Laying to rest the claims by some conservative and religious Maori that homosexuality was unknown in Aotearoa/New Zealand before the arrival of European colonists, a noted Maori academic has said same sex love has always been an innate part of Maori life. Speaking in Maori, Piri Sciascia, who is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Maori) of Victoria University and a respected elder, told the crowd assembled for the official opening of the 2nd Asia Pacific Out Games, that love and caring for each other, whether male to male or female to female and all shades inbetween has always been a part of Maori life, right from Rangi - the earth mother - and Papa - the skyfather," says observer Kevin Haunui. "He said the most important part of that is aroha - love" according to Haunui who is secretary of Wellington 2011, organisers of the Out Games. Haunui says it is important that non-Maori speakers hear what Sciascia said as it turns allegations that "being homosexual is a European colonial import on its head and instead shows that the views of those who deny the reality of same-sex love and its physical expression is the actual import." "Piri was affirming the reality of takataapui," says Haunui, "and he has firmly established that our Maori history and cosmology make no judgement on who you should or shouldn't love."
First published: Sunday, 13th March 2011 - 4:59pm
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