Aue Aue Aue


As the birds sing and a new day dawns I am reminded of how precious life in this land of Aotearoa actually is. Something so precious must be protected and is worth fighting for. We fight not with guns or violence but by loving our neighbour. Not just those we know but mere strangers also. A bullet knows no colour but we all bleed red. Grief knows no colour but we all shed the same lucid tears.
As a mathematician I understand that to “undo” something you must do the opposite. Although the deaths of our brothers and sisters here in Ōtautahi cannot be undone the rationale behind this act of terror ultimately can. Peace is not a noun it is a verb. We must all do something to attain and maintain it. Peace requires an act of love and grace every single day especially in times terror and even toward those who brew hatred. But this is easier said than done.
As a Māori I understand the concept of take-utu-ea.
Take - we have an issue.
Utu - this issue must be resolved by some means of recompense.
Ea - by utu the balance and harmony is restored.
This is similar to Old Testament scripture.
If the utu we seek is vengeance then ea can never be achieved as someone will always have a take and the cycle continues.
An eye for an eye makes the world blind.
Those who carry out these acts of terror are labeled “extremists”. But the most extreme utu is actually forgiveness. The opposite of vengeance. As a Christian I understand this. But again easier said than done.
Some 49 people called this land home. I am sorry we could not fulfill your hopes of a new and better life. May you now find eternal rest and peace in the bosom of Papatūānuku. To the many whānau who still call this home. Know that the nation kneels with you. When the time comes we will stand along side you. May the light and love of God be upon you forever and may you continue to pursue the peace that you sought upon coming here. The peace that we all deserve and have a responsibility to uphold.
Rātou ki a rātou ki te pō. Tātou ki a tātou ki te ao.
So let us not follow the path of others choosing war and hatred to be our legacy. Let this not be the inheritance of our children. We are different. Our history our heroes and Te Tiriti o Waitangi are a testament to this. The eyes of the world gaze upon us now. As it was when the earth shook beneath our feet. They share in our grief with minds bewildered and hearts torn. How will we respond to this devastation? As before in true Kiwi spirit let us be a beacon of faith hope and love and hold fast to the powerful words of our national anthem:
“Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.”
“Peace not war shall be our boast.....”
Peace is not a noun but a verb acquired through understanding respect love and grace.
He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata he tangata he tangata.
Ko te mea nui ko te aroha.
He iwi tahi tātou. We are one people.
Mā Te Atua tātou e manaaki e tiaki.
Mauri ora ki te ao katoa.
- Remihana Emery


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