“Nothing was ever created or emerged to live in isolation”
-Tukaki Waititi



Kezia Whakamoe is a multimedia artist, expressing their oneness with Papatūānuku through their mahi toi. Bringing the whenua into every space they create, their mahi explores identity as Takatāpuitanga, Māoritanga and Matakitetanga.


Our first interview. Kezia Whakamoe (she/they), tuākana to our lil group of takatāpui, graces the screen of Kauri’s iPad. We sit bundled up in our lounge, pyjamas still on, attempting to hold on to the warmth of our beds. To our right, we can see the view of the valley below our whare. The day is cold, seabirds fight against Tāwhirimātea as they make their way down to the moana. Tāwhiri rattles our window panes as they pass, te Taiao trying to get inside, eager to hear Kezia’s kōrero.
Kauri handles their iPad, trying to get it in the perfect position while Kezia catches us up on what they’ve been up to. They briefly show us a Torua wing bone, which had told them it wanted to be present for our kōrero.Eventually we settle, opening our space with a karakia, holding that space with our intention.

“Ko wai koe, kare?” Kauri asks, their voice soft.

Kezia returns their smile immediately. The feather of a large manu appears in their hand, and they grace us with the song of their whakapapa. Even through the screen their presence takes over the room. We sit, marinating ourselves in their being, our hearts tuned in to their infinite depth. Kezia’s voice sings through the air, their kupu carrying the weight of whakapapa. While the wairua of this moment can’t be transcribed, here is the essence of what they spoke.

“Kia ora koutou, my name is Kezia Whakamoe. I descend on my Mothers Side from Denmark, Scotland. She is Matakite, Fae is their word. She comes from a long line of healers, midwives, of religious repression and oppression. On my papa’s side I am Tūhoe, I am Ngāti Ruapani. I descend from Te Urewera, I descend from the mist, from the maunga. Ko Mātaatua te waka,” The feather wavers in Kezia’s hand, vibrating, stirring the air.

“I also descend, like we all do, from the very beginnings. The separation of the universe and therefore its complete wholeness. Going back through Te Pō in to Te Ao Mārama. I descend from all these separate makings, becomings and growings. I descend from Te Aō Kōhatu,”
We sit, transfixed, their kupu weaving a tapestry of their person
“He takatāpui ahau. Those are my pronouns, that’s how I identify. There’s something in me that still has a resistance to labelling myself with pākehā words, I’ve never really done that. But I’ve definitely always related to myself as queer. Certainly in the queerness of Papatūānuku. You know, a big body of water, that turns me on. Dripping trees? Oh man, mmhm. Bones, compost, it gets messy ae,” They laugh, “But yeah, that’s who I am, that’s who I descend from. That’s how I relate, partially, to the world in this limited speech, language and articulation that we all have to figure out how to communicate to each other with.”

It takes us a second to let that foundation settle, our kupu only coming forward once we had a firm grip on all of who Kezia is. My curiosity pushes the first question from my mouth before I even know it’s coming.

“You mentioned something on your mothers side, her being matakite of a different whenua. How does that influence your own connection to these spaces? How did she influence your connection to this whenua?”

Kezia smiled wide, taking a deep breath. We sat, ready for their full story.

“Well, she birthed me. I came out backwards, and missing four hours of oxygen. Because of the complications of my birth, my skin was taken from me. I had a lot of bruising. It’s interesting because the doctor at the time was convinced I was a boy. Even my Mum and Dad. And when I came out the Doctor said, ‘It’s really lucky she wasn’t a boy, because all of that would have been ripped off’,” They pause with a cheeky grin, “All these very binary terms right? We’re talking about the 70’s in Whakatāne,” she laughs wryly before continuing on.

“But that brings me back to the birthing story. Because I couldn’t come out, physically in my physical body, my leg was hooked over the pelvic bone, I’d come, back in and back out,” their hands, feather put aside, swayed in and out, motioning their journey in and out of the womb.

“I have a really vivid memory of that. This memory of coming in and back out, it was completely terrifying. That world, where we aren’t inhabiting our bodies, that was where I lived as a child. Because I was still there. I just found this whole world so weird, like ‘What the fuck, how is this happening, I don’t get it, I don’t know what to do. I know how to travel around out there, but I don’t know how to tie my shoelaces or say please or thank you.’
But because of that gift that she gave me, she died at the time as well, then she came back. She had a near death experience and I had a near birth experience.”

