Dion | Ōtara, Auckland

“We have children in our lives, and sometimes even though they are over the age category of 18 years old, into the age of 30 years old, they still have to be enlightened and to be told about which is the best focus on our families, with health and safety, acknowledgements, our obligations, support, loving, caring and sharing.

So, I’ve had a kōrero to my beautiful daughter. I won’t go into details because it’s kind of the Privacy Act, but just trying to be a parent, and trying to give the best information for my beautiful daughter. She was born in the year of 1990. I love my daughter very much, and I’ve just been trying to give her the best advice as a father, or as a koro. In Māori we call it koroua which is called a grandfather. So, I had that one-on-one conversation with my daughter, from my heart to her heart, and from her heart back to her father’s heart. 

It’s very important to have these conversations, because it’s the future, and it’s destiny. It’s very important, so we can penetrate the message into the opposition which is family members. Because we’re living in a Crown and corporation world here, colonised in 1840 under the Queen Victoria title. So, we have to be aware there’s a lot of resources out there, just like Destiny Church, Papa Brian Tamaki. They’re Papa and they’re Mama. They are the solution. They’re running a beautiful government called vision. Which is very supportive with our people here. The Government has just neglected and rejected our beautiful tangata whenua. I love them heaps because without tū tangata where would our Polynesian native indigenous people be today?

Sometimes a lot of children don’t like to listen to their parents. Some of them are rebellious. They think that they know better than their parents, which the reality is that they’re 20 years younger. All I could do as a father is just try and support them. Tautoko. There’s a lot of families out there that don’t seem to listen to their parents. That’s all I’m saying, but I love my daughter anyway. Just like any other father. 

I was born in the Waikato Hospital in 1970. I’ve been brought up and moved to Ōtara in 1973. My parents moved out of the Waikato, H-Town, Hamilton and brought us into South Auckland here, into Tin City, Ōtara, O-town. So, I was raised up here with a lot of street gangs back in the days. Been through the hard days. I was a street kid of this place once upon a time.  I was one of those people who never listened to my parents. Never listened to Mum and Dad when I was young. That’s why I’m speaking to my daughter, because I don’t want her following the same footsteps as what I’ve done. I got arrested at school when I was 12 years old, a juvenile at the age of 12 years old at Clover Park Intermediate. Arrested. Broken one of the criminal acts under the umbrella topic called theft in the Ōtara shopping centre here. But it’s a beautiful place, Ōtara. A lot of people talk about our hood here, but they don’t understand because they never lived and breathed and talked and walked it like us. There’s many people that’ve been here before me, and many people that are still here today.”

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