Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "The Leaves of the Manuka Tree"

This poem is spillover from the April 3, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "warm" square in my 4-1-18 card for the Spring Fest bingo. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


"The Leaves of the Manuka Tree"


The week after the scandal in which
employees of Kōwhai Finance Limited were
caught manipulating clients for their own benefit,
Poiball decided to visit them and make a withdrawal.

He didn't have an account there, but he was
a supervillain, so it shouldn't be a problem.

For backup, Poiball brought with him
his lieutenant Nixon Emery, a skilled thief;
his loyal bodyguard Joseph Tūhoe;
his lookout Thomas Milner; and
three other guys to carry the loot.

No sooner had Poiball gotten
into a choice argument with
the security guards than
some pākehā butted in
and started threatening him.

"Careful, bro, that's Jack Union,"
said Harry, who was a soup fan.
"He's strong as and invulnerable too."

"Gap it?" said Nixon. He
rarely hesitated to run.

"Hell no," Poiball said.
He wasn't giving ground
to a pākehā without a fight.

So he looked around and
spied the Tuapapa Plaza that
separated Kōwhai Finance Limited
from a neighboring building.

It had a strip of grass alongside
the smooth plaza, with step-benches
made of concrete and recycled wood facing
a native rock garden on the far side.

That would make a perfect place.

"Kua takoto te manuka!"
Poiball shouted at the interloper.

"What's that supposed
to mean?" Jack Union said.

"The leaves of the manuka tree
have been laid down," a guard said.
"It means that Poiball is challenging you.
Now you two have to haka for dominance."

"What the ...?" Jack Union said, but
the security guards helpfully took hold
of him and hustled him to the plaza in
the wake of Poiball and his minions.

The crowd milled vigorously, some people
hurrying out of the way while others
moved into watch the spectacle.

Word must have spread to
Kōwhai Finance Limited, because
more people poured out of it.

Soon the little plaza was
chocka block with an audience
just waiting to divide itself along
the lines of the haka mana.

Poiball's minions fanned out
behind him in a show of support.

They all waited patiently while
the guards attempted to explain
the process to Jack Union.

They engaged in a few rounds
of ritual insults, with Poiball
sticking to English ones out of
consideration for his enemy.

The crowd began to divide,
and Poiball was pulling more
than a supervillain usually would,
just because he was a local bro
going up against a foreigner.

Jack Union had managed
to draw in about a dozen people,
because he was new and interesting, or
they wanted to encourage participation,
or in a couple of cases they were
actually Britannian themselves.

Poiball shouted out the ritual lines of
a favorite haka chant, and his minions
burst into action. They bared their teeth,
flared their eyes, and stuck out their tongues.
They slapped their chests and stomped
their feet on the soft grass of the plaza.

At the end, Poiball reached up
and launched a graceful stream
of fireballs into the sky above.

The crowd hooted and clapped
in applause, and several more people
shifted position to Poiball's side.

Suddenly Jack Union grabbed
the gorgeous green drinking fountain,
ripped it out of the ground, and
threw it at Poiball's head.

"What a sad guy!" someone called.

The audience snapped together
behind Poiball, like two bubbles
of water abruptly joining into one.

A few of the pākehā actually started
booing Jack Union, but their neighbors
shushed them and shooed them over to
Poiball's side of the haka mana to present
a more appropriate expression of disapproval.

Poiball hastened to wrap his superpower
around the pipe and melt it shut to stop
the water from spurting everywhere.

Someone was yelling for an ambulance,
so there were probably casualties.

Poiball hoped it wasn't serious.
These weren't the bad old days
when war parties actually killed
people. They were civilized now.

The whole point of haka mana
was to show off your superpowers
so you didn't have to hurt each other
or rip up the city to settle who's in charge.

New Zealand wasn't like America
where people could afford to wreck
the place because somebody would
come along behind them and clean up
the mess. Their little island nation
didn't have that kind of budget.

Then Jack Union pried up
one of the rocks from the garden.

"What the hell are you doing?"
Poiball barked. "You're a superhero,
you're not supposed to hurt people!"

"You're a supervillain," Jack Union said.
"You deserve to get hurt. If you don't
like the risk, get out of the business."

Joseph stepped in front of Poiball,
which was his job as bodyguard.

