Aotearoa: Land of the Long White Cloud...Of Racism

Donny Riki & Kelly Forrest


Donny Riki, Ngāpuhi / Ngāti Paoa and Kel Forrest, Pākeha will explore and discuss their parallel yet distinctively different experiences of responding to each other, in their work and to the Myth that Aotearoa/New Zealand has inter-racial harmony “Bi-Culturalism”

     Side by side, they will deconstruct these myths using korero tahi (discussion), whakaāhua (powerpoint), wairuatanga (experiential exercises) & waiata (song).  Traditional Māori metaphor provides a holistic & inclusive pathway to healing the ethical dilemmas they face responding to these “in-visible” layers of annihilation. Against our political history of colonisation & genocide, this degree of wounding is often too profound to process in a single lifetime.

      Tino Rangatiratanga, or self-determination, is inexplicably impossible for Māori to achieve & we must all consider ourselves a sum of the parts that make up the whole of this global phenomenon. We need to provide positive experiences through inter personal relationship working across cultures by celebrating resistance to violence.

     Personal & professional insights to our own internalised racism, cultural fragmentation & pūkenga (limitations) provides significant intelligence that informs & guides our practice. There will be space for conversations with participants to wonder about their own experiences of either resisting or contributing to racism.  In this we must be able to bear witness to the pain of other suffering & weep for them, which in turn allows others to weep for us.