What an incredible journey! One that I am totally loving every minute of.

I’ve been a Social Worker in Aotearoa now for around ten years. During my studies, I learned about the Treaty of Waitangi and so forth. Most of that journey has been as the Pakeha I have always known myself to be and was raised as. But, in the last few years, I decided to learn more about the Maori culture as the realisation that I am Maori too (Ngai Tahu) began to really sink in. Prior, it had just been the knowledge that my family had land down South and the ancestral lines came from my Dad and his Mum (Grandma/Wee Mag) and just something learned about it class.

I just spent the weekend immersing myself in another workshop learning about romiromi and mirimiri. And, as I am beginning to realise more and more when you enter this wonderful world, not only do you learn new tools, you are surrounded in so much aroha, connection, mana, karikia, waiata and the list goes on! It’s an immersive experience and one I now crave and can’t get enough of. I feel like I have ‘come home’ and my heart explodes with this new found treasure chest that continues to deliver such wonderful gifts at so many levels.

I feel deep in my soul, the effects of the ‘TOW agreement’. How it buried incredible healing modalities, hurt families, suppressed a part (if not all) of those individuals and families and much much more and my heart aches for what should never have happened. But, more so, how we need to shine the spotlight more than ever on what this culture brings to the table.