“Those that have ears let them hear”

In the wake of the tumult and tragedy of the past week with the murder of 2 year old Jhia Te Tua a journalist asked me about the good side of gangs. I told her, there is no good side to a gang. Let me be clear- like being in prison, being in the trapped lifestyle of a gang is a waste of time and human potential. So why hang with gangs? Well, if that’s where the problem is then from a community action perspective, you had better involve and work with the people who are part of the problem. It would be pointless having Alcoholics Anonymous without alcoholics like me. Pointless trying to resolve whatever it is going on in Aotearoa within this thing we call gangs without engaging with gang members. Gangs may be the locus of the stories in this series, but I’m committed to resolving a problem, not mount an apologia. My role is peacemaker.

On Friday in Wellington there was a stabbing at the Courthouse. It sparked in circumstances of raised emotions. Emotions scorched by a sense of outrage and now tinder dry. I went down there, fire -fighting. The Police had the situation well under control but I made sure that the Black Power guys who were hanging round dispersed and went home. Later in the evening I attended a korero convened to mitigate further incidents. Whilst I received an open and willing ear there was no commitment to cease and desist. Tension was high and there was an air of anger about the Wanganui incident. Yet as those gathered learned of the issues and facts- most of them are young parents themselves and they felt it could just as easily have been their child – and heard of the mediation being undertaken, and, as they considered the consequences and even the ‘morality’ of payback, the mood may well have relaxed a little. After the meeting I dropped off Rogue and TuOne. As he got out of the car TuOne leaned back in through the door. “At least someone gives a fuck” he said. I took that as an affirmative, encouragement to keep the dialogue rolling.

Tukorehe Marae, Kuku

The bro and I dropped our respective plans for the week pretty much straight after we heard the news about the Wanganui shooting. We’d got some basic info but we didn’t recognise the names and there were conflicting messages. We decided to get first hand accounts for ourselves and be on hand to help if required. On the drive to Wanganui we dropped into periods of silence. I don’t know what was in the bro’s mind but I was not sure of what lay ahead and I privately ran through the various scenarios that might eventuate based on experience. It seemed like I’d confronted this situation 100 times before, but never in the situation where a child had been killed. I thought of all the times that my own children had been at risk and the many incidents we had been through. How Taape, wahine toa that she is, had always refused to move out in dangerous times and insisted that she would play a role in defending our home and family. How even now the bullet marks are still evident on the old whanau homestead from a hit when only Pania and her baby were at home. How a generally accepted agreement had been developed between gangs nationally that whanau homes would not be targeted like this and how that understanding had more or less held good for well over a decade. And, now we were back to LA style drive-bys.

The scene has changed. At one time the various gangs tended to be formed regionally, but the economic restructuring of the 1980’s, and the suppression policies applied to gangs promoted a proliferation of franchise type set ups, clusters or sub gangs within a broader gang. These were potted around the country, co-existing with each other. In Wanganui there are three chapters of the Black Power; BP Wanganui, BP Movement, and BP West Coast. West Coast is the Chapter that Josh Te Tua, Jhia’s dad belongs to. It is a new chapter, only a few months old, ironically its formation stimulated in part by the local furore over the wearing of patches.

When we arrive in town we first hook up with the people we know and accept as leaders. Both the bro and I come from a tradition where mana whenua rule – in other words regardless of how big or small the chapter the locals make the call. Of course nowadays where you have a situation with multiple chapters in one location, the font of authority is less clear. We get briefed as well as we can and go looking for the people we need to consult. We drive to where the West Coast chapter has gathered.

It could be any of a thousand state house streets in NZ. I recognise the regalia but none of the faces. They are all young people and they are dressed in a mix of hoodies and leathers, a conflation of gangsta styles. Over to the side of the street are a line up of similarly young faces but sporting yellow scarves, the colours of the Killer Beez, reputedly a junior wing of the Tribesmen. We approach the Blacks, remove our caps and begin the greeting ritual of hariru. One of these young warriors looks harrow. His eyes are set deep and are ringed with the redness of tears and grief. It is Josh, baby Jhia’s dad. To my knowledge we have never previously met but in the instant of the exchange of breath of the hongi it feels that we know each other as a tuakana may know a teina. I am consumed with sorrow. We do not speak but stay locked. Our tears mingle. We break. After a little while we start a general conversation. Josh and I peel off from the crowd and talk privately and more intensely. He pours his heart out. His is a multi-layered story and when it is eventually told in public it will give all parties, including the Police, cause to reflect.