A kāka screeched outside, mist rolling in from the moana.

“I would have these nightmares all the time. It was a sound, it was a feeling, I recognise now what it was. It was this speed and complete inability to do what I was tasked to do. Which was to fit the entire universe in one atom. The sound of it and the feeling in my teeth. It took me until I was about 16 before I spoke to an Aunty about that nightmare. She told me, ‘Oh that sounds like your birth.’ I had no idea what it was until she said that. I had the dream during the day, during the night. It was this weird space, patterns would merge, the sound would happen. We could use the word neurodiverse for that, we could use matakite, we could use so many different words. But that’s when I realised what that actually was. Then therefore I could work towards figuring out how to have some autonomy in that process, because I had no idea how to change between worlds, it would just happen.”
Kezia paused briefly seeing the surprise on our faces. The world outside grew eerie, but our space remained warm as they continued.

“So she gave birth to me and that’s her whakapapa. She would always have dreams of things that would happen and then they’d happen the next day. Our whole childhood, she would would tell us stories like that. Huri anō, I came to learn that our Kuia Rangiwaitato, she was from Te Ao Kōhatu. She was one of the nannies from before the 1900’s and into the 1970’s. Anyway, she died before I was born but she spoke to me a lot as a child. She would speak to me in my dreams in beautiful, old school, Tūhoe reo. And I understood. But I didn’t. In my sleep I understood. It was also extremely isolating as a human. Being taught as a child, what things are and what they should be according to what your parents think. I just went and made huts in the suburban bush in our garden. Hung out with an old mortar and pestle making potions.”

“Kia ora kare!” Kauri exclaims. A pastime they relate to very well. Kezia laughs, feeling the tautoko.
“But Matakitatanga from different lands? For me, the way that comes from way before we were human, before any kind of identity arose, that is my memory. A cellular memory, an atomic memory. It definitely comes through in my mahi toi.” They finish, face bright. Our group can’t help but chuckle at how typical of Māori storytelling their answer is. Whakapapa is the root of all, thus whakapapa must come forth first. How else are we meant to fully comprehend what is being said?

Kezia takes a breath, listening as Kauri begins sharing their own kōrero on feeling the power of matakitetanga at a young age. The mist continues to roll in as they speak, pressing up against the windows, called in by Kezia’s whakapapa. The mist holds us, a dense wall around our group, the calls of manu dampened by its density. Te Taiao demands there be no distractions.

Kezia holds space at the end of Kauri’s story, acknowledging them.
“I’d love to speak to what we see as an indigenous future if that’s alright?”

A chorus of Āe’s answer them. Kezia beams before beginning.

“I was having a little wānanga with the kuias, thinking about whakapapa and how within whakapapa, as these layers are created, and are creating, all the time, there really is no time. Whakapapa does not denote any sense of time āe?” Their hands gesture to the layers.
We sit, enraptured. Kezia continues, knowing we are here to receive everything they speak.

“So when we think outside of time with whakapapa, the indigenous future is right here. It’s in the past, and it’s also something we are all imagining too. It’s something we’re dreaming to, once we get away from fighting white supremacy. Which is hard to get away from cause it’s everywhere. I was thinking about that and I was thinking about this dream I’ve had ever since I was young. It changed quite a bit over time depending on which disaster was happening.” They pause briefly, a cat climbing over her lap before continuing out of view.

“The main part of this dream was me flying over the motu and looking at the complete destruction of cities, concrete, and banks. The destruction of concrete. It was pretty horrific. It was fire, flood, earthquake, volcano. In one of them it was the volcanos up in Tāmaki Makaurau, maybe 7 or 8 of them, going off at the same time and when I think about the indigenous future I think about what I would like to see pass. That is, really, that manifestation of white supremacy and ‘whiteness’. Not white people necessarily, but ‘whiteness’. Before we talk about the future, that’s gotta go.” Their hands move all of it to the side, moving on to address what else must happen.

“I believe by that point we’ll be so organised that we won’t need the internet. I think that needs to go too. Not everyone’s favourite idea,” They pause and laugh, looking at us. The irony of an online interview is not lost on her.

“Couldn’t agree more.” Kauri laughs, waving their hands in tautoko.

