Collecting koha from the finance department

1. fight your imposter and repeat the mantra:
you’re meant to be here, you’re allowed to be here

2. write the cards using your reo
be sure to google your tohutō
even though you already know where they rest
. . . or do you

3. over explain
how it wasn’t this easy last time
to recognise tuakana
their mātauranga
your mātauranga
in this place

4. sign your life away

5. stare Ernest Rutherford dead in the eyes
tell him
women work here now
even indigenous women
they actually trust us with cash?
you better believe it e hoa

6. google whether Ernest Rutherford might have been a racist

7. regret spending so much time googling whether Ernest Rutherford was racist and not more time
in science class, or something

8. post the koha – pay your own tracking.

Em Hēni (Kāi Tahu, Ngāpuhi) is a writer from Ōtautahi. In 2020, she completed her BA in English and education, receiving the Graduate Women’s Award in Writing. Em is currently working towards her thesis in Māori literature and decolonising her own writing in the process.