Nic on his journey of studying Tikanga Maori and Te Reo

Nic, Our Design Lead, who has been studying the Tikanga Maori through Te Wananaga talked about how his values changed by understanding the Maori ways, practices and beliefs.
September 19, 2022

Choosing a name like "Human Digital" takes walk, not just talk. And while inclusion and diversity are buzz-words that every organisation loves to use, we feel that “Human” really encompasses the reality of it, we’re all different, flawed, unique humans and we love that. I started life much like any other working class pakeha kiwi, swimming in racism and bigotry, some subtle and overt. Thankfully I had people in my life that loved me enough to show other ways of thinking and start me on the journey of understanding.

I started studying He Papa Tikanga through Te Wananaga in 2019 and my understanding really started to grow. Learning about the depth and beauty of Te Ao Maori, the traditions, beliefs and philosophy of the culture was amazing. The Maori way of doing things makes so much sense. Hearing the history of interaction between pakeha and Maori in the early days left me shook, I couldn’t believe we weren’t taught this in school. After completing He Papa TIkanaga, I’ve since started studying He Tikanga Whakaaro, which has given me deeper insight into various protocols and events; marae behaviour, powhiri, tanigihanga etc. and my understanding of Te Reo has improved as a result.

I’m not yet fluent in Te Reo, but I strive everyday to better speak, understand and live Tikanga Maori and be an example to others of how pakeha might do so respectfully.

Ko te piko o te māuri, tērā te tupu o te rākau

The way the sapling is shaped determines how the tree will grow.

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Ben van Rooy

Strategy Director

Nick Brown

Marketing Director