Tariana Turia calls and wants us to come to a meeting with the Wanganui iwi. The bro and I keep looking for two of the local rangatira who should be involved but end up going on our own. Local tribal leaders are gathered. Edge and Francis from the MM Notorious arrive and we wait some time for Johnny Nepe-Apatu and Claude from the Hastings MM to arrive. There is the formality of welcome. We pay our respective tributes to young Jhia. We express our connectiveness, through whakapapa, through shared efforts and actions, through shared aspirations for community and through a shared hope for a positive future. Tariana tells us ‘we don’t know what to do’. We discuss the situation. Almost as a parable the Chief Executive of the runanga tells us of the cultural battle the tribe faces to keep a sense of Wanganuitanga amongst its young people. She tells us, “our cultural enemies are north American music, TV and digital games”. It’s a challenge. Are the BP and MM the cultural enemies of Whanganuitanga as well? A kaumatua comments that he has paid no interest in the gangs themselves but would only recognise individuals in the context of their whanau or hapu persona. Perhaps, he muses, he needs to change his approach. We all agree to work with our respective roopu to minimise further harm and to report back to the iwi as soon as possible. The bro and I have a long and tiring drive home to Hawke’s Bay and we are both deep in thought.

Jhia’s body has been taken to one of her ancestral marae, Tukorehe at Kuku, near Levin. Around the country delegates of the BP start their trek to pay respects and their coming creates apprehension and distress amongst the haukainga. There are concerns about patches and the integrity of the kawa of the marae. The first night is stressful for the home people. Grief should level us, bring us together and build our sense of humanity. In these current circumstances though there is a media and political feeding frenzy, and human considerations are pushed aside in favour of political points and programme ratings. I go on national TV. I try to have a brief poroporoaki to Jhia and the whanau pani. The host tells me to speak English. Haeremai ki Aotearoa. I travel with Hawke’s Bay early the next morning. There is a stop to get a pink wreath. We are welcomed by the call of conch and the keening of karanga. Patches are taken off or turned inside out. No laws are needed other than the natural human law of mutual respect. My whaikorero is brief and to the point. The brothers perform the Kahungunu haka ‘Tika Tonu’. We approach the whanau pani, the grieving family.

Jhia Harmony Te Tua looked like a beautiful doll as she lay at the entrance to her ancestral house. During her short sweet life her favourite colour was pink, and there, in brutal death she lay surrounded by pink toys and pink child-like floral arrangements. Her little friends from the kohanga reo had written innocent messages of love and simple understanding and these sat above her teeny coffin. Their questions as to where Jhia has gone were answered in this way:

At the gates of heaven the angel babies wait,
for another little precious to claim as their mate.
As they see her getting closer, their smiles get bigger
‘cos they see their new friend as a little girly figure
They probably can’t see her properly so they fly to her side.
One plonks her on their back to take her for a ride.
The angel starts running and her wings start to flap.
The little one loves it and her hands start to clap.
She’s laughing, she’s smiling, she’s soaring through the air
on the back of an angel with long dark hair.
This reminds her of mommy the lady she’ll miss,
so she looks down below and blows her a kiss.
She knows she’ll get every kiss that she sends
‘cos that kind of love just never never ends.

(From Jhia’s funeral service Tukorehe Marae 10 May 2007)

The group of warriors pause before her. Tears roll down tattooed faces. Perhaps, like me, they see the face of their own children in that wooden box and, like me, reflect on our own stupidity in past actions that could have resulted in a similar outcome. We are chastened.

Tukorehe Marae, Kuku

The elders want to speak with us in private. The bro and I find the two key leaders as regards the Wanganui chapters and we gather in an office out the back of the marae. The korero is frank. There have been some miscommunications on both sides, between the visiting brothers and the haukainga. We quickly establish that all of us are prepared to subject ourselves and come under the authority of the marae, of the hapu Ngati Tukorehe. Patches will not be worn. For the brothers who don’t agree, don’t come. Tikanga will be observed. The troops will help out in the kitchen and around the marae. The agenda is explained. Jhia will be taken later in the day for cremation and then brought back to the marae for internment on the next day. There will be a long period of down time. I suggest that we have a waananga and perhaps practice haka. The suggestion is taken up. Tipi Wehipeihana might be interested in tutoring the guys. The meeting concludes. The regional rangatira get out amongst the leaders and explain to them to what has been agreed upon. Squads are dispatched to help out in the kitchen, to help with the tents, to help with the preparation of the haangi, to help pick up rubbish, to help with any undone job. Later there is a call for kai, and then after that a call to gather for the haka.

