My darling daughters,
I want to explain a bit more about why I gifted the three of you Nuku - The honouring of wahine, their legacies and memories.
When I was growing up I didn't have any stories presented to me of what it was to be wahine Maori ...
I can remember watching the Lone Ranger and seeing these beautiful brown women ....I had never seen anyone reflected on the screen that was an adult who looked as I might.
I could project myself to her world, and wished for the long shirts, white off-the-shoulder gathered shirts, and pulled back hair with side kissing curls....
The only issue was you would see the strength in their statue for a frame or two of the programme, then they were portrayed to being the subject of abuse in some manner by having their raunch attacked or children threatened, and they always ended up needing a man to come to their rescue.
When you, my daughters came into my life I had trouble finding images to show you strong wahine or even happy children playing.
I had always admired Robyn Kahukiwa and her work for her touchstones and taonga.
Unable to afford her prints I had posters and a calendar that I had collected at a work event.
I cut them out and hung them on my walls with bluetack...
Kaha, courage, mana
I loved these taonga and touched them daily with my eyes and manawa.
And these were the images that surrounded your young hearts and eyes.
Not having touchpoints to our Maori whakapapa and attending a University that had zero reference to tangata whenua I had entered my adult world with no tentacles or binding to that which I felt the most... Maori... I felt out of place so I morphed to fit, to feel touchpoints of connection, with a culture that didn't reflect who or how, I was feeling, or wishing to behave.
The world is changing and the strength of the likes of Qiane and those she has shone her spotlight on are here for your reference and referral - a restoring of which has been hidden.
The importance of Nuku is beyond words,
it is a place, a movement, a knowing, a home for wahine and tane alike to sit and absorb that which is us and a place to inform all of the power and beauty that wahine Maori possess.
It is here to give you the understanding that what you are feeling is not in isolation,
that the struggle is real to be brown and beautiful but the rewards are just as great.
I hope that you find within these pages threads to your own wairua and that the tug will make you feel your fabric fit into place complete and ever expanding.
I love you and am so pleased there are more than Spanish beauties now holding the limelight. That these wahine show you that you can be the heroine of your own story and that the flowing skirts and off the shoulder shirts can be worn however you wish…
Forever here for you,