Poiball realized that Jack Union
meant to do some serious harm,
and gapping it now might save
their gang but it wouldn't do
anything for their audience --
now also his responsibility.

So Poiball would have
to stop him, somehow, before
anyone else could get hurt.

Harry had said that Jack Union
was strong and invulnerable, but
nothing about super-senses.

Poiball whipped up the dirtiest fire
he could and wrapped it around Jack Union.
In the warm air, it was oppressively hot.

Dark orange flames and billowing black smoke
swept in a circle around the supervillain. He
might not be vulnerable to flames, but he also
couldn't see through the smokescreen.

Sirens wailed to a stop in the street,
and Poiball turned around to look.

Never in his life had he felt so glad
to see the blue-and-yellow checks
of a police car, and beyond that,
the green-and-yellow ambulance.

Medics hurried over to help
the people who had gotten hurt
when the loose drinking fountain
rolled through the audience.

At least there didn't seem
to be any serious injuries.

A constable pointed to the fire
and made a 'down' motion,
so Poiball killed the flames.

Jack Union came charging out,
and for a moment Poiball worried that
he'd knock the poor constable into a wall --
but fortunately, Jack Union tolerated
the arrest, albeit with bad grace.

Poiball heaved a sigh of relief,
not caring who heard him.

He felt grateful as that
he didn't live in any of
those countries where
this crap was normal.

Then an older man in
a blue suit made his way
to the front of the audience.
Dark lines of tā moko covered
the lower half of his face, and so
everyone gave him complete respect.

He called out the preamble to
a famous haka, and the crowd
fell right into place behind him,
following with practiced grace.

The gang formed up behind Poiball,
who was trying not to cry in public,
because a hundred strangers
were doing a haka for them.

He didn't get that kind of honor.

Poiball was well liked in his hapū,
but the other members of his tribe
did not respect him, because he
could never quite keep his nose
clean long enough to earn
his own tā moko, which was
a bitter disappointment to him.

Just watching so many people
dancing for him gave Poiball
a strange warm feeling inside.

After the haka, Poiball
conjured up his fireballs and
did the twirling routine that he had
intended to perform earlier, before
Jack Union had spoiled the show.

Once again, everyone applauded.

Then the older man came over
to hand Poiball a briefcase.

"I'm Arapeta Selwyn, the president
of Kōwhai Finance Limited," he said.
"I believe this belongs to you. I hope that
a hundred thousand dollars will suffice."

"That's more than I meant to ask, aye?"
said Poiball. It was more than double
the average annual salary, and more than
triple the minimum-wage rate that was
all most of gang could hope to earn,
if they could get a job at all, which
they usually couldn't or else they
wouldn't be minions in the first place.

The older man just smiled and
clapped him on the shoulder.

"You deserve it, standing up to
that pākehā like you did," he said.
"Now I know you're not a superhero,
but you did a fine job today. Besides, this
will help redeem my company's reputation.
I fired the offenders, of course, but it's
not that easy to appease the public."

"In that case, I'm happy to help,"
Poiball said, accepting the briefcase.

His minions looked more than satisfied
with the haul -- even divided among
the bunch of them, it would keep
people in feed for quite a while.

The next person who approached
was big and tall, rounded in the way
of so many Maori. Tā moko swirled
over his face, shoulders, and legs. He
held himself like an important person.

"You don't need to give me anything,"
Poiball said. "Mr. Selwyn has been
more than generous today."

Sometimes the audience
went a bit mad throwing stuff
at you if you won a haka mana,
and too much greed could
cross a line into hara.

"I am Irirangi Tai," the man said.
"I have heard much about you, and
I think that you have more honor than
your relatives realize. Come to my place,
Poiball, and I will give you tā moko."

Stunned, the supervillain finally noticed
the mark of a Tohunga Tā Moko, one
who made the sacred tribal tattoos.

That made him suck in his breath,
the offer of all he had desired, and
he wished that his family could have
seen him do something worthy for once,
but he would take what he could get.

Nixon gave him a nudge forward,
and Poiball could also feel Joseph
right behind him on the other side,
both of them offering their support.

"Yes," said Poiball. "Yes, I will come."

"Good," said Irirangi, handing Poiball
a card with his address. "I will make
you something magnificent, and then
everyone will see who you are."

The constable came over then,
to make sure that the haka mana
had been performed properly,
at least on Poiball's side, and
that nobody had gotten hurt.

