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July 15, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Māori Queer in Review

A year can feel like a short time in the world of the Indigenous Queer, and 2019 was no excpetion. The stories included here outline the presence achieved by queer Māori in both the Rainbow community and Māoritanga, and suggest another busy year for them. 

 

Queen Takes Bishop: Georgina Beyer Weighs In On Brian Tamaki. 

Brian Tamaki, the notoriously anti-LGBT Destiny Church leader, has been attempting to reconcile relations with the Rainbow community in a surprising apology at his church’s AGM.

 

In 2016,Tamaki blamed earthquakes on “gays, sinners and murderers” and marched against civil unions.

 

While some of the Rainbow community saw the apology as a positive step in reconciliation, others interpreted the move as one to garner political respectability. In the latter camp was Georgina Beyer, whakawahine Māori and ex-MP. 

 

In an interview published by Taroi Black, Beyer said, “Yes, he has apologised I guess grudgingly one could accept that but I take it tacitly.” 

 

However, she continued, “There is obviously going to be a political link. There seems to be inner strict able length by Brian and Hannah or much that’s got to do with Destiny Church. There’s a deep amount of suspicions I believe.”

 

Ngapo Wehi Co-Authorisation of ‘Gay Haka’ Revealed—30 Years Later

^I Have Loved Me a Man, a biography of takatāpui legend, Mika, appeared on shelves late last year. The book, in amongst detailing the struggles and triumphs Mika faced being Māori and Queer, provided astonishing insights into many of his formidable works.  

 

One insight was the revelation that one of Aotearoa’s most celebrated haka composers, Ngapo Wehi, co-authored Mika’s controversial haka ‘“ēnei Tōku Ure”.

 

In an interview with ^Te Ao^, Mika discusses that the haka, which is performed in heels, aimed to bring awareness of the AIDS crisis amongst Māori men. 

 

Wehi’s son, Tapeta, says his father was very supportive of Mika and always endorsed haka that were relevant and forward-thinking. 

 

Dr Kerekere Accepts Award, But Questions Event 

Aoteaora’s first-ever LGBTI awards took place in November last year. Despite its premise as an awards night to honour queer leadership, the event quickly came under fire, being accused as a corporate cash-in.

 

Issues at the forefront of the criticism included the event’s guests being comprised primarily of corporate bodies, and awards such as ‘Organisation of the Year” being given to the NZ Police. 

 

Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, who received the event’s ‘Takatāpui Hero’ award, was also one to critique the event. 

 

Speaking to ^Te Karere^, Elizabeth spoke of the gratitude she felt to receive the award, which was based on online voting—in particular, that people were “acknowledging the work”. 

 

However, she recognised the criticism of the event as legitimate, adding, “Yes [transparency] is an issue, lack of community engagement and […] what went into [being shortlisted].” She also said the event should have been more inclusive of tangata whenua.

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