Reclaiming our traditions by not using a surname

This story is part of Re: News' Off The Grid Week, where we look at what it's like to go off the beaten path. Check out the rest of the stories here.

“The thing that I don’t agree with is that Māori have to have a last name, that is wrong”.

Ngaa Rauuira Puumanawawhiti and his whānau don’t have surnames because they say it is not part of Māori tradition.

Instead, he says the concept of surnames comes from a Pākeha system and he wants to normalise discussion around whanau ditching surnames and embracing their own traditions instead.

As part of our Off the Grid series, this episode of Ohinga looks at the challenges this whānau has faced in doing things differently from the mainstream and why Ngaa Rauuira Puumanawawhiti feels it’s so important.

“It’s not about me rejecting anything, it’s about me embracing my culture”.

This is part of our reo Māori series, Ohinga, created by Mahi Tahi Media, with funding from Te Māngai Pāho.

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