It’s fucking cold right? That’s a rhetorical question because it is cold and we don’t need to keep banging on about it. However, what we do need to keep talking about is emergency housing and the work that Te Puea Memorial Marae is doing in Auckland because for many reasons (almost all of them being governmental) there are families in desperate situations. I’m sure I don’t need to recap for you how dire things are (whānau sleeping in cars, homeless babies of 14 days age) for some people right now but what I can do is provide some background information and links for help. Remember: a home is not a privilege, it is a right. Apathy is a privilege so don’t be a dick, be part of the solution.
1. Te Puea Herangi
The following is the final paragraph from her entry in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography:
“Te Puea was recognised as a remarkable leader whose achievements communicated across cultures, and she was hailed as 'the greatest Maori woman of our time'. There was little recognition, though, of the poverty and powerlessness that she had spent her life fighting, and the New Zealand government was still a long way from accepting the statement of Maori autonomy embodied in the Kingitanga. She would not have liked the constant references to 'Princess' Te Puea; it was a title originally bestowed on her by Pakeha, which she never used herself. The strength of the Kingitanga at the time of Te Puea's passing is the greatest testimony to her life's work; and on the marae at Ngaruawahia her unseen presence is felt still.”
It should thus be no wonder that a marae named for Te Puea is doing the work it is. There have been some calls to other marae in Auckland to do the same thing and I think this is a dangerous request, Te Puea is undoubtedly doing exceptional mahi but expectation needs to remain with the government, MSD and Housing New Zealand.
2. Give a Little (or a lot)
There are various avenues through which to donate to the marae but one option is the Give a Little page. Also, if you want to support a company that is supporting the marae then you should know that Flick Electric has said that they will be covering the marae’s bills for the next three months.
Slightly different tack but yesterday I wore the mohair cardigan that my mum knitted me for my wedding to work. It is beautiful and delicate and probably the most precious thing I own. When mum got sick, her tumour affected her mobility and this meant that she was unable to knit, which was a pretty devastating development to see. I wrote about the affect of this on her hands here. After mum died we found out just how many charities she donated to (because the invoices kept arriving!) and given how little we had growing up, it was inspiring to see mum’s capacity to still give. A good reminder that there is always space to do more.
There are a few podcasts that I listen to and want to evangelise to everyone about. These three in particular are on high rotation and I think it is no coincidence that they are all of best mates just talking to one another. What is even better though is that they are also all podcasts that cover racial and cultural politics and often through pop cultural lenses. If you know of any podcasts that do the same kind of thing but are based in New Zealand or feature indigenous people, please let me know! I’m dying for it. Anyway, what are you waiting for? Get to Call Your Girlfriend, For Colored Nerds and Another Round IMMEDIATELY.
Not me. This. There are so many stunning and interesting events on in Wellington during Matariki this year that it is hard to figure out which to get to. Thankfully, many are free or cheap as chips. Te Whare Matoro looks awesome (and like something my kids will sit through), I always try to get along to everything Tawata produces so will attempt to get along to The Vultures not to mention all the other amazing theatre productions. I was sure that there was an event last year that donated money to the Wellington City Mission, I can’t find the equivalent this year so if there is one, please tell me!
Because I wrote it, it’s now stuck in my head. Enjoy. Dance. Live your fucking life.
Okay. I'm here again with a bonus waiata because I finally saw Rihanna's Billboard performance and it is FIRE. There is literally nothing better I can do for myself when I'm feeling dejected with society than to listen to a woman fucking killing it with her boss skillz: