Before getting this job, I never knew the power of being a rangatahi Māori and having a voice that will impact the future of systemic change. When you’re young, you think that going to uni, working, partying and finding yourself is the goal.
Throughout my time here at Tokona, I feel seen, heard and valued because of the simple belief that rangatahi are a part of the solution. They ingrain into us that we hold the power to make the future a place where we can thrive and be accepted. I get to work with like-minded rangatahi where we are all striving to be future-focused and bring solutions to the issues that all Māori face today.
I feel privileged to be in a space where we are literally being paid for our opinions and that we are surrounded by intelligent and knowledgeable pakeke who share the same goal and vision. We get told almost every day to claim our space, stand in our mana and to challenge and question everything.
I have been working since I was 16 and have never felt valued and always feeling like the token Māori, but here I am at 23 years old feeling valued and respected for the first time in my professional life. As a young Māori and Pasifika woman, I hope that rangatahi like me know that the unique perspective and voice we hold are important and something that the world needs more of.
I thought I had to stand on my whenua to be Māori,But I know it lies waiting for me to come home, no doubt I