I start this website in the shadow of Moana Jackson’s death.
Moana is most known for his critiques of colonisation, showing how damaging colonising thinking and actions are. He helped a lot of us to see more clearly how it works, and I will forever be grateful for that. When I am trying to find the words to talk about some particular effect of colonisation, I find strength and direction from his statement that colonisation is inherently abusive. Moana saw the colonisers’ arrogant, casual cruelty and he named it.
But what I loved most about Moana wasn’t his always insightful critiques of colonisers being colonisers, it was his unwavering faith and love in his tūpuna, in his whānau, in us, not just Māori but anyone working for a better future. And the faith he had in whānau Māori, tikanga Māori, mātauranga Māori. It was a beautiful thing. How many has he inspired?
Moana was driven by love, and if you were fortunate enough to spend time with him, which a lot of us did because he was so generous with his time, you couldn’t help but feel that love.
Now so many of us are feeling the pain of his loss.
Moana was someone I relied on. Trying to make sense of the work we have to do, the chaos of countless crises, the future we build but can’t see. A jumbled mess of pieces from a thousand different jigsaw puzzles. Where do we even start?
Calmly, confidently, he held the future like it was simply a snapshot of his moko.
With stories. With laughter.
I don’t know what this project is, I don’t know what it will become. Maybe nothing. But here it is.
He hōaka noa iho, he hōaka tonu.