“Just imagine the time!” Kezia continues, “The presence and the ability to connect with what’s immediately around us. And of course Landback. That’s happening now as well. I really see a future where we are able to speak to, and really express, our matakitetanga. Each one of us, our individual matakitetanga. Our ability to access our Mātauranga Māori that way. And for us to be able to speak to that within each other freely, and safely, without being persecuted. Because when we could speak to our matakitetanga, who needs the fucking interent.” They state, so matter-of-fact.

“So that was one thing I was thinking of,” They continue, head tilted in thought, “and then as I thought of whakapapa… it denotes that everyone has what they need. We all have what we need. Which excludes Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, but they’ll all be on Mars anyway.” Kezia laughs, and we all laugh with her. The vibration of their voice begins to feel like rongoā. So it is speaking with tuākana.

“So I really love thinking about that in terms of whakapapa because that means it’s happening now. We’re envisioning it now. And that is the potency of who we are as Māori, as Kaimahitoi, Ringatoi, I like to say Rongoātoi. That will look so many ways, for so many people. There are infinite variations. What it definitely looks like is Whakamana. The revitalisation is already happening and that’s not to dismiss. The mahi of breaking cycles of generational trauma that we’re all doing, which can get so heavy.”

They pause briefly. Our group sits in the warmth of our lounge, holding the space open for them to continue when they wish. Outside the sun is starting to shine casting strange shadows through the mist. A pīwakawaka flits past our window, silhouette blurry. As if a sign, Kezia begins again as it moves out of view.

“Because there’s no internet, with Indigenous Futurism, there’d be no cancel culture, which is an expression of whiteness. A lot of my mahi involves alternate ways to transform that rage without finger pointing and blaming other people. I know that’s really important… That’s the other thing about Indigenous Future, we all as a community hold each other accountable. Clear boundaries, safe and kind. That’s really important and one thing I’m dreaming in to at the moment. Practising those boundaries, which I did with ‘Aukati’. The goal of that exhibition was to create boundaries. Within which the cycles of trauma are broken, instantly, because there is no time. What also causes those cycles to break, is the intention. Not to say that it stays like that forever, It has to be practised constantly. And it’s hard to practise something constantly, especially if you’re neurologically wired for trauma, or cortisone. Then that’s your normal, that’s what feels sweet and peace feels Ick. It’s a hard practice.” Kezia pauses, hands settling before lifting again, signalling the continuation of their story.

“But with ‘Aukati’, that was my own personal intervention into rape culture. When we talk about transformative justice, accountability and responsibility, we won’t need to be called out. There won’t be any lateral violence. There will be a personal responsibility that comes from our community as we all practise it. That’s the dream right?” Tautoko fills our held space at their pause. We nod our heads as they continue.

“It’s the dream that we’ll all be able to engage in this transformation and the opportunity that these emotions bring up. Because ultimately what is ‘distressing’? If we had no emotions, it wouldn’t be distressing, but that would be psychopathic. These emotions are our gift. Especially of anger and rage. We need to understand what to do with them because all the rage is so overwhelming. I lived in a state, for a good 10 years, where I was so overwhelmed with my rage from being sexually assaulted, continuously and I was like ‘Fuck you all I give up.. But the one thing I did want to do was stay alive. For 10 years, that was all I could do. I could have been doing so many cool things. And the reason as well for that is, if I was expecting someone else to help me heal, i.e: the justice system, or any other kind of justice I thought I knew, something cancel culture is trying to do, but I also realised that with this sort of predatory behaviour, they aren’t gonna stop. I spent so long trying to get some sort of justice until I realised that was never going to happen, because rape culture exists and my thought and my experience at the time was that a lot of people really didn’t wanna believe that and didn’t wanna believe me. Not only that but they would uplift this predator in art spaces, which was an active oppression of me.” Kezia paused, and though we did not need to, because Kezia’s own strength was palpable, even through the screen, we leaned in and gave them ours as well.

“That kōrero was the foundation for ‘Aukati’. ‘What does justice actually look like and what does healing look like?’ When I can point my finger and say, ‘He did that’ or ‘They did that’… and they did? Anger is absolutely an appropriate response. But now that the anger is in me, what do I do with it?”

We whispered quiet ‘Āe’s and ‘kia ora’s beneath their kōrero as they continued.

