This speech is a token of my deep love and respect for Koro Apirana, my grandfather.
His name was also Paikea. And I am his mos-most recent descendant.
But I was not the leader my grandfather was expecting. And by being born, I broke the line back to the ancient ones.
But we can learn. And if the knowledge is given to everyone, then we can have lots of leaders. And soon, everyone will be strong, not just the ones that’ve been chosen. Because sometimes, even if you’re the leader and you need to be strong – you can get tired.
Like our ancestor, Paikea, when he was lost at sea…and he couldn’t find the land, and he probably wanted to die. But he knew the ancient ones were there for him. So he called out to them to lift him up and give him strength.
This is his chant. I dedicate it to my grandfather.
— Kahu Paikea Apirana (Keisha Castle-Hughes) in the film “Whale Rider” directed and written by Niki Caro (New Zealand: South Pacific Pictures; ApolloMedia; Pandora Film, January 30, 2003). Based upon the book “The Whale Rider” by Witi Tame Ihimaera-Smiler (Witi Ihimaera), (Auckland, New Zealand: Heinemann, 1987). Quotation adapted from source transcription at Drew’s Script-o-Rama.