A Samoan educator believes non-Maori should support the role of Maori as tangata whenua or people of the land.
Mua Strickson Pua runs the Tagata Pacifica Resource and Development Trust, which helps young Pacific Island and Maori who have been expelled from schools.
As well as Pacific Island culture, the students learn about Maori history and culture and the effects of urbanisation on indigenous peoples.
Reverend Strickson Pua says that makes the Maori students sit up and take notice.
“They're hearing non-Maori saying quite clearly and powerfully that it’s awesome to be tangata whenua, that this is an awesome history, and that these are Pacific Islanders who have acknowledged that they have received great blessings by coming to this country,” Rev Strickson Pua says.
He says young Maori feel affirmed when non-Maori celebrate their culture.