The following is the text of a speech given at a Socialist Alliance public meeting in Melbourne on 7 November by Workers Party member Grant Brookes
Ko Ranginui kei runga
Ko Papat nuku kei raro
Ko ng tangata kei waenganui
Ko Grant Brookes ahau
Ko Helen toku mama
Ko Don toku papa
Na tepoti ahau
Na Koterana oku tipuna
Ko ng kaimahi o te ao taku iwi.
When a Maori person rises to talk in formal occasions, they often announce their speech, with “tihei mauriora!” translated literally, “sneeze of the life spirit”. It is then customary to recount one’s ancestry and tribal connections. So I said, Ranginui the sky father above, Papatunuku the earth mother below, the people in between. I am Grant Brookes. My mother is Helen, my father is Don. I am originally from Otepoti (Dunedin). My ancestors are from Scotland. Being Pakeha, or a New Zealand European, I have no Maori tribal connections, so I say; the workers of the world are my tribe.
I speak also as a socialist, and a member of the Workers Party. And I am a member of Mana. I have consulted with my ropu (or branch) and my Rohe (electorate) about today’s talk, though I must stress that I am not mandated in any way to speak on behalf of the party, and the views expressed are my own. Read the rest of this entry »