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April 30, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Ngai Tauira – The Roles We Play

Roles need to be defined as this helps any unit work efficiently. If the lines start to blur then we can lose our own identity if not put in check we can become good for nothing.

Our identity isn’t just developed in our lifetime, it’s found in those who have gone before us. Honour is important because we carry the mantle that they have passed on to us. We can’t forge our own destiny but we are the stewards of the destiny of our people.

It is a good thing to look back at what has been achieved and what your tupuna believed. This is our model or point of reference. Do you think they would be happy with what you have become or ashamed? It’s a tough question. But it is important to realise that somewhere along the line someone did something with you in mind, even if you weren’t even born yet.

Whether we like it or not we have to make a choice – to follow through on the work already begun knowing that we may never see its completion or receive honour for our part. The other option is to start from scratch; to overlook the path that has already been laid out for us and go our own way. The latter option may give you a life of enjoyment but it will not give you a life of fulfilment.

In the days of old the women would take care of the young ones and keep the house in order while the men went out to war; today war would be more like taking care of business. These were specific roles and there was purpose to them. The women made sure the men were equipped to face whatever challenge came their way. They created clothing and other tools needed to keep things in order. This allowed men to focus on what they needed to do, whether that was making sure there was food on the table or protecting the community from danger.

Men and women complement each other; you can’t have one without the other. Men are no more important than women and vice versa. One offers something the other lacks. If we choose to live for the destiny of our people then we must choose to live according to the patterns that have already been established.

It means that each of us has our own role to play and we have to accept that role. We also must respect the role of others and realise its importance. Just as in the days of old when the man and the woman would serve one another we serve each other with our strengths.

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this