Marama David­son

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - THE GRILL - Words by Emma Page

Green Party co-leader Marama David­son pas­sion­ately lists the things keep­ing her busy at the mo­ment: pro­tect­ing New Zealand’s water, sup­port­ing mana whenua and grass roots con­ser­va­tion groups to stop the spread of kauri dieback, and over­haul­ing the cul­ture of Work and In­come. “We need to re­store man­aaki and kind­ness to gov­ern­ment,” she says. “Cru­elty is un­sus­tain­able.”

In June, David­son bravely went pub­lic about the sex­ual abuse she suf­fered as a child. Wak­ing up the morn­ing the story was pub­lished and see­ing her face ev­ery­where was hard. “I just felt… re­ally ex­posed and re­ally quite icky.” But sup­port flooded in im­me­di­ately, as peo­ple said her mes­sage res­onated with them, strength­ened them and made them feel less iso­lated. It was worth it to make a dif­fer­ence, she says.

David­son, whose father is ac­tor Rawiri Paratene, grew up in North­land just over the hill from Waipoua for­est – home to the coun­try’s largest known stand­ing kauri, T ne Mahuta, now sadly un­der threat from kauri dieback.

“It’s an in­di­ca­tion of the fact that we need to do a lot bet­ter as hu­mans in pro­tect­ing our taonga.”

David­son lives in Auck­land with her hus­band Paul, their six chil­dren, a puppy and the fam­ily dog. She misses them while work­ing in Welling­ton. Com­ing home is al­ways a joy. “Oh my good­ness I re­ally get ex­cited about it.” She took our Sun­day Grill.

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