More research given on term 'Takatāpui'

By Heeni Brown
  • Auckland
  • Wellington

Recently, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere represented the Greens in the race for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti. Despite Dr Kerekere being unsuccessful, she still managed to complete her PHD thesis that looks at the traditional term 'Takatāpui'.  

For the last 20 years, Dr Kerekere says her work on 'Takatāpui' and the evidence she has found can cover a whole range of diversities. 

It looks at diverse genders and diverse characteristics to include people who are trans-gender diverse, non-binary and intersecting queer.

She says it's stories like Hinemoa and Tūtanekai that give LGBTQI - lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer and intersex communities a direct connection to their tūpuna Takatāpui.

Dr Kerekere says, "A big part and importance of this story for many of us is about whakapapa to show that we actually existed in the past. We're not trying to re-write Tutanekai and Tiki into a gay love story. That's really inappropriate, but we're saying it's an example and there are others of fluidity that existed centuries ago."