À la Recherche des Maoris (5): Finally in Aotearoa (Honolulu-Auckland)

After my rather eventful “faux-départ” from Honolulu I was hoping for an uneventful arrival in New Zealand!

I let you judge from my photos and scarce comments as I am seeing and collecting so much data that I feel the urge to share at least my pictures and initial impressions!

Comfortably seated in a premium class as a way for Hawaiian Airlines to make up for the serious glitch which impaired my trip to Sydney I watched some funny planes and when I pointed them to my neighbor he jumped up of excitement and told me these were stealth planes… I took his word for it!

On a linguistic note, the welcome in the plane was made in Hawaiian on Hawaiian Airlines before English and I assumed it was the end of my trouble…

However upon my arrival, it appeared that although I didn’t make it to Sydney, one of my suitcases did… so more chaos, no car because I arrived six hours after the planned schedule (I even had an incompetent lady at Rentalcars explain to me st midnight that due to my delay my car was gone!) but eventually everything turned out fine the next day and I was offered an upgraded room in my hotel where I was able to get a good night sleep after 2 rather hectic days.

I used the wonderful Skybus several times to retrieve my car and luggage and was impressed by their language choice in English, Chinese and Spanish !

But once I got in touch with my Maori Colleague, Will Flavell, everything brightened up and I like to attribute this to the lovely Taonga he presented me with!

We had a marvelous time together with his lovely colleague Nerrissa Henry, part Maori but very cosmopolitan with American-Indian, Cook Island, French and English descent!

Both belong to the Labor Party and have recently been elected at the council. We discussed so many topics and it’s just the beginning of our conversation… their engagement in the Labor Party, their relationship with the Maori party…

Will is writing his Ph.D on New Speakers in Maori and is quite connected! He even arranged an interview for me on TVNZ with Māori first language speaking Hania Douglas As for Nerrissa Henry she is a multi task extremely talented business woman (Mount Wellington Licensing Trust), a Mum and is politically involved as well in gender issues (about time we reversed the Men, Pale, Stale predicament;-) ) as well as a devoted member of her community!

After a brunch at the food court, I was invited to visit the 25th floor of the brand new Auckland Council building. This floor is entirely dedicated to Maori Affairs and I was privileged to meet Dean Martin, in charge of relations with Maori Tribes with the City Council and a very Christmassy colleague DanielAt the Auckland City Council, even their elevator speaks Maori!

Will and Nerrissa also took the time to take me to the Auckland Museum and definitely visiting it with Maoris gave this visit a definite flavor… but Nerrissa’s brilliant idea to become kids again is what really got me! Check this video where, after coloring our drawings, they suddenly animate!placeholder://

On the next day, I visited

Auckland Art Gallery and admit I focused on Maori cultural aspects of this remarkable museum which really conveys a precious insight

I’ll elaborate upon later as Cat Stevens’s concert is about to start.

I leave you with more photos of this lovely city and will add to this post on my next visits including one regarding theArt of banksi exhibition https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2018/the-art-of-banksy/auckland

references:

SPQR (recommended by Carène Wood)

Amano: also Carène’s recommendations. Delicious raw kingfish and fried whitebait!

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