Aotearoa New Zealand, 15 September 2020

Ā Tale of Two COVIDs: Māori online in 2020

It was the best of times
Pianika sings Please Mister Postman with her daughters in pyjamas. Stace goes live on Insta to give tips in te reo. Zui becomes a word. Lockdown Karaoke, Poetry with Brownies, Tutorials with Sian, Weaving with Veranoa, Fry bread on YouTube, Reducing waste with Parakore, learn a Phrase a Day with Hēmi and Maramataka with Heeni, Living by the Māori Moon. Tihei…!

it was the worst of times
Arguing about tangihanga, arguing about roadblocks, arguing about rights, arguing about wrongs. Arguing about privilege, arguing about politics, arguing about portraits, arguing about pain.

it was the age of wisdom
He waka eke noa

it was the age of foolishness
He waka eke noa

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity
‘It’s beautiful!’
‘It’s appropriation.’
‘It’s a cushion.’
‘It’s racist!’
‘Isn’t s/he Māori?’
‘I’m Māori, and I say British nurses doing the haka is harmless.’
‘I’m Māori and I say STFU.’
‘Your poetry would be nicer if it wasn’t about race.’
‘Anyway most Māori are white, js.’
‘Isn’t Jacinda amazing?’
‘Bro, have you forgotten Ihumātao?’
‘You’re doing decol all wrong.’
‘It ain’t a competition, sis, it’s a race to the bottom.’
‘Kūare af!’
‘You stop!’

it was the season of Light






it was the season of Darkness

it was the spring of Hope
Hokia ki tō maunga mā runga Zoom ia te pō

it was the winter of Despair…
‘The sooner we get back to BAU the better.’

We had everything before us.
Ko Ranginui e tū e iho nei

We had nothing before us.
Ko Papatūānuku e takato ake nei

Tūturu whakamaua kia tina
Haumi e, hui e tāike e!


Nadine Anne Hura: Ki te taha o tōku Pāpā, he uri ahau nō te Tai Tokerau. Ko Ngāti Hine, Ko Ngapuhi ngā iwi. Ki te taha o tōku Māmā, he Pākehā ahau, nō Ingarani, nō te awa Mersey. I am a writer of policy by day and essays and poetry by night. I grew up with my Mum, distant from my father’s whānau but always wondering. I spent many years living overseas, including South America, Samoa and the Middle East, returning to Aotearoa in 2015 to study te reo Māori. From there my journey homeward truly began. I have three children and we live within the shelter of te whanga a Titahi. More here.