- Shelley Dunn
He tutūnga puehu i te whānau / A disturbance in the family
The Ana Series, story 1 of 10 Written by Shelley Dunn, translated by Tawaroa Kawana, edited by Oriini Kaipara, illustrated by Micky De Pont
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Whakataukī: He hono tangata e kore e motu; kāpā he taura waka e motu.
Whakataukī: Unlike a canoe rope, a human bond cannot be severed.
‘Kia mōhio mai koe Matt,’ te kōrero a tōna māmā, a Allie, i a ia e wehe ana ki te mahi.
‘By the way Matt,’ says Allie, his mother, as she’s leaving for work.
'E hūnuku ana koe ki te noho tahi i a Pops mō tētahi wā.
‘You’re moving next door to live with Pops for a while.
E piki mai ana tō whanaunga a Ana i te taitonga, ā, e tuku ana ahau i a ia ki tō rūma.'
Your cousin Ana’s coming from down the line and I have to put her in your room.’
Ka takawhiti atu ia i te tomokanga ki te waka. I reira e whanga ana ko tō Matt pāpā, ko Ted, me te waka e rite mai ana.
She rushes out the door to the car where Ted, Matt’s father, is waiting with the engine running.
‘He aha kē tāu?
‘What are you on about?
He aha i kore ai te whanaunga e noho tahi i a Pops?
Why can’t the cousin live with Pops?
Ko wai kē hoki te whanaunga tupurangi nei?
Who is this random cousin anyway?
Nōhea koe i kōrero mō tētahi whanaunga i mua atu?’
You never talked about any cousins before?!'
‘Ko wai kē hoki te whanaunga tupurangi nei?’
'Who is this random cousin anyway?
Ka taka te kapa kua wehe tōna māmā, ā, tika tonu atu a Matt ki tana waea, ka waea atu ai ki a ia.
Realising that his mother has left, Matt grabs his phone and calls her.
Ka rongo ia i tōna pāpā, ‘Tukuna ahau kia kōrero ki a ia Allie—meatia ia ki te tukuoro.’
He hears his Dad, ‘Let me talk to him Allie—put him on speaker.’
‘Pāpā, e aha ana te aha?’
‘Dad, what’s going on?’
‘Hei te pō tātou kōrero ai,’ te urupare a Ted.
‘We’ll talk tonight,’ Ted answers.
‘Ehara i te mea he aha Matt.
‘It’s not a big deal Matt.
E hiahia ana tō koroua ki te noho tahi i a koe, ā, nā te taenga mai a Ana, he wā āhua pai tēnei.’
Your grandfather wants some time with you and with Ana arriving, it’s seems like a good opportunity.'
‘E kī, he mea NUI tēnei ki ahau.
‘Well it IS a big deal for me.
I whakaaro rānei tētahi ki te ui mai ki a au, he aha tāku i hiahia ai?
Did anyone actually think to ask me what I want?
E kore e taea te pare i tāu anō tamaiti ki rahaki mō tētahi whanaunga kāore i te paku mōhiotia e wai ake.’
You can’t just dump your kid for some cousin nobody even knows.’
'Matt, mai anō i tō whānautanga mai kua uia koe e au mō ōu anō hiahia,’ tā Allie, me te riri haere o tōna reo.
‘Matt I’ve been asking you what you want since you were born,’ says Allie, starting to sound angry.
'Ko te hiahia o tō koroua kia noho tahi mai a Ana ki konei me mātou.
‘Your grandfather wants Ana to be here and to stay with us.
Ina koa, e hiahia ana ia ki te noho tahi i a koe i mua tāu wehenga atu ki te whare wānanga.
He particularly wants to spend some time with you before you go to uni.
Ehara i a au te whakaaro, engari, kāore anō ia kia tono i te paku aha i a au i ngā rā o tōku ao, nō reira e kore ahau e whakahē i tana tono ināianei.
It’s not my idea but he’s never asked me for anything in my life so I’m not going to say no to him now.
Hei tāna, kua tae te wā kia ako koe i te hītori o tō tātou whānau.’
He thinks it’s time you learned more about your family history.’
‘Kātahi rā hoki!
‘I can’t believe this.
He aha i kōwhiria ai ko nāianei kia ākona ahau ki te hītori o tō tātou whanau?
Why choose now to teach me family history?
