A Random Trollop to rock the House
Biography of Metiria Turei, MP for Green Room 002: Wahine
“We are ferocious, fierce in our creativity of sweet life Fierce in our gentle caress Fierce in our making and baking of banners and bricks and biscuits.”
From a high school drop-out to a rising star in Parliament, Green MP Metiria Turei has taken a more than unorthodox path to the heart of Aotearoa’s democratic institution. In between she has worked as a corporate lawyer, smeared herself in body paint to march in Auckland’s Hero Parade, lead the festival group the Random Trollops and was famously labelled an Anarcho-Feminist by a bemused Helen Clark in the lead-up to last year’s general election.
One could almost hear the sound of a thousand pages rustling as journalists scrambled for the dictionary to find out what an Anarcho-Feminist is.
It’s a label Metiria Turei has no trouble with. No trouble at all.
After all, her previous escapades before joining the nation’s highest House saw her invade Michael Fay’s mansion, give birth to mutant balloons and dress up as tuataras and cannabis joints, all in the name of creative protesting.
Not wishing to be bound by the debating chamber to get her message across, Metiria has recorded a spoken word Piece ‘Ngakau Warrior’ for Green Room:002 Wahine, the latest instalment of the collaboration between the Green Party and Loop Recordings, a project which celebrates the unique diversity of New Zealand artists with a vision of a better future.
Although Metiria is no stranger to performance art and speaking to thousands of people, recording her original composition provided new challenges to be accomplished.
“Recording the piece was frightening, I thought ‘what if I sound like an twit?’ – especially after hearing the amazing voices already on the record,” says Metiria. “But the engineer dude was really good and laughed in all the right places. I am used to hearing my ideas on the radio but not my personal creations. It was more of an emotional risk than I first realised.”
However, it wasn’t her first musical recording: She once sang to Parliament a Maori-language version of the Blam Blam Blam kiwi classic There is no Depression in New Zealand. To be involved in this album, celebrating the best of New Zealand’s female artists and appearing alongside the likes of Anika Moa, Teremoana Rapley and Trinity Roots, was something Metiria knew she could not turn down.
“The album is amazing, all those NZ women, singers, musicians and arrangers together. At last it is not just female singing that is celebrated, but women who create music, whether in composition or playing instruments,” says Metiria. “There is fantastic talent brought together here and I am totally overwhelmed to be a part of it, associated with female musicians, like Teremoana Rapley who I have been listening to for years.
“It is these tuakana who have carved the path for heaps of our Maori and Pacific Island women musicians. I am so unworthy!”
It’s all about the messages,
the varied voices and celebration of who we are on
Papatuanuku Planet Earth – there is scarcely a greater truth
that we are all of woman born. The strangely wonderful
journey of Metiria Turei has held this fact as a constant
never to be denied. From donning body paint to celebrate the
rainbow nation, through dodging barbs hurled by the Prime
Minister to demanding the lawmakers of this country ensure
this country has a future, Metiria Turei has never shirked
from her responsibility to speak