Walker, Sheilagh. “Chapter seven: Conclusion. Notes to myself: Writing from the gut” Kia tau the rangimārie: Kaupapa Māori theory as a resistance against the construction of Māori as other. Auckland University: Unpublished Masters thesis (excerpt), 1996. 153-154. Print.
In this excerpt Walker reveals her feelings of isolation and frustration as a Maori in a eurocentric education system. Walker struggles to maintain her Maori identity in this Pakeha system. There is an internal struggle between being a voice for a heavily underrepresented Maori population, representing her cultural ideologies and beliefs and conforming to the Pakeha dominated system. Reminding the reader that writing is not a traditional part of Maori culture, her work is unlikely to reach the Maori audience it was intended for.
The Author’s Voice
The excerpt is deeply personal and is written with conviction and passion. Writing from personal experience, Walker’s writing expresses her intense frustrations. Her voice is personal yet also political as it addresses the inequalities of Maori in a Pakeha system described through her personal experiences.
Walker uses personal pronouns throughout the excerpt drawing the reader into the writing. This is reinforced by her use of the imperative in paragraph four. I approached this text with some hesitancy. However, after seeking clarification on some of the Maori terms, the text was easy enough to understand. The excerpt does shine Pakeha in a negative light, however, to take a defensive stand as a Pakeha would be to deny the presence of existing inequalities between Maori and Pakeha in New Zealand. Rather, this text was interesting in that it shed light on a Maori perspective which is so underrepresented in New Zealand literature and history.