Me ihu pukapuka ahau e whai wāhi atu ai ahau ki ngā mahi ture māmā!
I need to study really hard to get into law Mum!
Me noho ahau ki taku rūma!
I need my room!
E tama, he aha hoki te wā whakamutunga i kai koe i ngā kai a Pop!?’
God, when was the last time you ate Pop’s cooking!?’
Kāore he hua!
But it’s no use.
Kua whakamoea e Allie te waea.
Allie has hung up.
‘Ka aroha kē hoki,’ tā te tino hoa o Matt, tā Chin.
‘That sucks,’ says Chin, Matt’s best mate.
E noho ana rāua ki muri ō te taiwhanga mātai koiora.
They’re sitting at the back of biology.
‘Kāore he wāhi wātea i tōku whare—kei te noho mai ōku kaumātua.’
‘There’s no room at my place—my grandparents are staying.’
Ka tiro makutu atu tō ngā tama kaiako, a Mrs Gray, ki a rāua.
Their teacher, Mrs Gray, gives the boys a warning look.
Ka whakataruna rāua ki te arotahi ki te perēti pia kei mua i tō rāua aroaro.
They pretend to concentrate on the agar plate in front of them.
‘Kāo, māku tēnei,’ tā Matt.
‘Nah, I’ll sort it,’ says Matt.
‘Kāmō ki te take e hiahia ohorere nei a Pop kia noho tahi ahau i a ia – Kei tua noa iho ahau o te taiapa.’
‘Dunno why Pop wants me to stay with him all of a sudden—I’m only next door anyway.’
Ka wero ia i te matū tieri me tana pene.
He pokes the jelly substance with his pen.
‘He pēhea tō whanaunga? Tē aro i a au he whanaunga ōu.’
‘What’s your cousin like? I didn’t know you had any cousins.’
‘Kāmō. Tē aro hoki i a au.
‘Dunno. Never even knew she existed.
Ki taku nei mōhio he maha ōku whanaunga kei te Matau a Māui, heoi, tino kore nei mātou e kite i a mātou.
I think I have tons of cousins from The Bay but we never see them or anything.
Ka whakapā atu a Pop i ōna wā. Heoi, e ai ki a māmā ka mātua i tō mātou whānau ake.
Pop keeps in touch a bit but Mum reckons our family keeps her busy enough.
Ka mutu, kāore i te tino rata ki a ia ngā mahi Māori, e mōhio ana koe ki ōna whakaaro mō—’
Plus she’s not into all that Māori stuff, you know she has that thing about—’
‘Ngā Kirirarau o te Ao,’ te kōrero a Chin i a ia e whakataruna haere ana me ōna matimati.
‘International Citizens,’ Chin says doing air quotes with his fingers.
‘He tangata katoa tātou,’ te kōrero ngātahi a Matt rāua ko Chin.
‘We‘re all one race of humans,’ Matt and Chin quote together.
‘Āe, te katoa, hāunga tāna tama,’ tā Matt.
‘Yeah, everyone except her son,’ says Matt.
‘Heoi, taputapu kē tō Pop.
‘At least your Pop’s cool.
Ka kōrero Manarini noa iho ōku kaumātua ki ahau.
My grandparents only speak Mandarin to me.
Ānō nei kei Haina e noho ana i a rāua kei konei.
It’s like living in China when they’re here.
He Hainamana katoa ngā kai, te pouaka whakaata, me ngā hoa.
Only Chinese food, Chinese TV, Chinese friends.
Kāore rāua e tino rata ana ki a koe.
They don’t like you much.
Ka rata ake pea ki a koe mehemea koe i Hainamana.’
They‘d probably like you more if you were Chinese.’
‘He kirirarau ahau o te ao, e hoa.
‘I’m an International Citizen mate.
He ōrite katoa tātou ki tua o kiri.’
We’re all the same under our skin.’
Ka haukotihia tā rāua kōrero e Mrs Gray.
Their conversation is stopped short by Mrs Gray.
‘Ka pai, ko wai e hiahia ana ki te whakaatu i ana hua?’
‘OK, who wants to present their results?’
Ka titiro iho a Matt rāua ko Chin ki ō rāua waewae, ki waho o te matapihi, ki te kuaha, ki tā rāua perēti pia (e kapi katoa ana i te waingārahu o te pene)—ngā wāhi katoa hei karo i ngā kanohi o Mrs Gray.
