Margaret-Jane shared a moment

Margaret-Jane Hayter | September 2021

Photo of Margaret-Jane | Maori Language Moment 2021
As a teacher, my students did a unit on speeches which we call chitty chats.

As a teacher, my students did a unit on speeches which we call chitty chats. I made an exemplar for them introducing myself in Te Reo Māori. My speech was 'all about me', and it included my pepeha and a poem I wrote about being Māori and European. It has only been in my late twenties that I have wanted to embrace my culture more fully. Below is the poem that I created:

Halved by two.

Numbers can be whole, but cant catch the flu

Split into quarters, but I'm halved by two

Two different cultures on one face

Māori and European - but what is your race?

This is the question that is asked of me,

too brown to be white, too white to be free.

Free from Judgement, free from belief

Too white to be Māori, that's what they tell me.

You can't speak the Reo, you don't know the songs

You move and talk like a colonial pom

You won't eat all seafood, you hate long drops

Let's be honest, plastic Māori ways will always flop

Flip, flop, bang and slap.

My self esteem took a negative wack.

Too light to be Māori, too dark to be European

Where do I stand in this world that I live in.

I stand in both, they both live in me.

This picture depicts what everyone can see.

One person, one face, one name, one place

I am that person, that is my face.

My name is Margaret-Jane and Aotearoa is my place.

One plus one - that equals you.

Māori and European, I'll incorporate the two.