"All good here?" the cop asked.

"We'll be right," Poiball said.
"I'm afraid I can't say the same
for the drinking fountain, though.
I had to melt the pipe shut."

"No worries, the city will
send the Britannian embassy
a bill for that," the constable said.
"Thank you for stepping up today."

"You're welcome," Poiball said, shivering
a little at the sheer unfamiliarity of a cop
thanking him for doing anything as he
watched the other man walk away.

"We safe, bro?" Joseph asked him.

"Yeah," Poiball said as he headed
back the way that they had come,
briefcase in hand. "It's all good."

* * *

Notes:

Poiball (Kaokao Mau) -- He has tinted skin, brown eyes, and brown hair buzzed short with a short beard. His heritage is primarily Maori and Britannian, with a little other Polynesian thrown in. He speaks English and Maori. He identifies as Maori and is well liked in his hapū (clan). But he can never quite keep his nose clean long enough to build up serious respect, hence his current lack of tā moko (tribal tattoos), which is a disappointment to him.
Young and full of mischief, Poiball started using his fire tricks to distract people while someone else committed a theft. Over time he built up a following and learned to steal on his own. Now he is quite popular. He always delivers an excellent show, his control means that nobody and nothing gets damaged, and he doesn't steal unreasonable amounts. Usually he picks corporations or other targets who have come under public censure recently, so it's as much quasi-illegal protest as plain burglary. On the occasions when Poiball has been captured, his community service has wound up being a series of public performances, without pay. It doesn't take long for the ticket sales to pay off the fines.
Origin: He has always been fascinated by fire. As a teenager, there was an accident during a fire dance and the pavilion caught fire. He rushed forward to help put it out, which worked, but he seemed to set himself alight in the process. Amazingly, he was unharmed, and he gradually learned how to control his abilities.
Uniform: Often shirtless, wearing boardshorts and trainers. He likes paracord and often wears several macrame bracelets. For a planned haka mana, sometimes he dresses in traditional Maori regalia.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Haka, Expert (+4) Thief, Good (+2) Distracting, Good (+2) Memory, Good (+2) Minions, Good (+2) Strong
Poor (-2) No Tā Moko
Poiball has a standard team of nine minions for haka mana, and can summon more from bystanders at Good level.
Powers: Expert (+4) Fire Control (Signature Stunt: Firestopping; Spinoff Stunt: Fire Form)
He usually uses his power to create and direct small balls of fire, similar to a poi dance but without chains. He can also make lines, blades, or sheets of flame. He can turn his body into fire. His fluency with that is lower and he can only hold it for an hour at most, but rarely does so for more than a few minutes.
Motivation: Anyone who makes an arse of himself deserves to get burned.

Hapū is a subtribe, several extended families grouped together.

Tā moko are tribal tattoos that identify family and honor.


Nixon Emery -- He has tinted skin, hazel eyes, and curly brown hair to his shoulders. He has a mix of kirituri (skin art) and European-style tattoos in monochrome climbing over most of his right arm. His heritage is Britannian with some Maori and a few other things thrown in. Fast and imaginative, he is an excellent thief who works for Poiball. However, he has difficulty focusing on long-term goals and easily loses track of less important details.
Qualities: Good (+2) Dreamer, Good (+2) Fast, Good (+2) Gang Lieutenant, Good (+2) Thief, Good (+2) Visual-Spatial Intelligence
Poor (-2) Disorganized

Joseph Tūhoe -- He has tinted skin, brown eyes, and short wavy brown hair. He has a full-color phoenix tattooed over his left shoulder. His heritage is half Maori and half European. When he was 13, his house burned down, killing most of his whānau (extended family) except for two younger cousins who escaped with him. Joseph survived with burn scars on his left shoulder, which he later covered with the phoenix tattoo. Nobody in his hapū (clan) would take him, because they disapproved of his mother marrying a pākehā (outsider). So Joseph was fostered with a New Zealand family of European descent, which was not a great fit. He turned to gang life to recreate the sense of belonging that he felt with his birth family, which makes him intensely loyal to his gangmates. He serves as a bodyguard for Poiball.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Strength, Good (+2) Bodyguard, Good (+2) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Loyal
Poor (-2) Melancholy

Whānau means extended family.

Gangs cause serious problems in New Zealand.


