The Day That Decolonisation Became Personal

Except that it was.

The problem is not so much that this narrative didn’t hold truth, but rather that it was incomplete and overwhelmingly one-sided.

The waka Haunui floating on a rippled ocean with a small inflatable boat in the background. The waka is a replication of the style of canoe that early Māori may have used to voyage to Aotearoa New Zealand.
The waka Haunui — a replication of a style of canoe that early Māori might have used to arrive in Aotearoa New Zealand. Image credit: Michael R Perry
A faded metal plaque with inscriptions of passenger names on the Cressy ship. It reads: “Baker, James 33 (Shepherd), Mrs Sarah 31, Matilda 10, Mary A 8, Richard 6, James 4, Edward, 2, Sarah Infant”
The names of my ancestors who arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand many centuries after the first Māori

These are the stories that are embedded into the foundations of our identities and our culture. They influence the way we have built our societies, and they often dictate whose stories get heard and whose don’t. They influence which stories we tell about ourselves, and which ones we tell about others.

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