that Māori have had to endure reflects the mamae that has been impacting generations.” Awerangi says.
“The purpose of this campaign is to embody the narratives of our own values, allowing our community to unite, because together, we are stronger.”
“For that reason it is right to say Kokiritia I roto I te Kotahitanga " we will progress in unity, we will advance in unity,’ Awerangi said.
Te Whānau o Waipareira was founded on the advocacy of it’s people communities who came to the city for work. By uniting together and celebrating diversity rather than letting it be divisive, Waipareira has had great success in helping people in the community achieve positive life outcomes.
Awerangi explains “One thing we all agree on is whether you are an Iwi, hapu or urban Māori, be proud to be Māori and celebrate who you are.”
The campaign is the first of its kind for Waipareira and, as Awerangi explains, they hope it will resonate widely and empower Māori no matter where they are based.
“As individuals, as relations, and as an organisation “we all have one thing in common“
"We are Proud to be Māori.”