Thomas Milner -- He has tinted skin, brown eyes, and short straight hair of dark brown. His heritage is Britannian and some southern European. Never a good student, he left school as soon as he could, which now makes it difficult to find a job. Thomas works as a lookout in Poiball's gang.
Qualities: Good (+2) Inconspicuous, Good (+2) Observant
Poor (-2) School-Leaver

Rick Linkhorn -- He has tinted skin, black eyes, and short wavy black hair. His mixed-race heritage includes Spanish, Britannian, and Italian with a little Maori. He is short and slender. Rick dropped out of school because he just didn't care about it, and he doesn't care about the impact that has on his life either. Despite his small size, he is quite the scrapper and serves as muscle for Poiball.
Qualities: Good (+2) Courage, Good (+2) Tough
Poor (-2) Sexist

Harry Randell -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short wavy black hair. His heritage is primarily Britannian. Harry left school before graduating, and that makes it harder for him to get ahead in life. Fortunately he knows how to get by on the streets without much money. He also enjoys following news and gossip about people with superpowers. Harry belongs to Poiball's gang and does general work there including errands.
Qualities: Good (+2) Poorskills, Good (+2) Soup Fan, Good (+2) Street Smarts
Poor (-2) School-Leaver

Diego Bosque -- He has toffee skin, brown eyes, and short curly hair of dark brown. His heritage is Hispanic. Tall and muscular, he makes a good athlete. Deigo always struggled with academic topics such as math and reading, so he dropped out, but it doesn't bother him because he doesn't want a job in subjects he doesn't do well. Currently he works as muscle for Poiball, but hopes to move on to something better.
Qualities: Good (+2) Athlete, Good (+2) Haka, Good (+2) Optimist
Poor (-2) Academics

Jack Union -- This world-class soup operates openly out of Great Britain. A baron's second son, Jack joined the army in his youth, serving with distinction. He is tall and slender, with a little muscle definition but not beefy. He has pale skin, straight dark brown hair, and blue eyes.
Origin: Jack's latent powers manifested during an intense firefight when he charged an enemy position to rescue his unit. Now in addition to his military work, he sometimes does special missions for the Queen (whom he adores because she reminds him of his grandmother).
Uniform: Standard army uniform; when on a soup mission, he adds a British flag cape.
Qualities: Master (+6) Soldier, Expert (+4) Dutiful, Expert (+4) Hand-to-Hand Combat, Good (+2) Gentleman, Good (+2) Historian, Good (+2) Ruggedly Handsome
Poor (-2) Was That Racist? (often makes oblique, questionable remarks)
Powers: Expert (+4) Strength, Expert (+4) Invulnerability, Good (+2) Adaptation, Average (0) Energy Blast, Average (0) Flight, Average (0) Speed
Motivation: Defend the honor of the United Kingdom.

Arapeta Selwyn -- He has caramel skin, brown eyes, and short gray hair. The lower half of his face is covered with tā moko. He is the president of Kōwhai Finance Limited. A recent scandal involved several bank employees manipulating clients for their own benefit; Arapeta fired them as soon as he found out, but the bank's reputation has still suffered. He has slept poorly since then.
Qualities:
Master (+6) Businessman, Master (+6) Grandfather, Expert (+4) Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Expert (+4) Wealth, Good (+2) Collector of Maori Art, Good (+2) Constitution, Good (+2) Tikanga
Poor (-2) Insomnia

Tikanga is a Maori value that means "the placing into practice that which is correct."

Kōwhai is a vivid yellow wildflower that represents New Zealand.


Irirangi Tai -- He has tan skin, brown eyes, and short straight black hair. He has tā moko on his face, shoulders, and legs. He is tall with big bones, thick muscles, and a lot of fat on his torso. Yet his hands are small and delicate. Irirangi comes from a large, close-knit family. He serves as the Tohunga Tā Moko or tattoo artist for his hapū (clan). He is particularly alert to whanaungtanga, a sense of belonging, and can use his influence to bring people into or out of a group.
Qualities: Master (+6) Whanaungtanga, Expert (+4) Tohunga Tā Moko, Expert (+4) Extended Family, Good (+2) Big and Tall, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence
Poor (-2) Overweight

Whanaungtanga is a Maori value that means "a sense of belonging."