Tipi Wehipeihana is an accomplished kapa haka tutor and musician. In the course of the day, moved by the events and by the arrival of the various kokiri of young Maori warriors at his home marae, he has penned a haka. He calls this disparate group together. They are drawn from many chapters and across the various clusters of the Black Power, Movement, New Zealand, Mangu Kaha, and those older clubs based on places. Tipi recognises them though as their true selves, as Maori, and he speaks to them in that context; tupuna, mana, wairua, ihi, wehi, tapu, kaha, tinana, toa. During the day as he teaches I listen to his affirmations as he seeds the field of Maori potential:

“You are the culmination of your tupuna. Your tupuna stand here beside you. You are full of potential. You are doing this well. You are doing the work of your tupuna. Your tupuna are proud of you. Be proud of yourself. Be proud of who you are. You are doing well.”

I think we need more of Tipi the culture tutor, Tipi the teacher, Tipi the sports coach, Tipi the work foreman. Here at Kuku, in these four or five hours on the 9th of May 2007, Tipi the culture tutor, Tipi Wehipeihana tuakana, Tipi Wehipeihana rangatira toa, moulded a group of about 50 mainly young Maori New Zealanders, who some others would have locked in Guantanamo Bay, into a kapa haka group that might bear striking similarity to a group of Kiwi military servicemen performing haka anywhere in the world. Words, actions, understanding, all learned and synthesised. Synergy achieved, ancestral traditions fulfilled and spiritual larders replenished. The haka is called “Whakaeke Mai”. It invites people to gather and come back, come back from wherever you are, come back to the prestige of your old people, and, implicitly, your Maoritanga. Once there hold firm, hold firm.

Whakaeke Mai
Composed by Tipi Wehipeihana at the tangi of Jhia Te Tua

Kaea: Torona kei waho
Kei waho hoki mai

Kaea: Whaeke kei waho
Kei waho hoki mai

Kaea: Whakaeke mai ra

Whakaeke mai i te wiwi
Whakeke mai i te wawa
Whakaeke mai i te mana o nga tupuna ee – i au au au ha!

Kaea: Purutia to mana

Purutia to mana kia tu taku ihi
Purutia to mana kia tu takuwana
Purutia to mana kia tu kia tu
Taku mana ee
Hi aue hi!

If the guys are to return to their Maoritanga – and it is the course to resolution of the overall problem as far as I am concerned – then they need to be welcomed to it by their own elders and tribal authorities. I believe that every tribe needs its own plan to achieve this. The criminalisation of Maori is I believe a greater threat to this land than global warming. Whakaeke mai by all means, but, matua, kuia ma, please call us, call us.

The word came that Jhia’s ashes were ready to come back to the marae. Tipi put the call out to the kapa haka team and as the guys gathered they did so less as Black Power and more so as Maori than was possible the day before. Pakeha psychologists should study what it is that happens within a person when they connect with their inner selves through haka and express their deepest emotions. It is visceral. In the Maori world the representation of the child as represented by her ashes still meant she was with us. Ria and Josh cradled her little casket and, as Tipi led the haka powhiri, time was suspended and we entered the realm of the metaphysical. That night there were prayers and necessary korero. There were long and complex recounting of whakapapa and linking as the tributaries to this mokopuna’s existence were acknowledged and celebrated. Josh and Ria sat there and listened. Ria is again hapu and these ancestral lines are also exactly those of the child yet to be born. What will be this child’s future? Late that night, sitting out the front of the house I say to Josh “Brother, no one will think badly of you if you put your patch down. You have another baby on the way brother. Do what is right for your whanau”.

The following day we buried the little girl in Te Rau o te Aroha urupa. After the service the various roopu returned to their respective districts. Some of us readied ourselves to deal with the fallout and that work is underway now. So what to do? Well I’m so deeply positioned in the argument as a proto-apologist it seems futile for me to put forward a response model. In any case because so much has changed I’m shackled both by learning curve of the present and the forgetting curve of how it was in my day. It makes good sense to turn to the work of people who have been studying the gang issue nationally and internationally.

