Annette Sykes

  1. I had a summer vacation at Cambridge University and was looking at whether I should go to there for summer school. But, while I was there, I met John Rangihau and others who warned me that I’d end up like a potato — all brown on the outside and white in the middle. e-tangata
  2. Most people don’t know this, but I never started off doing law. I actually came back to do a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration with an economics and politics major. And it wasn’t until the Springbok tour in 1981 that I decided that wasn’t for me — and I switched to a double degree in law. e-tangata
  3. When I see people I love who can’t even afford food or who’re struggling to find work in a place that once was a thriving cacophony of change and well-being for all Māori and Pākehā, well … that brings a crashing sense of realism about why you have to fight for change for our people. e-tangata
  4. The sadness for me is that, when I started using te reo with some fluency and some confidence in written form, there was a lot of resistance to it becoming a natural part of our lives. That’s what I found in the places I worked – and in the courts.
  5. You can learn all the things you want at uni, but you’ve got to find the courage to make them happen. e-tangata
  6. Well, actually, we are, and always have been, conservatives. It’s just that others label us as radicals. It is an essentially conservative claim to want our country to be Māori. e-tangata
  7. So the radicalism is still there. It may not be publicised as well as it was when the world was gazing on us protesting in the 80s and 90s. But we have numbers now. e-tangata
  8. You can aim for the mountain – and just get to the mountain. Or you can look to the stars, imagine what should be – and then put those imaginings in place. e-tangata