William Haumaha -- He has tinted skin, brown eyes, and black hair buzzed short. He has tā moko on his left arm. His heritage includes Black Irish and Maori. He speaks English, Maori, and Te Reo Rotarota (New Zealand Sign Language). As the only Hearing member of a Deaf family, he has a bit of a culture gap in dealing with mainstream society. William serves as a constable in Wellington, New Zealand. His tā moko give him status and encourage people to treat him with respect. He excels at self-control and teaching it to others.
Qualities: Good (+2) Constable, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Interpersonal Intelligence, Good (+2) Rangatiratanga, Good (+2) Rugby Fan
Poor (-2) Culture Gap

Rangatiratanga is a Maori value of self-control.
Self governance. Being in control. Give them the information to support them to make informed choices. Leading the events, negotiating the rules, determining the outcomes.

New Zealand constables wear a uniform with a pale blue shirt and dark blue pants.

* * *

Kua takoto te manuka
The leaves of the manuka tree have been laid down
This is a form of wero, that is preformed in very formal situations on the Marae. It is when you are challenged and you answer that challenge depending on how pick up the leaves. The wero is to see whether you come in peace or as an enemy. This proverb is used when being challenged, or you have a challenge ahead of you.
-- Maori Proverbs

Kōwhai Finance Limited
125-135, Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington
See an overview of the neighborhood.

Kōwhai Finance Limited is a tall building with several businesses on the ground floor. They have a parking garage, a bike store with all kinds of bicycles, the Red Mount Cafe, and a convenience store. There are also lifts and an accessible unisex restroom. Here is the Kōwhai Finance Limited reception. On the wall you can see signs for some of the other businesses sharing the building. The large multipurpose room is on the ground floor alongside the retail space.

Upstairs is the breakroom with kitchen for general staff, public restroom, meeting room, open office floor with a few private offices, and the smaller multipurpose area. The executive floor has meeting rooms with a lounge, a kitchen and dining room, and public restrooms for executives. The boardroom is near the private offices. Arapeta Selwyn's office has a private bathroom.

See the Tuapapa Plaza steps and rock garden with native plants.

Terramagne-New Zealand has many drinking fountains made with Maori-inspired artwork. Tuapapa Plaza had the middle one in green.

The Maori people have a rich culture.

Haka is a vigorous form of dance that is sometimes still performed in traditional regalia. It may be done at weddings, funerals, sporting events, and other special occasions.

Dominant body language includes many features such as staring, making the body bigger, crotch displays, screaming, chest-beating, ground-slapping, tongue-lolling, and eyebrow-raising.

In T-Maori culture, tā moko remains an official part of the culture, a form of insignia worn on the skin. Tā moko can only be applied by tohunga-ta-moko or tattoo specialists. They cannot be purchased at whim; they can only be earned. People of poor reputation may be denied even if their lineage is good. Conversely, even pākehā or outsiders of honor may be offered tā moko on rare occasions. Most iwi or clans allow a choice between the traditional style done with chisels and the modern style done with a tattoo gun, and between natural or synthetic pigments.

For pākehā, there is kirituhi or skin art, a style of tattoo that is visually similar to tā moko but without the clan insignia. Customarily the wearer chooses a symbol for either their home country or the world at large, along with motifs for family members, profession, and other personal meanings. Like tā moko, it can tell a story about the person's life, but the vocabulary is a little different so as to avoid confusion. Some symbols of common interests -- such as New Zealand flora and fauna, relations, and life phases -- may remain the same across the styles.

Choice – Simply means “good” or “cool” and is used similarly to “sweet as”.
Example:
John: Bro, Jen went to buy our movie tickets and the guy gave all of us free popcorn.
Jack: Oh choice! (translation: Oh that’s awesome).
-- Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

Pākehā means outsider, foreigner, or non-Maori. Some people only use it for New Zealand citizens of European descent, some for tourists, and many for literally everyone other than Maori.

