A poem for Papatūānuku – Mother Earth by Ngāti Hine/Ngāpuhi writer Nadine Anne Hura, and
recently shared by Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Rest now, e Papatūānuku ( Mother Earth )
Breathe easy and settle
Right here where you are
We’ll not move upon you
For awhile

We’ll stop, we’ll cease
We’ll slow down and stay home

Draw each other close and be kind
Kinder than we’ve ever been.
I wish we could say
we were doing it for you
as much as ourselves

But hei aha

We’re doing it anyway

It’s right. It’s time.
Time to return
Time to remember
Time to listen and forgive
Time to withhold judgment
Time to cry
Time to think

About others

Remove our shoes
Press hands to soil
Sift grains between fingers

Gentle palms

Time to plant
Time to wait
Time to notice
To whom we belong

For now it’s just you
And the wind
And the forests and the oceans
and the sky full of rain

Finally, it’s raining!

Ka turuturu te wai kamo o Rangi ki runga i a koe *

Embrace it

This sacrifice of solitude we have carved out for you

He iti noaiho – a small offering which is a treasure
People always said it wasn’t possible
To ground flights and stay home
and stop our habits of consumption

But it was
It always was.

We were just afraid of how much it was going to hurt
– and it IS hurting and it will hurt and continue to hurt
But not as much as you have been hurt.

So be still now

Wrap your hills around our absence
Loosen the concrete belt
cinched tight at your waist

– Rest.
– Breathe.
– Recover.
– Heal

And we will do the same.