Nau mai, haere mai
In 2004, Klixo Ltd (my wonderful website company, based in my old home town of Whakatane) created my first ever website.It was to celebrate and promote the launch of my first poetry book, 'mātuhi | needle', and my first album, 'puāwai'. I launched them both, and the website as well, on the same day - 31 October.
It was a really significant day for many reasons.
My whānau and friends came from far and wide to support and celebrate with me. The 'One Eye Gallery' in Paekākāriki was packed full of well-wishers, including Jenny Rendall, the amazing Ngāi Tahu artist whose beautiful paintings feature in full colour in 'mātuhi'. Jenny had brought those and other paintings to exhibit on the day. She and our mutual friend Ariana Tikao gifted me a beautiful piece of pounamu as a koha for my big day.
I was also given something else very precious that day - by the wonderful ruahine I am fortunate enough to call whānau - Norah Puketapu-Collins, Mahinekura Reinfeld and Ngāropi Cameron. They gifted me the raukura, the white feathers, the symbol of Parihaka. It was a hugely significant and emotional moment for me.
It was also the day that our lovely kuia, Aunty Peace, passed away back in Taranaki. It was hard to believe when we heard the news that morning. We were all in shock, especially as her beloved sister, my Aunty Kath, had passed away on the same day the year before (which was one reason why I chose the date). I am still blown away by the love my whānau showed me by still coming to my launch and being there with me that day.
Mahinekura has since also gone. So has our beloved Uncle Colly, and Wally Robertson, my then partner Tyree's father. Many other things have happened in my life and in the lives of my whānau. Thank you, he mihi mahana, to all of you who've supported my writing, music, and just myself, since I first got started on this creative journey in the mid-1990s. Eight years since my first website went live, I'm launching this new website as my new kāinga ipurangi. And spending a moment thinking, and remembering that day in October 2004.
Welcome to my new website! I'm still finessing the finer points. Still no newsletter, and I'm sortin' out the photo galleries, so bear with me. But you should be able to have a bit of fun clicking around already. See, on the right there, that bit that says 'read a poem'? Click it. Click it again!
See the 'Look and Listen' tab up there on the main menu? go for it. There's free stuff under the 'free stuff' tab on the front page! Check it out. And of course, I would love it if you would explore *The Store* as much as you jolly well please.
Let me know what you think of the site on Twitter/Facebook. Meantime, thanks for stopping by.
Mauri ora, tātou katoa.