27 September 2022
“THK has opened up the world for me and given me a scope of what the world has to offer beyond Aotearoa.”
Born and raised in Te Kuiti, home to the best pies in Aotearoa (allegedly), Luke Moss had the opportunity to head to Japan in 2019 with Te Hononga-ā-Kiwa (THK) to explore the streetwear capital of the world after starting his own Māori clothing label, Kultured.
However, Moss got to experience a new side of Japan and the opportunity to engage with the Ainu, the Indigenous people of Japan
“The biggest thing I have learnt is that you can be successful and be Indigenous, you don’t have to forfeit your identity and culture to make impact worldwide, and that being Indigenous is the super power that not many of us know we have”
After now completing his Masters in Māori and Indigenous studies, Moss finds himself in new spaces, including the 2022 intake for the alumni programme Ngā Hononga-ā-Kiwa (NHK) and as the youngest member of his Iwi authority the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board.
“NHK has opened up so many doors already after just one kaupapa. I have already been working with other Alumni to progress Rangatahi strategy and development in our own respective Iwi, something that wouldn’t have happened unless I was a part of NHK.”
With a passion to continue engaging with iwi taketake in international spaces and give back to his own community, Moss successfully received two group Prime Minister Scholarships to Taiwan and Brazil for his marae, Te Piruru.
“THK has sort of shrunken the globe and made the whole world accessible. When I first heard of the PM scholarship it sounded like the perfect opportunity to share the experiences I’ve gained with my marae; it’s no use just me having these experiences if it’s not shared to the people.”
Moss wants to normalise these types of opportunities for his people by creating a global Indigenous network, where his whānau feel empowered to be able to engage in more of these spaces in the future.
“I’m hoping my whānau see the beauty of being Indigenous and start thinking beyond our marae buildings in terms of being a descendant of Te Piruru. It doesn’t just mean when were at the marae we are Māori or from Te Piruru but we carry that mana everywhere we go, even overseas.”
“Without THK and NHK my marae wouldn’t be engaging with Indigenous people around the world. It’s taught me how to become a global citizen and reach places that I never would have reached without everything I’ve learnt from the Te Hononga-ā-Kiwa-team”.