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Whānau first?

Pita Hiku (left) and Ken Maumalo (right) following their loss to Melbourne last weekend

What price do we put on family?

In a season already compromised by the enduring impacts of COVID-19, the New Zealand Warriors now face further uncertainty with regard to the health and wellbeing of their players. While a contact sport such as rugby league always has potential for injuries to impact a season, 2020 has thrown more curve balls at players’ mental health, particularly for the Warriors, than any other season in memory.

Pesky statues where ghosts reside and hide

Garrick Cooper takes a selfie in front of a statue beside Notre Dame, Paris

Slave traders, confederate leaders, and statues of old colonials are tumbling on the back of the groundswell of opposition to police brutality and anti-black racism that are the George Floyd protests.

Valuing te reo


If I didn’t already know that te reo has international saliency I certainly was reminded of it when my visiting Scottish niece and her friend took themselves off to the tattoo parlour the day after they arrived at my place.

Say my name

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: (L-R) Sam Thaiday, Erin Molan, Jonathan Thurston and Darren Lockyer of the channel nine commentary team are seen during the pre-game telecast before the round two NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium on March 22, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

In a climate where racism is being scrutinized, perhaps, more than ever, rugby league is still making headlines for the wrong reasons. 

Te tohu o te rangatira, he manaaki

Images from Te Kōhanga Reo o Matai Whetū

The beating heart of most organisations is often the person that activity, relational knowledge (er, gossip) and getting stuff done tends to centre around. Seldom is that person the most hierarchically senior. One of the greatest organisational influencers is often in a pivotal front-facing role.

A hybrid reo?

Excerpt from an email ...

The Comms team at UC passed on a query to me the other day from an overseas expat reader of one of our regular university newsletters who was concerned about the possibility of a “hybrid” language evolving in New Zealand. That is, a language which is a mix of Māori and English, rather than two separate languages.

Kia tū ki te tahi – Stand as one

Tūhuru - Arahura marae

Although we’re being asked to keep our social distance, this shouldn’t stop us from being socially engaged.  The whakataukī, “Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa” exhorts us to be close together and not far apart.  This is particularly poignant now in this era of Covid-19.  As a nation and as a people we must pull together, our collective voices must be heard and our responses united for the wellbeing of future generations. 

Whose values? What narrative?

From left: Luke Veikoso, Fatai Latu, Sione Fataua and in the front row, from left, Tevita Siola'a, Kolo Fekitoa, Mano Totau. Photo: Rutger Bregman/Twitter

Recently, the Guardian website featured an article titled ‘The real Lord of the Flies : what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months’. In 1965 six Tongan youths, Tevita (David) Siola’a, Sione Fataua, Luke Veikoso, Fatai (Stephen) Latu, Kolo Fekitoa and Sione Totau (now known as Mano) became stranded on ‘Ata Island, at the southern end of the Tonga archipelago. They remained there, in good health and spirits, for fifteen months before Australian Peter Warner came upon the island, returning the young men to their homes, and later employing them.

The buying time budget


We are at a 1 in 3 generations change point as a nation: what the government spends money on now will have ricochet impacts across at least three generations. Will we fix the hara of structural inequality? Will we ensure that all our people can flourish? Will our mokopuna inherit cultural vitality and financial security?

The new dance


Economic powerhouses have always found a way to manipulate bodies for profit. Often through the exploitation of exotic, new, resources and human capital. The world of professional sport is no different.  

With impending financial implications looming, the NRL has finalised a new start date for rugby leagues largest competition.