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Ed Sheeran

Pakeha title shows commitment to Maori
Photo: Bridget Williams Books.

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An educator who has probed some of the earliest encounters between Māori and European says calling herself Pākehā is a way to affirm her ongoing relationship with Māori.

Bridget Williams Books has this week published Alison Jones’ This Pākehā Life, which she describes as an unsettled memoir.

Professor Jones, who is an educational researcher and a Professor in Te Puna Wānanga, the School of Māori and Indigenous Education at the University of Auckland, says she encourages her Pākehā students to embrace the term.

She says the struggle between Māori and Pākehā can be positive.

"I think so long as we keep facing each other, engage with each other, take interest with each other, particularly from the Pākehā side, taking interest in te ao Māori, we are in a relationship. It's like the term hoa riri. You have a relationship even if you can be called enemies. You are facing each other and you provide mana for the other by giving them attention and having that relationship," Professor Jones says.

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