Linden | Manurewa

I love you. I’m so sorry. Please accept my heartfelt condolences and love and grief, and I’m with you, we’re with you.

Yeah, it was, it was a real shock, and it had me reflecting a lot about diversity and a little bit about how we see or don’t see other people in our community. I think that this has really brought a lot of things to light around the way that we think of ourselves, the sort of separation or the divisiveness that can be there, even if it’s just sort of unconsciously and how that’s not what we actually want. It may be who we are now, but it’s not who we want to be going forward. The main thing that I’ve been doing differently is when I’m out and about, especially if I’m walking with my kids, just seeing people, looking people in the eye, smiling, saying hello, good morning. My daughter, she’s very friendly and she’ll ask me, Mummy Mummy what’s his name, what’s her name? And so, we’re actually stopping and asking, hi my daughter is just wondering, what’s your name? And yeah, just getting to know people a little bit better than what we have been.

I was born in Gisborne, a very small town where everybody knows each other. Spent a few years in Wellington after we moved there so my father could work there, and then since I was eight, we’ve lived here in Auckland, so most of my life I’ve lived here in Manurewa. I was one of only a very small handful of Pākehā kids at a very, very diverse decile one school, and so as I’ve grown up that’s really shaped how I, how I see others because these were just people. These were friends. These were people that I grew up with, and it’s shaped when I got into the workforce. I could see that there were differences in attitudes towards people, some quite unconscious biasing, and for quite a while I wasn’t comfortable about saying things or speaking up, and I have to admit that I’ve become a little bit more vocal when I see things which, you know don’t feel right to that sensibility of equality and really wanting to acknowledge and include a whole range of different people.”

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