To our brothers and sisters who are suffering: We see you. We hear you. We stand in solidarity with you .
We say to you: Black lives do matter. We all have the right to breathe. Whānau, we can speak out on social media, and we should. And even more than that, we have to stamp out racism right here in Aotearoa. Change needs to start at home. First, wāhia te tūngaroa o tō whare. Look at yourself. Take off the rose coloured glasses that make everything beautiful when you look in the mirror. What assumptions and judgements do you make about the people around you? We ALL have subconscious bias. And then, as we do that, we can more powerfully acknowledge, address, and change institutionalised and systemic racism. Consider this: We’ve got less than 100 days until our next election. Now is the time to have our voices heard. In the last month, the government has supported artists and committed $1b to create jobs that protect te taiao. But they also chose to build 488 new prison beds at a cost of $587 million and have implemented a two-tiered welfare system that arbitrarily divides people who need income support. With $20b set aside in the Covid-19 recovery fund that is yet to be allocated, there’s a clear window of opportunity for us to have an influence. Start with you. Start at home. And start thinking about the change you want to see.... Let’s stand up. And protect our whakapapa.