Matt and Chin look at their feet, out the window, at the door, at their agar plate (which now has ballpoint pen marks all through it)—anywhere to avoid eye contact with Mrs Gray.
‘Matt kōrua ko Chin!’
‘Matt and Chin!’
Ka ngunguru tahi ngā tama.
The boys groan in unison.
‘He kirirarau ahau o te ao, e hoa. He ōrite katoa tātou ki tua o kiri.’
'I'm an International Citizen mate. We're all the same under our skin.'
Whai muri i te kura, ka kōrero a Matt ki tērā atu o ōna tino hoa, ki tōna māhanga—ki a Lara.
After school, Matt talks to his other best mate—his twin sister Lara.
‘Whakapai kanohi! Ka pai mehemea i hiahia a Pops kia noho atu ahau.
‘Sexist. I wish Pops wanted me to stay.
Ko te mea nui e wātea ana koe i te korokoro o te parata,’ tana kōrero āpiti mō tō rāua māmā.
At least you get away from the human tornado,’ she adds, referring to their mother.
‘Me aha koa, e ai ki ngā kōrero he paku pakeke ake tēnei whanaunga i a tāua, ā, te āhua nei he taputapu kē ia.
‘Anyway, apparently this cousin is just a bit older than us and she sounds really cool.
He kōrero Māori ia, ā, e whai ana ia i tana tohu paetahi i ngā mahi mātai pūhanga taiao.
She speaks fluent Māori and she’s doing a degree in environmental engineering.
Koinei te whatinga tai e pao ai tātou ki te hura i ngā kurahuna o te whānau.
This is our big chance to find out all the family secrets.
Ka noho mai ia hei tuakana!’
She’ll be like a sister!’
Ka tīkoro ngā whatu o Matt i a Lara e atiti noa ana ki tōna rūma.
Matt rolls his eyes as Lara wanders off to her bedroom.
‘Āe rānei kei a ia tōna raihana taraiwa…’ tana kōrero rākau.
‘I wonder if she’s got her driver’s licence...’ she says to herself.
Ka rere ētahi rā, ā, ka rongo a Matt kua kōwhiria ia ki te tiki i a Ana i te taunga pahi.
A couple of days later Matt finds himself elected to pick Ana up from the bus-station.
He take nui tā ōna mātua hei whaiwhai ake i te mahi.
His parents have a crisis to deal with at work.
E kohi moni ana a Lara mō te SPCA.
Lara is collecting donations for the SPCA.
Ko tā Pops, ko te painga atu kia kite i a Ana i te kāinga.
Pops says he prefers to see Ana at home.
E hanga taiatea ana ia. E hari, e pouri ana hoki i te wā kotahi.
Pop seems a bit nervous—happy and sad at the same time.
Ko Chin anake e hiahia ana ki te haere mai.
Chin is the only one who wants to come.
Ka kī ia, ‘Kāore anō ahau kia kite i tētahi Māori tūturu.’
‘I’ve never seen a real Māori,’ he says.
‘He aha rā hoki ahau?
‘What do you think I am?
Me Pops, rātou ko Lara, ko māmā? Māhunga paukena!’ tā Matt. Engari, e rangirua noa ana a Chin.
And Pops, and Lara, and Mum ya peanut brain?’ says Matt, but Chin just looks confused.
I tā rāua taenga atu, hīkaka ana te hekenga atu a Chin i te waka, mahue ana a Matt ki te kimi tūnga waka.
When they pull in, Chin eagerly hops out of the car leaving Matt to search for a park.
E hīkoi ana a Matt ki te teihana matua, i te pahi nō Kaikohe e whakatū ana i te papawaka.
Matt’s walking toward the main station as the bus from Kaikohe is parking.
Ka kite ia i a Chin e whanga atu ana i te kahupapa.
He spots Chin already waiting on the platform.
I a ia e mātaki ana, ka hīkoi atu tētahi rōpū rangatahi, ā, kapi katoa ana i a rātou te ara hīkoi i te matatira o te tū.
As he watches, a group of teenagers walk along the pavement in a row taking up its entire width.
E mahi heahea ana ngā taiohi nei, e panapana ana i a rātou, e whakataratara ana hoki.
They’re acting like idiots, pushing each other around and egging each other on.
