While we celebrate this announcement, congratulate fortunate recipients and thank those who have worked to bring it to fruition, we must acknowledge the members of Ngā Aho Whakaari who have advocated on behalf of all Māori film makers by laying the foundations through years of protest. We must also hold fast to the aspirations of our pioneer Māori Film Rangatira. This quote from Barry Barclays letter ‘Pistol on the Table’ 2006, to the NZ on air Board and the then Prime minister, serves to reminder us that we still have work to do to achieve true equity.
“Rautaki Māori hurts because it serves to remind you as a Māori communicator just what a second-class citizen you are…you are working within a white authoritarian system that tolerates your being there only because it has been forced to do so by regulation.”
We must also remind ourselves that we need to do work in order to build capacity. We can’t expect others to do it for us.