28 Feb 2017

Outrageous Fortune's 'Munter' a #BigDreamer

9:14 pm on 28 February 2017

A competition encouraging young Māori to dream big is being backed by high-profile Māori including broadcasters, filmmakers, an entrepreneur and a doctor.

Tammy Davis

Tammy Davis Photo: Supplied

One of the initiative's influencers, Outrageous Fortune actor Tammy Davis, said he didn't always dream of being a filmmaker - he dreamed instead of flying planes.

"Now I ended up working on a job where I actually got to fly a plane; you know, I never thought I would - and actually I don't think I'd be the best pilot to tell you the honest truth - but for our rangatahi (youth) it's just about being able to follow your dreams and having the courage to believe in yourself."

The social media campaign challenges young people to upload or post a video of their dreams using the hashtag #DreamBigMaori.

Stacey Morrison

Stacey Morrison Photo: Supplied

Broadcaster Stacey Morrison is also involved with the project, which is funded by He Kai Kei Aku Ringa (The Crown-Māori Economic Growth Partnership).

"Hopefully [it will] inspire rangatahi to think about what their dreams are and then to reach for them because it is a pretty brave thing to put your dreams out there," she said.

"I guess in terms of Māori, sometimes we get a bit whakama to do that and to put our head above the parapet, so this is an opportunity to say 'now these people have done well and it's totally within your scope and your life potential to do that as well'."

Others involved in the scheme include Dr Lance O'Sullivan, broadcaster Melodie Robinson, entrepreneur Robett Hollis, Olympic champion canoeist Lisa Carrington and sports show host James McOnie.

Morrison, who has hosted a number of television shows and currently works as a radio DJ, said she didn't dream of being a broadcaster.

"First of all I wanted to be a lawyer but that was because of LA Law; it just looked like I could argue all day and that sounded like fun. Then I wanted to be in stage shows, but I think a lawyer funnily enough, so it's not really far off what I ended up doing. It's still a form of communication."

Davis said it wasn't always easy for someone to express themselves as Māori.

While working with budding young movie-makers last year in Whanganui, he said, the group experienced negative reactions from some within the community.

Davis said dreaming big meant rising above the barriers, too.

"There were a few people who walked past and swore at the kids and said comments as if we didn't belong there. And I remember one of the kids coming up to me and saying 'I just don't feel comfortable doing this anymore' and I said to him 'that's got nothing to do with us'.

"You know the way those people treated us had nothing to do with us. It was all about them and just trying to get them to think differently."

One of the first entries in the competition, which runs till mid-March, has come from a young woman called Gabrielle. Her dream is simple - that Māori reach the same successes as Pākehā.

She said: "Just to normalise Māori in today's society, so I'm starting my degree in Māori development so I can make this happen for us."

Dreaming was easy, getting there took guts, Davis said.

"If you want to follow your dreams, it's not easy and it's not going to be, and sometimes you're going to do jobs that you don't want to do.

"Then when you get to that dream job you get there and you say, man, those times flipping burgers at McDonald's or setting up the lights makes you really understand, makes you work with humility and helps guide you."

Morrison said sometimes a person's biggest hurdle began with themselves.

"Sometimes it's about setting things right within yourself. For me, I had to work hard to feel good about my Māori self and that's a dream achieved."

The prize for the best online entry is a day with one of the six influencers.