The most comprehensive and current research in New Zealand on the gang issue is a research report “From Wannabes to Youth Offenders – Youth Gangs in Counties Manukau” undertaken in September 2006 by the Centre for Social Research and Evaluation. It seems to me to be a good piece of work, but, in the moral panic that surrounds the issue, the intelligence contained within the Report seems to have been ignored and the conclusions denied. For instance the Report concludes that there is a spectrum of gang activity including groups who are highly organised and highly criminal – but that the majority of gang members in the area studied (Manuaku) are in the ‘Wannabes’ category and that they are not essentially criminal in behaviour. Pardon?

The Innuit apparently have a whole lexicon of words to describe snow. You need to know your snow when it surrounds you. So too with gangs. If you want to know how to react better be clear about what sort of gang you are dealing with. And, if you want to have some sort of informed debate about the issue then read this research paper http://www.msd.govt.nz/work-areas/social-resarch/
children-young-people/youth-gangs.html

If this is the best piece of available current Government research why don’t we work from it to develop an agreed game-plan?

The Research notes that:

“There is no agreed definition of youth gangs and many definitions erroneously associate youth gangs with criminality. The majority of literature-based definitions include criminality as a central identifier. The problem with a criminal focus is that crime is characterised as the gang’s defining feature and therefore gangs can be regarded as an issue of law and order only. Non-criminally focused definitions acknowledge that youth gangs form in a way that is similar to how other human associations form. These definitions acknowledge that crime may be part of a gang’s activity, but seldom is it central to it, nor is crime necessarily the gang’s primary reason for being. As such, those aligned with non-criminally focused definitions stress that youth gangs are not synonymous with crime and delinquency”.

The study advanced the working definition developed by Jarrod Gilbert a PhD student from Canterbury University and, under the tutelage of Associate Professor Greg Newbold, NZ’s most qualified current academic researcher on the topic of gangs. His shot at the definition is:

“A group of youths, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a loose structure, a common identifier (colours, a name, hand signals etc), whose activities are not primarily criminal but involve (mostly) petty crimes, and who see themselves as a gang and are identified as such by others in the community” (Gilbert, in preparation).

So the research contends that from a review of the history of youth gangs, it can be noted that:

  • youth gangs are not a new phenomenon
  • youth gangs and criminal offending are not synonymous.

The research provides a useful time line that describes the changing context of gangs in Aotearoa over time. I have taken the liberty of adding some detail.

New Zealand Youth Gangs Timeline

1800’s

  • Gangs comprised of Pakeha sealers and whalers create mayhem. Authorities are concerned about a Maori backlash and so form the NZ Police to curb Pakeha gangs

1950s

  • Youth gangs arise as a new phenomenon
  • The Bodgies and the Widgies come to public attention
  • Denoted as highly informal groups of young people
  • Seen as rebellious teen behaviour – rock ‘n’ roll, alcohol and sexual activity
  • The incidence of gangs remains relatively small

1960s

  • The American-based Hell’s Angels gang influences gang development in New Zealand, providing a model for gang structure, leadership, rules, codes of conduct and mode of dress
  • Gangs mostly consist of Pakeha?
  • Mongrel Mob forms in Hawke’s Bay in late 1960’s 1960s

1970s

  • Motorcycle gangs continue to grow
  • Maori and Pacific gangs expand and gain notoriety as they are perceived to be increasingly violent
  • Black Power forms early 70’s in Wellington primarily as a defence against the Mongrel Mob and white biker gangs
  • This is occurring in depressed rural and urban settings
  • Inter-gang struggles for territorial supremacy move gangs from loose collectives to territorially based groups
  • In 1979, in Moerewa, a dispute between the Storm Troopers and Black Power escalates into a riot that results in police officers being injured.

1980s

  • Gang membership becomes more long-term and gangs are composed of adults rather than youth
  • Gangs can no longer be regarded as youth gangs
  • There is concern over crime associated with adult gangs.
  • A series of Government enquiries concludes that pro-active pro-social work with gangs is required.

