Pākehā birds and freedom in death

A friend just reminded me of a section of new Green MP ’s maiden speech. I’ve blogged in the past that I think Holly will be a very good MP and advocate for her beliefs. But that doesn’t mean I won’t have fun highlighting when she competes with Cath Delahunty to be the most fervent Ngati Pakeha in Parliament.

In Holly’s speech she said:

Mr Speaker, at this point it is appropriate to acknowledge the amazing kākahu that rests on my shoulders tonight. It was woven by long-standing Green Party member and leader Danna Glendinning over 22 months, under the guidance of kuia at Te Rau Awaawa in Hamilton, and gifted to the party at a powhiri in January. This incredible taonga is woven from the feathers of Pākehā birds

How is a bird a Pākehā bird? What makes a bird a Pākehā? What birds are Maori? Are some birds asian?

Does she mean a Pākehā bird is a non-endemic to New Zealand bird? Or does she mean a Pākehā bird is a non-native bird?

I’ve never heard a bird referred to as a Pākehā before. It is somewhat ironic as some say that the term is derived from “Pa-Kea”, a long nosed bird that was often found in the pa.

 including caged battery hens, who have found a freedom in death in this kākahu that they never had in life. 

A freedom in death? Remind me never to give Holly an enduring power of attorney over me 🙂 My idea of freedom doesn’t include being made into a cloak!

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