Leo | Share your why

My working project is, to help revive Maori Traditions. My project NEEDS a living language (compulsory for all immigrants and ultimately every resident of New Zealand)

My project is to write a book of the importance of Maori Culture for all of us on this planet.

It is a privilege to live in a country, where the only still existing and legally protected indigenous culture in the world is reviving.

We all need this revival and should encourage and support (any indigenous culture as well as and foremost) Maori Culture.

Already there is a ripple effect going out to other colonized and suppressed indigenous people in Australia, South-America, Canada and de USA and who knows where.

It got me, immigrant from a well-off Farmers family in well-off Netherlands (Holland).

I don't want to leave this planet before leaving behind my story

THE STORY is about:

A magical cultural encounter in 1643 comparing this with today’s multi cultural society of Aotearoa, I try to show the loss of valuable cultural habits, the disconnection between us as people and our environment, that has slowly created a feeling of hopelessness and chaos, a lack of identity.

Recognizing and describing traditional Maori culture and society structure as one of the few surviving alternatives to a mono-(Western)culture in the rest of the world, I try to emphasize the positives of this available alternative here in New Zealand.

By linking original Maori values and customs, as preserved through Hine, portraying her as my ancestor and then myself, AS “NEW” IMMIGRANT AND descendant of this Maori woman, returning to today’s New Zealand, I try to create a dialogue between these different cultures, these different worldviews, aiming to strengthen our society, while at the same time giving it more pride in it’s own identity.

New Zealand can be leading the world by practicing a different way of life.

I will add and combine values from people from all over the world, trying to make Aotearoa their new home. Leaving behind the mistakes that were made in their own countries. By adding positive value to existing Maori culture.

As an experienced (and now retired) Mental Health Nurse I have gathered enough prove from the past encounters as well as from current encounters with people from all over the world.

My own experience as immigrant, leaving behind a “certain” lifestyle and restarting from scratch in an (alien) world I had to overcome self-doubt, that comes with this immigration. I worked in big cities, in rural communities, on mareas, in forensic clinics and everywhere I encountered other people that worked on the sharp edge of the society (Police, Social Welfare staff, prison wardens, Teachers, Philosofers). I spent lots of time with artists, musicians as well as politicians and spoke about my encounters with “my dear people”, people caught in a downward spiral of despair and poverty (to such an extent, that they gave up on themselves).

Having to give them hope in a world in which the society, (politicians and “the system”) does nothing, but making it worse, with bureaucracy and indifference. Cutting funds, that were promised and making one feel guilty for being such a “burden” to the society, while themselves not being able to last for more then one week in their shoes.

The contrast between the 20% of the world that has more than it needs and the 80% that doesn’t know if there is any food or roof tonight, that has to worry about prosecution and violent conflict, only because they were born with the wrong religion, or in the wrong place, on top of essential minerals and resources to feed the profit-hunger of the top 20%.

In New Zealand the history around the Declaration of Independence (1835) and the Signing of the Treaty (of Waitangi, 1840) is followed by breaches of trust and equal relationship, a slow but sure erosion of Maori culture. In my story I will use these grievances and failures as background to highlight the fundamental “wrongs” of Treaty Settlements, that does not address the core problems.

I spoke with people that have researched the infamous Land-wars of the mid 1800’s. Up till today there has been no restorative justice and ongoing disputes are the consequence.

While I will be telling a story of –re-discovery of lost values, I will highlight different ways and possibilities to address historical grief and hope that it shows the opportunity to create a stronger, more just society, based on these values, but also based on the experiences of the “new-comers”, immigrants from all over the world, that would try to avoid making the same mistakes as the ones that made them leave their homeland to try and create a better and brighter future here in Aotearoa.

With this story I urge all non-Maori immigrants to reflect on our own lifestyle and see if there is a way to create a better future, avoiding the mistakes already made by their own ancestors. We have enough knowledge gathered over the last decennia. We CAN learn from the past and do not have to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Bringing together all the positives will help to make a more fair society that can be in harmony with the surrounding natural world.

We all have a deep en-rooted memory of our ancestors stored in our genes. We need a strong self-belief, which can come through our connection with the past.

Our soul, our IHI will guide us and gives us the strength, the insight and the courage to follow the path that will bring us all back together.

In the story I also try to (re-)kindle the still existing awareness of IHI in Maori, who have been given traditions and knowledge through their whakapapa. Too many are caught up in the high speed society around them, slowly loosing this ancient knowledge.

Yes, Maori traditions are being re-visited and at times re-instated, given a place in NZ history, but all too often it appears to be tokenism. Nice for the tourists and good to “make money”, good for business.

Instead of chasing this carrot and trying to get a bigger slice of the cake, Maori need to show themselves and others the importance of their traditions and values. Values and traditions, that have been passed on through whakapapa for a good reason.

As earlier, elsewhere in the world, greed, colonization and loss of faith have eroded these values, and with it, our society.

The values of American-Indian Chiefs like Sitting Bull, Hindu like Mahatma Ghandi, Bantu like Steve Biko, Prophets like Jesus Christ and Mohammad and many many more have been verbalizing and preaching the importance of these values that make us HUMAN. Speaking up against the (instinctive and fear driven) greed and violence, which has only lead to destruction and loss.

to be continued..... let me know what you think of the idea and if you want to help getting this story out in the world (Chapter ONE is almost finished) Or if you think I should not continue without first doing the following : ..............