1990s

  • With the popularity of the amphetamine trade, the criminal element of the established gangs becomes more pronounced
  • Gangs tend to move from territorially based groups to more highly organised gangs
  • In the early 1990s, Pakeha street gangs with neo-fascist and white power tendencies gain prominence
  • An increase of Asian migrants since the 1980s has also brought Asian youth gangs to public attention
  • Government disestablishes gang mitigation initiatives and introduces a zero tolerance approach to working with gangs

2000s

  • Hip Hop and Rap music, Music videos and computer games stream Nth American gang culture into NZ homes. Wannabe and Territorial gangs based on Nth American models proliferate
  • Freebasing (burning) of methamphetamine becomes popular. Importers target established gangs as a distribution channel
  • Splits and schisms occur and established gangs adopt loose franchise type structures
  • Street violence associated with urban youth gangs become a major problem especially in Auckland

The research also provide a useful segmentation of the spectrum of NZ gangs.

Youth Gang classifications in Counties Manukau

Wannabes

  • Erroneously categorised as gang members o Highly informal
  • Maybe some petty crime (associated with adolescent crime and not necessarily group activity)
  • Similar dress code (such as bandanas)
  • Shared signs (such as a particular handshake)

Territorial Gang

  • Slightly more organised
  • Characterised by territorial boundaries
  • Dabbling in opportunistic crime

Unaffiliated Criminal Youth Gang

  • Members are not under any adult gangs
  • Denoted by overt criminal intent and carries out criminal acts for their own benefit only

Affiliated Criminal Youth Gang

  • Gang is defined by a relationship to an adult gang
  • Some biological relationships to an adult criminal gang
  • Organised around criminal intent
  • Often carry out criminal acts on behalf of adult gangs
  • If apprehended, members will generally be charged as minors

Wannabes appear to be the majority of the population in question.

The research presents an interesting paradox.

“A phenomenon of recruitment (prospecting) carried out by some adult gang chapters was confirmed by the research. It appears that there is a growing desire among some adult chapters to move away from historical criminal activities to employment and prosocial lifestyles and to provide positive environments for their children and grandchildren. Building upon this desire, the research identified a number of opportunities where agreements between adult gangs, government agencies and the community could be made for adult gang recruitment strategies to cease.”

“No significant barriers to exiting a gang were identified. Participants who had left gangs commonly referred to ongoing solidarity and spoke of gang members as their family. Although no significant barriers were identified, exiting gang members reported that the gang of origin would often attempt to entice the individual back”

So, ‘youth gangs need to be viewed as one outcome of wider social problems’. People want to leave gangs and there seem to be few barriers. ‘Um, still want terrorist legislation?

Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa (Ministry of Youth Development 2002) provides a framework for the various contributing factors to gang membership:

  • Economic deprivation
  • Confusion over accepted parenting practices
  • Parental disengagement
  • Stressors arising from financial commitments
  • Lack of engagement with services
  • Provision of a proxy family unit
  • Financial and material gain
  • Alleviate boredom Status
  • Protection Peer pressure
  • Excitement associated with crime
  • Adult gang recruitment/prospecting

Could we agree that these are the drivers?

Irving Spergel developed the Comprehensive Community-Wide Approach to Gang Prevention, Intervention, and Suppression – often called the Spergel Model (Spergel and Curry 1990). It concurs with my own model;

Divert (that is, keep kids out of gangs by providing something more attractive)

Contain (deal with the gang situation on any and all fronts); and

Redirect (give a way out and an opportunity for a better future for those that want to leave gang life).

Spergel’s model acknowledges the need for government, community-based agencies and schools to work together to develop targeted prevention and intervention strategies. His model has five components:

  • organisational development and change
  • community organisation
  • social intervention
  • suppression
  • opportunities

Now if the Ministry of Social Development research provides the knowledge and Spergel provides the strategic action headings for our collective action in Aotearoa then I can live with that.

I can’t live with the indiscriminate spraying of bullets in gang drive bys and I’m using every ounce of my being to work with others to ensure this sort of occurrence does not occur. The ‘others’ include tribal leaders, gang leaders and the Police. No one says stop policing. A frank, open and co-operative approach with pro-social gang leaders can save a huge amount of Police resources. Those same resources can be deployed to actual policing rather than having to try and cover hypothetical possibilities. It is a pragmatic, intelligent and compassionate approach. Its how we might do things here. In a Kiwi way. Its and/and, both, not either/or. I stress, no one is arguing that the Police should stop policing.

