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  • Reni Broughton

F**king up Colonial systems & Other fun hobbies

Published in partnership with Salient Magazine (Victoria University of Wellington student magazine) and Ngāi Tauira.

New Zealand doesn’t pass the vibe check. Colonial systems are not for me sis and I’m ready to throw the whole damn thing out. But, since we can’t do that ‘til the Karens & Kens are *un-alive*, how do we thrive and add spice to a bleach & laundry powder world? Here’s how to fuck up colonial systems and change the world.

1. Learn the rules What do education, justice, capitalism and tiktok algorithms have in common? They’re all systems betting on us to fail. Not today, satan! Before we can blow it all up and remake the system, we’ve gotta master existing frame- works. Learn how to succeed in those systems, learn where they fail us, learn how to manipulate in our favour!

2. Play the game

Now that we know the rules, Bestie, we get to play the game! Coloniser 101 handbook says “Exploit and manipulate all loopholes until you get all the land, money & power”. (Can’t confirm, but sounds legit). Normally I wouldn’t recommend following the example of the colonisers but they did secure the land, money & power and we gotta get it back, boo. How we game the system is going to look different for everyone, but for myself, I believe in the power of petty and the pettiest thing we could ever do is exploit those same systems that oppressed us for the restoration of mana and sovereignty – hallelujah, amen.

3. Find *that* Bitch

*That* bitch is ready to throw down with/for you. You need some ride or die’s (i.e tops/doms in senior management) to back you up when you’re critiquing yt su- premacy in palm coloured spaces. Baby, you’ll always have pushback, fragility and racism to contend with, but a boss bitch who got backs is your biggest buffer from big baddie burnout (burnout from the stress of being a baddie). If you find there’s no bad bitches in your corner, be *that* bitch and step to the plate.

4. Secure the Bag

Get that money sis! We’re cleaning up the messiness of capitalists & colonisers so make sure you’re paid good for it! Do the mahi and get the... pay you deserve for cleaning up after their messy asses. Mantra: “I’m not your token Māori, pay me for my knowledge and experience”. Also, Big Change = Big Money. Find the money, make the change.

5. Call ‘em out

If you’re looking around Bestie, and you don’t see our tāngata moana/tāngata whenua whānau or you see tāngata Tiriti acting up - call ‘em out. Take out that pākehā voice and hit ‘em with the “David, you don’t seem to be embarrassed about failing to uphold te Tiriti” Or “Judith babe, it’s a bit yike cos your senior management are all yt males”. Keep them accountable, boo!

6. Self-care is life

Bad bitches need breaks too! Big baddie burn- out is real (a.k.a stress & chronic illness), and you cannot afford to do this to yourself. This mahi is hard and endless. Taking a break & stepping back is a MUST! If the Maramataka knows when a baddie needs a break then take one and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.

7. Don’t be a dick Most people aren’t trying to offend, they’re just incredibly dumb. Be gentle with them. They’re probably trying to be good people but need a little nudge out of the privilege of complacency/ignorance and into reality. If you need to shove them into reality, bestie, remember to do it with love! Embrace the bitch only as needed.

8. Reconnect to self

You a baddie, you a boss bitch, a changemaker, an innovator. When you get lost in the mess of it all, return home and reconnect. Our tūpuna are never far from us. But, If the whakamā & trauma are too real: Bestie, you’re not alone. We’re here for you! Breathe in that air from the maunga, take a swim in the awa, sunbathe by the moana, hike through the ngahere – you’ll find you, and you’ll be stronger for it.

It’s a man's world but we’re about to tear it apart. Let’s fuck it up besties, I believe in us!


Written by Reni Broughton

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air


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