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April 8, 2019

A lecturer once said to the students in my course that “you don’t have to be feeling the grass” in order to start caring about the environment. I think what they were implying was that you don’t have to be free-spirited, bush-oriented, or embody the life of a ‘hippie’ in order to start caring about […]

April 8, 2019

  Māui, Bottlenose, Hector’s, Dusky: these are some of New Zealand’s nine species of dolphins. In New Zealand, we like to think we’re all clean and green; we set an example for the world to see. But the land of the long white cloud has its share of environmental issues—specifically, with conservation. A 2016 study […]

April 8, 2019

On November 8, 2018, the government banned oil exploration in Taranaki, spelling the end for the oil and gas industry in the region as we know it. The writing has been on the wall for a while; our joint love of oil and dairy simply isn’t reconcilable with sustainability and a government that is determined […]

April 1, 2019

I grab my half-full glass of Prosecco and take a lustful sip. The smell of chamomile tea and marijuana wafts in from the kitchen. There are three bowls in my peripheral vision:   The first bowl: small, filled with green and black pitted olives. Sitting beside it, a medium sized bowl, overflowing with tight, red, […]

March 26, 2019

When my mother gave me my name, it was a name she couldn’t pronounce. The harsh accents of the Arabic language eluded the Pākehā tongue. Growing up, I always felt more comfortable introducing myself as she knew me—Mah-dee or Ma-ha-dee—just about anything that made me feel like I belonged to this country more than my […]

March 18, 2019

One day, I asked my Te Reo tutor what the difference was between a mihimihi and a pepeha. Thus began the biggest existential crisis of my life. A mihimihi is a short speech given to introduce yourself at a hui, a meeting. Basically what your name is, where you’re from, what you do, that sort […]

March 18, 2019

There is only one dream which has ever truly frightened me. I cannot tell you how frequently I have this dream, only that it is often enough that if I think of it while I am trying to sleep, I feel sickened and unsettled. I am alone in a desert. The sand goes on, and […]

March 18, 2019

“Where are you from?” has always been a loaded question for me. If the people who knew me in high school (yikes) are reading this, they’ll definitely think that I’m back on my bullshit. Truth is, I never got off my bullshit—at least not this specific strand. I just internalised it because of the fear […]

March 12, 2019

There is a football competition for “people who are unlucky”, Jaka Arisandy told me, his hair perfectly coiffed and swished to the side. It was September 2018 and I was in Indonesia, as an assistant for an external evaluation of Rumah Cemara, the Homeless World Cup’s National Partner there.   Jaka’s parents were separated, an […]