However, similarly, the indiscriminate spraying of political bullets is an equally terrifying reality. In the name of getting gangs under control we seem to be hell bent on making fundamental changes to our criminal justice system. We are contemplating the extinction of personal rights that have sat in place in English Law since the Magna Carta, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Indeed further, the suggestion of Terrorism Legislation intimates a suspension of habeas corpus. Just as we don’t want to see our kids killed by a drive by bullet we surely don’t want them to live in a society where these fundamental rights do not exist; where the shortcut rules intended to deal with one manifestation of a problem produce unintended consequences and now its your kids or grandkids who arise as the social devils of the day and are subject to whatever eventuates in legislation. Legislation is significant but how we use it is even more so. If drive bys are indiscriminate how we apply criminal legislation is very discriminate. This is reflected in the racial profile of our prison and gang populations. What we really mean when we talk about gang is Maori gang. We aren’t talking about organised crime at all. If we were talking about organised crime we would be talking about the big hitters, the internationals, the dudes that are hard to catch. They might not even look like our caricature of a gang member. But, no, we are fixated on Hori and Hemi at the mall with leathers and moko. I think we Pakeha actually suffer some sort of settler malaise at this point and we run a fever. Do we have some suppressed memory and unresolved fear of the natives?

I have a sense of déjà vu. I turn to Ranginui Walker and his book ‘Nga Tau Tohetohe – Years of Anger’ and in it an article written at this time of the year nearly 30 years ago. Ranginui (Walker 1987: 218) writes about a convention that I ran at Waiohiki in the Easter of 1978. It was part of a strategy to re-link the Black Power guys with their sense of Maoriness. He says:

“The recent convention of Black Power gangs at Waiohiki Marae for instance is a case in point. By inviting them to the marae, responsible Maori leaders were fulfilling a social obligation by integrating these alienated Maori youths into conventional society……Black Power is not, as Pakehas think, the seeds of revolution. If Black Power is pushed into becoming an anti-social force then the adoption of that stance will be due to Pakeha paranoia and not the failure of responsible Maori leadership”

(Ranginui Walker 8 May 1978)

I asked in these columns (Manaakitanga and other matters – Sept 06) “what would it take for the brothers to put down their patches?” I don’t just mean for an event or such – they’ll generally do that if asked respectfully – but as a lifestyle. Well, what would it take for us as a nation to resolve this whole issue? If the brotherhood acknowledged that in fact they don’t want a trapped lifestyle that means relative poverty, jail, and underachievement; if the brotherhood said we want to join in socially because we want our kids to succeed and we don’t want them in jail, we don’t want them to repeat our mistakes; as a nation what would we do?

If the criminal justice system admitted that it is wracked by policy failure and needed community help to rethink its paradigm about crime and punishment in Aotearoa; if the education system admitted that it has failed the same people who occupy the jail beds and doesn’t really know how to do better but is committed to find out and to do so; if Ministry of Social Development said that it finds these people difficult to deal with but recognises that it is essential to do so because they represent a potential intergenerational multiplier; if Government departments generally put their hands up and said we don’t know what to do either, but we are absolutely prepared to do whatever needs to be done to help anyone who longs to become all that they can be; as a brotherhood what would we do?

We are at a tipping point. All sorts of stuff is in the air besides talk of utu and terrorism. Some see metaphysical forces and these words and spirits have swirled around the awa, the Wanganui River, before. I do not see such things but I have become aware that there are other dimensions not apparent to me. It is said that, fearing revenge, some of the Mongrel Mob whanau have retreated up the river to Hiruharama for safety. I retreat there too, right now, and in my mind ask what Hemi would say that we should do in the moment?

I look at the monolithic forces gathered: the Goliath of the state and its criminal justice system; the howling political animals stirred by the smell of power-blood and worked into a frenzy of allegation; the chattering classes galvanised by fear of the tattooed face and talking up panic. It comes to me. To arm ourselves for the battle against modern day Goliaths the poet tells us to act like David and go to the river and choose, for our metaphoric slings, the five stones worn smooth by the water of Maori society that he called;

Aroha – holding the love of people
Korero – staying prepared to talk problems through Matewa – feeding our spiritual life
Mahi – working together for a common purpose Manuhiritanga – offering an open house to those in need

So, there you are. Lets have a crack at fixing this issue by whakaeke, gathering together at the call of the kaumatua and returning to the marae, by taking the Ministry of Social Development’s ‘Wannabes Report’ as our situation report, by applying Spergel for strategy, and by using James K Baxter’s ‘Maori stones’ for our philosophical values.

Those that have ears let them hear.


Tags: Black Power  Ranginui Walker  Tariana Turia