history, teaching

Everything* you ever wanted to know about the Treaty of Waitangi but were too scared/angry/oh-god-make-it-go-away to ask.

* Ok, maybe not Everything but it’s a start.

This is a post in response to some of the recent misinformation and ignorance that I’ve seen online and in the papers. If you’ve come through the New Zealand education system in the last 10 years you would definitely have learned something about the Treaty, but what and how you learned is sadly dependent on where you learned it and who taught it. If you came through the education system last century or are new to New Zealand, you might not have ever encountered the Treaty of Waitangi in an academic setting, and what you know (or think you know) is therefore shaped by the media and politicians.

I would like for that to change.

I believe everyone in New Zealand should know about, and engage in discussion around, the Treaty.

It’s interesting, it’s necessary, it’s ours. Continue reading “Everything* you ever wanted to know about the Treaty of Waitangi but were too scared/angry/oh-god-make-it-go-away to ask.”

history, teaching

History and Identity and how we shape both of them.

Something that comes up in my history classes quite regularly is the concept of identity – national identity, personal identity, and how history shapes both of those things. We talk about the significance of events relative to individuals – who is affected? Who is left out? Why is it a significant event for some and not for others?

Our past shapes us. Even the most historically unsavvy person likely agrees with this to an extent. What is less clear to most is how current social narratives shape the history we tell ourselves, and how that reflects our identities back to us – warped, slightly twisted, or our best sides, filtered through the best Insta-ready looks. Continue reading “History and Identity and how we shape both of them.”

inspiration, life

What does it mean to live an authentic life?


How to live an authentic life? How to be true to yourself? Kids know. They are their authentic selves without thought. So what happens to change us in that?


The authentic life, according to my long distant memory of Second Year Philosophy at Uni and Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, is when you no longer define yourself by das man, but by your authentic, true self. What Heidegger called ‘Being-in-the-World’. He described this as a shift from a preference for distraction and inauthenticity, passivity, conformity, to a passionate embrace of Existenz, of a drive to one’s true possibilities. I have always taken from this that to define yourself by what you do, what your job is, by how you fit into a conforming society, is inauthentic. To be authentic, you have to be able to define yourself truly, and to live with enthusiastic possibility. Continue reading “What does it mean to live an authentic life?”