“And the whakapapa of rage as well, because there’s that intergenerational rage. I was still receiving, through my own personal whakapapa, the rage of my Tīpuna. Through all of that I knew somehow it’s gotta stop with me. So ‘Aukati’ was about deciding which direction to go in terms of war. I was like, ‘I don’t wanna fight this, I don’t want to be on the battlefield’ because what a waste of time. I’m giving all my energy to somebody else who absolutely does not deserve it. All of those things result in chronic illness, all kinds of traumas that settle in the body. I only have a certain amount of energy when I wake up in the morning so what am I going to do with it? Am I gonna waste it on some asshole? No. I am going to whakamana myself. I am going to remember I descended from the beginning of the universe, from Te Urewera. I’m gonna remember that my Kuias, all of ours, were butty as.” She laughed, their laugh carried into our space and doubled by Tāwhiri beating against our windows. The air vibrated, Kezia’s mana holding their kōrero, their intention ringing so clear and strong.

“Instead of fighting it was like, ‘He Aukati’. Nobody is coming in and I’m not going out of these lines unless it’s consensual, I’m choosing where to travel. And that was like making these energetic and wairua potions. Which is something that in the near future and in the now-future, we as Indigenous and as Māori will not be scared of. We won’t be scared of te wairua. We won’t think ‘no it’s only the Tohunga goes there’. We are all the tohunga that go there. And the mātauranga from there, the massive trauma, is a huge opportunity for learning. In order to get that autonomy back for me, I just wanted to create a big spell, a big potion, all of the wāhine atua, that is to say they weren’t tāne, I called in. All of us that were there was an expression of vulnerability. And for that to be witnessed, that public vulnerability and the asking for help. Asking for awhi, asking everyone to lend their energy to me, that’s the hardest thing to ask for.”

We sat quietly again. Holding that kōrero for a moment before Kauri asked,

“How did you go through the process of asking for that awhi?”

Kezia waits a moment before answering.
“I think because I had found a community,” They began, breathing deeply, “I did all this in the academy, the institution of white supremacy, because we need to be seen there. There were other reasons it was done in the academy, including the predators that exist and are upheld in those spaces. I decided to politicise it, and make part of my articulation academic. In a sense that enabled me to be more objective about the whole experience. As my intention changed from ‘just stay alive’ to ‘Massive whakamana’, as I personally felt worthy… Which is a slow and daily practice, even now,” again they pause, as if making sure they were holding all the ideas they wanted to convey.

“Through sharing my story with some people, I trusted that they wanted to awhi. And they would, in ways I didn’t even ask for,” Kezia turned her gaze to Kauri, smile warm and welcoming.

“The awhi of you, Kauri, and the whole takatāpui community that came in there, was humbling. There’s this thing, when we wanna articulate the need for transformation of certain traumas and pains, we practise with ourselves, and we’re able to tell that story in any language that we choose. If that language is mahi toi, if that’s your first language, then I think that’s the easiest way to do it. Once that language is out it’s easier to translate, put it into words and share it with that community. And I just want to put it out there, I am that community, that tautoko, that kaitiaki for anyone that’s gone through that, wants to speak to that, join and share experiences. It weaves itself together. I also think that the more space that we give and the less control we try to have of that space, we can actually be surprised of what’s on our side. And that’s our whakapapa, that’s the beginning of the universe, those are the patterns that are on our side.”

A breeze rustles rākau against the walls of our whare, a brief interlude before Kezia continues.

“All of that was made so clear with the opening of ‘Aukati’. At the opening, at Heretaunga, that ritual, that was the night that that abuser died. He physically died, at the time that ritual was happening. There’s the Justice, āe.” Graciously they pause, giving us time to comprehend and digest our awe.
“But at that stage it wasn’t even about that anymore. I decided he wasn’t getting any of my emotions and my energy anymore, they are mine. That’s how these dynamics change. We set something out and we see what comes in. I know that sounds a bit vague but I think the intention is part of the dream, the future and guidance for how we get there. It’s really easy to get stuck in the war, sending our energy out to other places instead of asking for help. Once that’s practised daily, it becomes easier to ask for help because we know we need it, we know we can’t do it alone.”

A sharp gust of wind bustled down the valley, whipping away the mist and stirring up the manu. Sunlight dazzled dew drops on the window pane, rākau bending and whipping with the wind. But still our space held, karakia strengthened by the amount of aroha we had poured into our wānanga. Kezia had barely paid for breath before they continued, following another train of thought.

