Te haerenga o Te Tiriti o Waitangi
“Ko te tumanako kei a koutou katoa he wiki mō Te Reo Māori! I hope you’re having a good Wiki o te Reo Māori!”
This is the opening line that I read in an email that one of our team has just sent out to a group of clients.
Our first hui for the week started with everyone sharing a kupu reo Māori that represents their Monday morning vibes: karawhiua, aroha, makariri, rangimārie, ngenge… Our Slack is littered with kupu and phrases about what we’re doing this week, and our support for each other:
“Ata mārie e te whānau!”
“Kei te 🏢 ahau nōnāianei”
“Ka pai tō mahi!”
Yep, it’s Māori language week, but I’m reflecting that this is actually pretty normal here at Curative.
We’re on a constant, open learning journey – as a team and as individuals, as tauiwi pākehā, tauiwi tāngata moana and tāngata whenua – about how to be a good partner in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We’re deepening our understanding of our history, practicing waiata, using karakia, connecting with te taiao, learning language, sharing pūrakau and exploring our roles; working together in respectful, connected and reciprocal ways. We’re constantly questioning what it means to be creative, to be storytellers, to be designers – here in Aotearoa and here in our mahi which is focused on positive change.
And, while we’re normally cautious of the tokenism that can come with language weeks, we’re really proud to participate in our own ways in Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and acknowledge the enormous progress that the movement has made.
Sadly though, it’s in weeks like this that we also feel the mamae and frustration that the language of Aotearoa came so close to being lost in the first place. And it’s hard not to feel the ongoing barbs of racism and resistance from a few loud voices.
But, it’s this combination of pride and frustration that keeps us going in our haerenga with Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
And we’ll always be fuelled by the deep pride that we have for Aotearoa and the extraordinary gift that we have to be in relationship with Māori; with the language so rich in metaphor, with the wisdom of mātauranga, with the rhythms of maramataka, the beauty and ritual of waiata, the spirituality of karakia and taonga, the power of haka and poi, and the safety in tikanga and kawa. There is so much to be proud of our Māori culture, and how unique it is to Aotearoa.
There is so much to learn, to honour and to respect.
We’re grateful to our friends and mentors who journey with us. The incredible team at Kūwaha who teach us so much in their open, generous and gracious ways. Our mates at the Oi Collective who get deep in the mahi with us. And to Kataraina Davis and her Ngāti Whatua whānau who walk alongside and awhi our learning.
It was Kata and her partner CJ who gifted Curative this pao, which reflects our values and our mahi.
Our pao helps to keep us grounded in our journey.
As we share thoughts and conversations, as we welcome people into our mahi, we do it with aroha.
We throw our actions into the world, and we unite together as we live our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.