Australian Women’s Weekly NZ

Finding the joy

There is a Maori proverb that reads: ‘He waka eke noa’. The literal translation is ‘the canoe which we are all in without exception’ but the general spirit is ‘we’re all in this together’. It’s a saying about connection, about how no one can get through life alone, and it’s a theme Petra Bagust and her mother Judi have found repeated over and over again, both in their lives and in their learnings. For the past three years, the pair have been studying Te Reo Maori, a passion project for both of them that quickly became something bigger than just learning a new skill.

“Both of us have discovered a deep joy in, what I would call, a life-expanding experience of seeing the world from a different perspective,” Petra says. “If you cover one eye, you can see quite a lot but your idea of where things are and how things are placed is quite impaired. With both eyes, we have this ability to have a clearer focal range and see things in a more complex way. When the European world view is put alongside the Maori world view, there’s this incredible addition to life.”

That idea of community and connection is always important, but has come at a critical time for Petra and Judi, as they battle through one of their most personal journeys yet. In this exclusive interview with , the pair open

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