Ka peia e tētahi o ngā taitama tōna hoa kia tuki atu ki a Chin.
One of the boys shoves his mate right into Chin.
Ka whakatakē te toenga o te rōpū, ā, ka porohitangia ia.
The rest of the group snigger and turn to form a circle around him.
Ka tutetute rātou i a Chin.
They push Chin one way and then the next.
Ka kī atu tētahi kōtiro kia hoki atu a Chin ki te wāhi i ahu mai ai ia.
One girl tells Chin to go back to where he came from.
Horo tonu atu a Matt ki a rātou.
Matt rushes toward them.
‘He pēnei koutou ki te manuhiri?’
‘Is this the way you treat visitors?’
Ka kautorohī tētahi wahine tāroaroa ki te ara hīkoi.
A tall woman appears on the pavement.
‘I nē?’ tana pararē atu.
‘Is it!?’ she repeats loudly.
E mau ana ia i tētahi kāmeta roa, i tētahi pōtae mahana hoki, ahakoa kua eke kē te matiti kaiwai.
She’s wearing a long shawl and a beanie, even though it’s the middle of summer.
Ka nanaohia e te wahine ngā pōtae o ngā poraka o ngā taitama mai i muri, ā, ka korepehia ō rāua pōtae rā i ō rāua māhunga.
The woman grabs two of the teens by the back of their hoodies and rips the hoods off their heads.
‘E māia tonu ana kōrua ināianei, kitea ana ō kōrua kanohi e te ao?
‘Still feeling brave now that everyone can see your face?
Pērā i ērā kāmera kei korā?
Like those cameras over there?
Kia horo tā kōrua whakapāha ki tēnei tāne.
Tō kōrua kaha kē!’
Apologise to this man right now. Shame on you!’
Ka hamumu ngā taiohi rā i ā rāua whakapāha, ā, ka whakangaro atu te māpu rā.
The teenagers mumble apologies and the little mob disappears.
Ka hīkina ake e te wahine ōna tueke ka huri ai ki a Chin ka kī, ‘Ka aroha kē hoki, e tai. Kia pai te paunga o tō hararei.’
The woman picks up her suitcase and turns to Chin, ‘I’m sorry sir, please enjoy the rest of your holiday,’ she says.
‘Kei te pai koe?
'Are you OK?
He aha koe i kore ai e mahi kung fu, i te aha atu rānei?’ te kōrero whakakata a Matt i muri atu i tana whakaeteete.
Why didn’t you do some kung fu or something?’ Matt jokes as he finally makes it through the crowd.
‘E tama, tata tonu taku pērā, engari, ka haukotihia ahau e te wahine rā,’ te urupare a Chin, me te paku āmaimai o tōna mingo kata.
‘Man, I was going to but that weird woman got in my way,’ Chin replies with a slightly shaky grin.
Kei te toa tētahi taitamawahine Māori e noho ana ki runga i ōna tueke, te momo taketake, kāore nei ōna wīra.
Over by the snack shop there’s a young Māori girl sitting on a suitcase, the old-school kind without wheels.
E mau ana ia i te tarau whakapakari tinana pango me ngā hū konihi.
She wears black gym pants with sneakers.
Ka unuhia e ia te pīki kāmeta nei ōna pokohiwi, ka pōkaihia ai, ā, ka māhoratia ōna makawe i te pōtae.
She removes the bulky shawl from her shoulders, folds it up and shakes her long hair out of a beanie.
Tōna kiri, ānō nei kua roa ia e kai ana i ngā huawhenua māori, e inu ana hoki i te waipuna māori.
Her skin looks like she’s lived a life of eating organic veges and drinking spring water.
I motuhake ai ia i a tātou, kāore ia i te titiro iho ki tētahi waea.
Unlike everyone else, she’s not looking down at a phone.
E tirotiro kē ana ia ki ngā tāngata me te Pourewa Teitei kei muri i a ia.
She’s looking around at the people and the skytower behind her.
Ka tīmata a Chin ki te kōrero, ‘Taihoa ake, ko te wahine tērā i…?’
‘Wait. Is that the lady that—?’ starts Chin.
Ka haukotihia e Matt, ‘Ki taku nei mōhio, kātahi anō koe ka tūtaki ki taku whanaunga.’
‘I have a feeling you just met my cousin,’ says Matt.