Whaea Rose Greaves enjoys live theatre from Ponsonby front yard

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Ponsonby resident Rose Greaves (Ngāti Kahu, Ngāpuhi) was a recipient of hate mail earlier this week, being told in a letter by one of her neighbours, "You are not liked and not welcomed here.”

Māori Performing Arts company, Te Pou Theatre, decided to bring a pocket-sized show to her front yard as a token of aroha and support.

There were six members from the travelling entourage that had the kuia and her whānau smiling from ear to ear. 

“I’ve always been a fan of theatre so this was really lovely,” she says. 

Rose Greaves and whānau - Photo / Supplied

Greaves has lived in the Ponsonby neighbourhood for over seven years now, she says she has been a recipient of racism during her residency, receiving death threats from white supremacy groups.

Whaea Rose made it clear that not all of her Pākehā neighbours are like this and that since the incident, she has received a lot of aroha and support from them and others.

“A lot of my neighbours from my street have come to express their love to me and letting me know that they don't condone this behaviour.

“One of the Pākehā members from St Marys even came and gave me flowers,” says Greaves. 

Community members come to see what's happening on Whaea Rose's front yard - Photo / Supplied

As a result of the incident, she has been contacted by anti-discriminatory groups. 

“I've been approached by this group who are travelling the country at the moment who are collaborating with people who are working towards a socially-inclusive Aotearoa, which I am really excited to be a part of.”

Whaea Rose says there's been a lot of interest in her weaving work on Facebook.