“I think one of your questions was, how does stepping into takatāpuitanga translate as community and I think this is part of it. We all understand the vulnerability of the antithesis of white supremacy. When we live that, and are that, its fucking dangerous walking out the door. But when we know that when we walk out the door, we can walk into loving takatāpui communities? That’s powerful. And because we all have our own hapu, whakapapa, iwi, that takatāpui rohe is everywhere. That’s Papatūānuku, that’s the queerness of diversity.”

Kezia’s whakaaro spills over with warmth, and eagerly we continue into our next question, hearts beaming.

“How do you go about channelling all of that whakapapa, from Papatūānuku and that queerness of diversity, as well as the inherited memory from Tīpuna, into the making of your mahi toi?” I ask, hands moving as if to help me express myself properly.

“It’s different every day,” Kezia answers, leaning back in their chair,  “and different mediums. If we are practitioners of toi, if we are continuing the mahi of toi, in a sense that’s queering in itself. Usually it’s a Ritual for me. If I’m starting something, there’s already a download from that Tīpuna memory bank. A lot of it is making space for that matakite, or the translation of what it is we’re seeing or feeling, having a response and then going, ‘okay, I’m going to explore that’. Maybe we explore it in the garden, the lounge, the kitchen. If we’re lucky, the studio. That’s one way of doing it. Creating the space in which we are going to practise, then  understanding the intention and kaupapa of what we’re practising. And allowing for the use of any material. It could even be, ‘I’m going to practise trust, and I’m going to walk down into that street. I’m gonna be really aware of what’s going on, watch it like a movie and understand it’. But when it comes to the practice in the physical world, the beginning of the ritual is always he karakia. Often my karakia are visual, see how they go and trace the whakapapa, and put an Aukati around the practice.”

I can’t help but find their answer inspiring, my fingers already twitching for my own mahi toi.
Kauri jumps on the empty space, curiosity driving behind their question.

“At your show ‘Aukati’, you had so many beautiful taonga. like manu, oneone, the composting… Was that a way of calling in different atua from different places?”

Kezia’s face lights up.
“Āe,” They shuffle in their chair, reaching for the feather again, “It was part of calling myself home, calling myself to my body and therefore the body of earth and understanding the earth I’m standing on. Understanding how I got to be here and where I came from. There was also that representation of Ngā Hau e Whā, Ngā Whenua e Whā. Our north, south, east, west. What were the areas of whenua that surrounded me from the point I stood, at the centre? There was Te Whanganui-a-Tara, there was Waiohiki where I am and Te Matau-a-Māui, Whanganui and Te Urewera. That work was also a collaboration between both sides of my whakapapa, in the fae and matakite sense. I know most of the lines of our wāhine pākehā were definitely involved in some kind of amazing knowledge, resulting in them being burned as witches. We knew those potions, we knew the right plants and everything, which obviously, we still do as Indigenous.” They pause for a moment, somehow conveying a wink without actually winking.

“But the birds, the compost, were a representation of this multi-layered pūrākau and intention setting. A feeling of ‘Right everything stops and this is ground zero. I’m back here and these are the things around me.’ There was a thing with the manu, as I was going through what was happening here with the rape culture and assaults…” Their tone indicated a quick tangent circling back, which we happily followed them down.

“I was doing research around manu and the function they used to have for our Tīpuna. They spoke the same language, and could speak their language. Someone shared a story with me. As a boy he had gone out with his koro, to meet this other koroua out in Te Urewera. Together they went to this clearing where generationally his line had been the ones to call the kererū. So this Koroua just made these out-of-it sounds, quite scary for this boy. But then suddenly these flocks of kererū flew through, descending on this clearing! Isn’t that awesome?” Kezia’s excitement was infectious, their story filling us with wonder and awe.

“The language of the manu was the first reo of this land. Therefore we could collaborate with these manu and accept their form of koha, to us. What qualities did that manu have and how can we share them together? I’ve heard stories that they even used to wear live manu through their ears. But there were a whole lot of practices and that was our Taonga Tuku Iho, our handed down heirlooms. Birds were also the ones we’d shapeshift into as well, we think of those stories of Māui shapeshifting into birds. So for me, it was all about birds and as I was going through that healing and therapy at that time, I would find a lot of birds on the road. If they were alive, I’d help herd them back to safety. Then I started to find dead manu. They were so majestic and beautiful, they didn’t deserve to stay on the road, so I would move them. Then it would become them offering parts of their body to me, you know their wings at first, feathers and all.”

