Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Externalising a really complicated situation on my blog

Kia Ora,

Today was a very interesting day. I would count it as my first stepping in to the political ring (only because its a Monday, and everyone seems to be back at work). Just like the recently released  "don't drink and drive" advertisement  "I have been internalising a really complicated situation in my head". The 'complicated situation' being how I now manage my personal and increasingly public and political persona's. 

I have just returned home from the Native Affairs: Te Tai Tonga political debate, which was an excellent event. (Obviously my support is 100% behind Rahui who did an amazing job tonight.)

The first thing that struck me was the physical separation they put between each party support group. Every political party had a section that they had to sit in - some of my friends were sitting in sections across from me because they supported other parties - and also some of my whanaunga.

I found that to be awkward......My natural state would have seen me gravitate to my friends and whanau, instead I was catagorised by political affiliation. Hmmmm - I'm not sure this sits well with my 'whanaungatanga'-o-meter.

My internal dialogue was around whether I should just "suck it up" and accept that this would be my reality from now on OR whether it was a process of neo-colonisation that we could address somehow? I understand the naivety of the 'why cant we all just get along' scenario - but my ponderings are more around why we allow politics to divide us? Also, I further pondered about why we split our already marginalised voice across so many political parties that we become even smaller minorities in each of them? I cant see how we as a collective people benefit from this?

My natural (and first choice) of affiliation will also be by whakapapa/whanaungatanga/relationships. And as far as I am concerned this will always come first for me. So, awkward moment passed (thank god) and a last 'note to self' before bed - 'must remember to challenge this next time it happens.'

Po marie


  1. Kai pai Kaapua!

    It's good that we remember the important things in life.

    I have to say, politics is ranked number six on my list of high priorities:

    1. My church
    2. My whanau
    3. My hapu
    4. My iwi
    5. My relationship with friends and others
    6. Politics

    Of course during the rugby world cup politics slipped to number seven.

    But through my involvement with the Maori Party, the most rewarding part has not been politics, but the amazing people that I've met and befriended over the past seven years, including those that are no longer with the party.

    Like you, I'll never forget the importance of whakapapa and whanaungatanga.