By Grant Brookes
November 7, 2012 – Links International
Journal of Socialist Renewal – The following talk was presented to a
Socialist Alliance public meeting in Melbourne.
Ko Ranginui kei runga
Ko Papatūanuku kei raro
Ko nga tangata kei waenganui
Ko Grant Brookes ahau
Ko Helen toku mama
Ko Don toku papa
Na Ōtepoti ahau
Na Koterana oku tipuna
Ko nga 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, Papatūanuku the earth mother
below, the people in between. I am Grant Brookes. My mother is Helen, my father
is Don. I am originally from Ōtepoti/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.