I’ve had a lot of feedback this afternoon from people saying how good they found the wall walk this morning, and asking me to pass on their regards to you. Special feedback from a self-confessed introvert is below. Thank you for organising such a fantastic event, and Simone was brilliant! I went to a private Christian school in Tauranga in the 90s and early 2000s. The New Zealand history I got was basically that “white people turned up, there were a few wee scuffles with Maori such as the land wars uncomfortable cough but then Maori issues just kind of disappeared and now New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world, apart from those pesky Maoris who commit all these crimes. Aren’t we lucky!?” I cringe at that now.
Thankfully since then, I’ve become somewhat better informed. Even so, I only heard of Parihaka a couple of years ago, and I’d certainly never heard of Nga Tamatoa or was aware of the endless list of subtly (and sometimes overtly) racist legislation. The comment about the difference between knowledge and acknowledgement really resonated with me. The session has given me a much more balanced perspective of New Zealand history and the underlying causes of Maori pain and inequity, although of course, I can never fully understand. I loved learning about the resistance and the uprisings, and now I understand that the strengthening voices of Maori today are part of a long history of fighting for their rights as a Treaty partner. I hope we can arrive at true partnership and equity someday, and I will do what I can to support that outcome. I also hope you run another Wall Walk. I think it’s critical knowledge for all New Zealanders, but particularly for public servants.
I attended your Wall Walk session today, wow! What dawned on me most is how little of NZ history I have been taught and what I was taught was through a European lens (in the 1980s) that never depicted the true story.
I think the Wall Walk is such an awesome initiative, and I’m inspired by Sim’s passionate presentation. I really enjoyed this morning’s session, and I learned a lot about New Zealand history today.
I participated in your Wall Walk back in November and the experience was outstanding. I’m sure I came away changed and have learnt more about NZ history and the Maori perspective than I had learnt in 50 years prior.
I visually saw my own whakapapa on the wall after never being able to meet my maternal grandparents (both deceased) and rely on stories handed down. Thank you for a thought-provoking and enlightening experience in the short amount of time allocated!
Thank you so much for today! Enjoyable would be an understatement. For myself it was a good refresher and I also learnt new things but the most powerful moments were those that evoked a deep conviction (and tears!!). What a journey Māori have endured through the last 200 years!? I love te ao Māori and history but understand that not everyone enjoys history and it indeed can be quite dry at times. I must admit, at the beginning, I was thinking “wow we’re gonna be here for 4 hours.” However, you totally smashed those preconceptions. Your kōrero was engaging to say the least and had everyone thinking. Every colleague I spoke with afterwards not only enjoyed it but felt really challenged to do something about the information they had received which is really awesome!
Thank you so much Simone for all that you shared with us today. There was so much information that could be taught for a whole week or weeks! I really appreciate it all and they were such important history that everyone should learn about.
Thank you so much for taking the time to take us through the Wall Walk yesterday. It was a fascinating morning and everyone is still talking about how interesting and insightful it was. The method of asking different people to present on the topics worked really well and stretched our team, many of whom are not used to presenting to groups. However, everyone agreed that by participating they learned a lot more. I also really liked the way you personalised the morning, with stories from your family, which showed just how recent the history and changes were. So again, many, many thanks – we really appreciate your time and enthusiasm – we all learned a lot and can now more fully appreciate the work needed.