Māori Scorecard

Image: Ataria Sharman

Image: Ataria Sharman

why can’t i just be me

i’m sick of being made to feel less than

less mana

less rangatira whakapapa

less Ngāpuhi-ness

whatever the fuck that is

less brownness

less reo

less kapahaka

less Māori

my dad can’t do a haka

i don’t know where the best fishing spots are

it’s like i’ve got a Māori scorecard

a reo scorecard

a māori women scorecard

fuck everyone’s scorecards

why can’t i just be me

Average Māori

At other things I excel

But according to you

At being Māori I’m average

Whakapapa Judger

No matter how my Māoriness manifests

The diversity of it all

I am Enough

I am Māori

If you think I have to do anything to “be”

Māori Enough for you

Then stop and ask yourself

What you think gives you the right

To judge my whakapapa

And my tīpuna

Based on your own assumptions

And worldview

Of what it is

To be Māori.




This article was written by Ataria Rangipikitia Sharman of Ngāpuhi and Tapuika descent. Ataria is a Masters student at Victoria University and member of Te Papa Tupu 2018 (Māori Literature Trust and Huia Publishers).