After my first day at the brand new Intergen offices in Wellington I’m reflecting on how much I’ve changed over the years both professionally and personally. The most important change is how much more connected I feel to Aotearoa, to our people and to my home city of Ōtautahi Christchurch.
For the longest time I have never quite felt like a “Kiwi” and I’ve never really understood why but now I think I do. Maybe its was the constant barrage of people telling me I have an accent growing up. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t born here. Maybe its because I don’t at all relate to any of the stereotypical things that are often associated with being a Kiwi male. If I were to follow sport rugby would not be on my list, I’ll never be a “blokey” guy, I’m not handy in the slightest and almost proud that I don’t know jack about cars because I don’t need one.
Now I’ve found a career I am passionate about, discovered my voice in my music and accepted myself for who I am I’m starting to realize just how wrong I was. The caricature in my mind of New Zealand as a sheep loving, Speights drinking, number 8 wire wrangling, rugby playing people is just that; a caricature imposed on myself. As soon as I shed that image I realised everything that New Zealand is built on and stands for is everything I’m passionate about and more and it’s up to all of us to make sure it stays that way.
My social, political, spiritual and artistic visions have come together as one, like many streams joining forces to to form a river driving toward an open sea. Living just five minutes from Parliament in what is one of the most vibrant artistic centers of our country I couldn’t be in a better place.
Farewell Ōtautahi and kia kaha, you are stronger than you think you are.