Ko Ruahine tōku maunga
Ko Manawatū tōku awa
Ko Kahungunu, Rangitāne, Rongowhakaata, Tūhoe tōku Iwi
Ko Mārau, Maru tōku hapu
Ko Rākautātahi tōku marae
Ko Hone Morris rāua ko Erica Week ōku matua
Ko Māia Piata Rose Week tōku ingoa
I was born to be here. My mother grew up on Waiheke, first arriving here when she was 7. When she had me she knew that she wanted to raise me on the island. Waiheke is an incredibly unique and special place within Aotearoa and I will forever be grateful for having the privilege to experience my childhood on Waiheke.
I stay because I want to share my experience of growing up on Waiheke, especially as the island becomes more gentrified which results in whānau, especially Māori, having to move off-island because they are unable to afford rent. I love Waiheke and it will always be my home, it holds such a special place in my heart that it is hard to imagine myself leaving.
I want to see the island protected, for me, remaining on the island, despite Auckland Council’s repeated attempts to transform it into a playground for the wealthy, is an act of defiance against ongoing colonialism and capitalist greed.
I would like to see the community educated on the pre-colonial Māori history of Waiheke and the Hauraki gulf. This could also include Te Tiriti and decolonisation workshops.
I would also like to see more young Māori return to the island. Our Rangatahi are the future, especially in the fight against climate change, colonialism and capitalism.
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