Team Talk - Paula: The Ringleader


I have a million and one ideas and every single one of them is a winner. If only I could work 24 hours a day 7 days a week for the rest of my life I'll probably get at least 5 of them done. But then life has a habit of stuffing all the best laid plans up and throws some curve-balls at you. Life definitely has thrown me some curve-balls. Although they were more like giant beach balls filled with concrete and I either had to dodge them, catch them, or get smacked square in the face by them.

I have been smacked in the face a few times. Once I couldn't avoid it and I ended up in a wheelchair but the one that I found hard to get up from was the loss of my son - the most devastating thing that could ever happen to a mother. It was after I came out of the dark that I started to realign my thinking to what life has quite clearly shown me. It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do - what is meant to happen, will happen.

I had always wanted to do an indigenous collaboration series; Maori and 'others’. Although we still have a long way to go, we are seen globally by indigenous populations as leaders in revitalising our language, culture, and art forms, so to me it seemed a no brainer: the premise of the series was not to just look and see how other indigenous groups retain their identity, but rather to share, collaborate and celebrate our similarities. To learn, to teach, to listen: to just "be".

So now where to start. Surely a celebration of “us” out there in the world would fly, wouldn't it? I needed a team.

I rang my mate Roy Taoho and he was in before I even really said what it was. Next was Shirley and I reckon she said yes just because #1. 'No' isn't in her vocabulary and #2. she didn’t think it would happen. Then our Russian-Armenian mate Tamara, a sister from another mother, father, country and continent. She was in mainly because Palestine is one of the places she would love to call home (after NZ of course).  Then came Ash, our editor, another no-brainer.  It's useful to have someone that could be in charge of collating the footage and monitoring what was being filmed. Then Rohan, who was an I.T. guy I found on the Te Atatu Community Facebook page: a fixer of computers.

The conversation went something like this;
Rohan - you have to make sure your desktop doesn't have to many icon’s on it and too many tabs open and you have no memory left.
Me - OK.
Rohan - so that's whats slowing your computer down
Me - OK
Rohan - hay that's pretty cool.  Is that your next project?
Me - yep, we are going to Palestine.
Rohan - cool, I would so love to go to Palestine.
Me - come then.
Rohan - really?
Me - yep.
Rohan - but what would I do?
Me - the same as the rest of us?
Rohan - what's that?
Me. Whatever we need to do.

I didn't think he would come,but I'm so glad he did.

Team TalkClea Pettit