Bro – When I’m with my friends I use this in almost every sentence. We use it in place of ‘man’ or ‘mate’ or ‘dude’. It’s not reserved for good friends, you can say it to anyone, like the mailman or a taxi driver. They’ll probably say it back to you.
Example:
Jack: Hey bro how’s it going?
John: I’m all good bro! Did you see Shortland Street last night bro? It was crazy bro!
-- Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

As – We commonly use the word “as” as an amplifier to the preceding adjective. For example, “cheap as” would translate to “really cheap”.
Example:
John: Bro, check out my new polka dot undies. Got them in Howick for 20 bucks.
Jack: Bro, that’s expensive as! (translation: that’s really f*cking expensive).
-- Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

Gap it – Can simply mean “to leave” or can also mean to “run away”.
Example:
John: Bro I saw this guy trying to break into my car.
Jack: Did you catch him?
John: Nah, he gapped it. (translation: no, he ran away)
-- Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

Chocka Block – Crowded/busy
-- Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

What a sad guy – This is said when someone does something super uncool.
Example:
Jack: Bro, when Tim was drunk as last night I put $500 of booze on his credit card.
John: What a sad guy!
-- Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

Here you can see a New Zealand police car and an ambulance with their distinctive markings.

New Zealand uses a dollar as their currency. The median income in New Zealand is around $48,800 a year or $23.50 per hour.

The adult minimum wage rate for employees aged 16 years or older:
$15.75 an hour before tax
$630.00 before tax for a 40 hour week.

Aye (Eh) – Probably impossible to explain, but I will try. It has many different uses so you will need to listen carefully to the pitch, tone and context in which it’s used to decipher the meaning in each particular situation. Also note that the word is pronounced like the letter “A”, not the letter I.
1. Used on the end of a statement to solicit agreement from the other party. Similar meaning to “don’t you think?” or “isn’t it?”
Example:
Jack: It’s pretty hot today aye? (translation: It’s pretty hot today, isn’t it?)
John: Yeah bro, hardout. (translation: Yes, very).
2. Used to express disbelief and/or surprise. You would use a similar pitch and tone to when you say “Really??”.
Example:
Jack: Tim broke his leg at rugby last night and now he’s in the hospital.
John: Aye? (translation: Really!?)
3. Used to express confusion when you’re unsure of why something is happening or when things are not appearing as they should. When used in this context the “Aye” will typically be longer and more drawn out, usually in a slightly higher pitched voice.
Example:
Jack: Bro Mr Tupai said you have to go to his office after school because your exam was so crap.
John: Aaaaaye? (translation: What the hell!?)
4. Used as a filler word, with no real meaning at all.
Example:
Jack: How was Jen’s cupcake party?
John: It was cool aye, I really enjoyed it.
-- Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

A feed – A meal
Example:
Jack: I’m hungry bro.
John: Alright, let’s go for a feed. Macca’s?
-- Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

hara
1. (verb) to be in violation of a tapu, transgress, commit a sin, violate the law, offend - in traditional society the word was used primarily for an offence from the violation of tapu. With the introduction of Christianity, the meaning widened to include sin and deliberate offending, and then offending in violation of rules, regulations and the law.
I mea a Pārao kua hara ia (TP 1/7/1900:4) / Pharaoh said that he had transgressed.

Maori had no concept of that Christian type of sin. The Maori hara (sin) can be an unconscious infringement of tapu. This is because tapu has a collective nature, being the weaving of the gods and described by Patterson as ‘hard mana.’ Tapu is binding as well as bonding with repercussions for the future if transgressed with a ‘hara.’ There is a comparable sense of Christian sin also being unconscious as in the concept of ‘original sin.’ Here the individual is not responsible for the offense as it comes from the first parents. But the sin is atoned for by accepting Jesus as atonement. 214
To be unaware of one’s environment and capable of infringing, meant Maori were encouraged to be aware and practise such virtues as aroha ki te tangata (respect for humanity), manaakitanga (hospitality) and tiakitanga (caring). A popular Maori saying values people above all things.
-- Maori Values Can Reinvigorate a New Zealand Philosophy

In light of Maori values, a more precise translation might be "imbalance." Hara (wrongdoing) is that which is not tikanga (the proper way of life). Virtues guide people in the right direction, vices in the wrong direction; so the pursuit of vice is among the things which can be hara.

All good – This basically means ‘everything’s fine’ or ‘no problem’, and we also use it in place of ‘you’re welcome’ when someone says thank you.
-- Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

She’ll be right – “Are the sausages burning?” “Nah, she’ll be right”
When something is going to be okay or alright.
-- 56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words

No worries – “Thanks for that!” “No worries cuz”
This means no problem! If someone helps you and you say thank you they will usually reply ‘no worries’.
-- 56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words

“Safe” is overlooked these days but pretty much means what it means “its okay or all good”.
-- 56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words
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