Sweet and sour


 Kāore te kumara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka

 The kumara never talks about its sweetness

 A Māori proverb tells us

 Waiho  ma te tangata e mihi

 Don’t be talking about yourself,

 Leave it for someone else

 Kahu knows about this

 Do  you know Kahu?

 He wahine tino hūmārie ā Kahu

 Kahu is  a very humble woman

 I never hear Kahu talking about her sweetness

 Anei te mihi ki a koe Kahu

 Here’s my mihi to you Kahu.


I sat with a person today. This person told me how they had completed all their tasks in record time. At first, I didn’t catch on to their whakamanamana (boasting) but when I did, I asked them what it all means. Their answer didn’t satisfy me, so I wrote this poem because their talk about their sweetness made me sour…

There are different ways of talking, sharing, caring but I think Māori do it in a  collective and supportive way – focusing on the collective good – a humble way –  a humorous way – whakawhanaungatanga.  My poem was my resistance to competitiveness to neo-liberal expectations.

By Barb O’Loughlin (A fellow swashbuckler) on behalf of MAI ki Tamaki

Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Moehau te maunga
Ko Waihou te awa
Ko Ngāti Maru te iwi
Ko Ngāti Naunau te hapū
Ko Matai Whetū te marae
He mihi tēnei ki te whānau whānui.

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