Māori Language Week: Flight Lieutenant Brad Anderson
I joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 2009 on a bit of a whim - and a bit of luck. I always had an urge to serve Aotearoa in some way and an opportunity arose to join the Air Force, and without really thinking about it, it just happened.
16 September, 2022
My current role is Air Force Māori Cultural Advisor. Anyone who has served as a Māori Cultural Advisor will tell you, there is no normal day. But most commonly you may find me attending a wānanga, sitting in on a hui, meeting with personnel on Bases, presenting on our Bicultural Policy, attending events or ceremonies, or when time allows, catching up on admin and making plans to progress the Māori culture within the Air Force for all to participate in and celebrate.
I follow in the footsteps of those who came before me as I have many tīpuna that served in the Army, notably with the Pioneer Battalion, Maori Battalion and J Force.
I was born in Te Puke and raised in Mt Maunganui and the Māori culture is part of what makes me who I am, my identity. The part that means the most to me about our culture is how we are deeply connected to our tīpuna, we learn of them and acknowledge them in all we do.
For me, it’s hard to fully acknowledge and reach my potential, unless I know who I am, and where I came from – it’s an ongoing journey. In the words of John C Maxwell – “To grow yourself, you must know yourself”.
I love to learn about our culture and language, and I am only in the early stages of this, but the more I learn, the more I appreciate what we have and what it means.