I felt Kauri tense beside me as Kezia spoke this. They interjected, quickly sharing our experience of finding a dead tuī. When Kauri went to clean him up for a burial, the tuī had given up a few feathers. Something that felt like a gift. Kauri had made them into earrings for Maia, them and myself.
Kezia’s hand leapt to their heart, sharing that pain at finding the bodies of native manu.

“I suppose also,” They begin in tautoko, “when we speak about Te Ukaipo, Te Taiao – and this is another thing that relates to Indigenous Futures is – we understand and we walk hand in hand with death, with Te Pō. We are able to have all of those emotions and it’s death that brings those emotions out of us. It’s part of that word ‘Matemateāone’. ‘Matemate’: those emotions surrounding those that are gone and in the soil, those emotions are the things that bind us. That’s what makes us care. How important it is to grieve, to be able to acknowledge ‘wow, that’s full on’, acknowledge our humanness and the gift of our emotions. I know a number of us who are neurodiverse as well, those emotions can be overwhelming for a long time.” They pause, holding a holy silence with Kauri for a minute or so, “Thank you for sharing that story about the Tuī.”

“But when we are given those items,” They continue, again holding up the feather, “It’s about utilising the mauri, thats inherent in the whakapapa of these objects, the bones, the feathers, the bird, the beak, of the whenua. We all love Kōkōwai āe? Whenua pigments are such a personal process for Land Back, to connect us. I remember, after wearing a mixture of pigments from Waikaremoana, Rūātoki and Ruatāhuna on my face, I remember thinking, ‘I can’t not go there now. It’s called me back’. The potency and the mauri of that. The mauri of all these things that are already alive. As artists, we like to recreate, and join things, maybe destroy things, whatever it is we have an intention for. How powerful it is, to be practitioners of that. It’s the ultimate source.”

Kezia sits back, their wairua vibrating throughout our space, into our hearts. Sharing kōrero and time with them is always a gift, but this felt so special.

Maia held up their hand, sitting in the corner. Kezia laughed when they saw, “Did you have a question Maia?”

Maia smiles, “I was just wondering what you meant when you said ‘Visual Karakia’?”

Kezia’s whole being seems to grow warm.
“You’re asking because you have an idea… I bet it’s something you do as well without fully knowing.”

Maia only nods gently, leaving space for Kezia to expand
“Karakia in Te Reo Māori can be triggering for us who don’t have the Reo. But we’re all learning right? we all gotta learn and keep learning because man that Reo speaks to those birds, speaks to the Wehenga of the universe.” They seem to exclaim, not just for us but for the pure joy they feel at that truth.

“Understand that karakia is also separate, different, to prayer. Which many of us may have known in Te Ao Pākehā, forced on us or whatever. So I like to think we get back to our original language by having our own visual language, the language we had before we started learning words. Because, though those things may have been flooding in, we also get to direct them. Almost like conscious dreaming.”
Kezia, speaking previously to us as a group, now turns to focus on Maia, answering and connecting with them directly.
“So a practice of, for example, the beginning of a ritual or a visual karakia I might use, would be something like going and standing on the earth and visually seeing the roots going down. Seeing how I’m connected to the centre of Papatūanuku, seeing whatever other fucking magical elements full of mauri that I want to include in these intention settings. They may look like powerful webs of holographic rainbows surrounding you, your kaupapa, your whare or your whānau. We can bring anything into that vision we want. Being able to direct those visions is a real practice and a skill. It’s like lucid dreaming, realising you get to create anything you want in that space. That’s what I mean by visual karakia. I think it’s one of our natural skills. When we’re doing it alone, it’s awesome. But when we’re doing it together? That was the power. When I speak of that fella dying the same time this ritual was being done? That wasn’t the intention, nobody was thinking about that, but it happened. That’s the true power behind the intentions we set together.”

Inspiration and visions of holographic threads fill my sight. The room thrums with deep vibrations, Kezia’s kōrero whipping up a palpable energy that feels like the strongest form of rongoā, of awhi, of aroha. We could feel our conversation coming to an end, but, not wanting to let go of the feelings we’d curated, I ask one more question.

“What’s one piece of advice you have for makers of mahi toi?”

Kezia doesn’t even spare a moment to think, the words just flow.
“When we are able to rest, which has taken me a long time to learn how to do again, that’s the space we can let our atua awhi us. Let go, have a safe space and dream.”