‘I’m still a mum, aren’t I?’

During the 1980s, Māori teenage pregnancy rates were on the rise.
The Domestic Purposes Benefit had been introduced a decade earlier, and there was a grudging acceptance that unmarried mothers didn’t have to “go north” for a while, or put their babies up for adoption.
In our part of Wellington, a growing number of young wāhine Māori were heading their own households. But they were very different households from those of their grandmothers, who raised their children while their husbands were away at war.
Because we weren’t waiting for our men to come home.