It is with much sadness that we farewell those loved ones who recently passed. To the whanau of Diggeress Te Kanawa, Peter Cook, Eru Potaka-Dewes, Eunice Shriver, those who lost whanau in Tonga and many others, we are with you during this time of mourning. They shared their lives with us in love and through their tireless service, we came together.
‘Puritia nga taonga a o tatou tupuna’
‘Hold fast to the treasures of our ancestors’
Welcome to our fifth issue of Rangikainga and we hope you are well in these cold and sometimes wet days. As you see, our team have been busy upgrading our website to TangataWhenua.com 2.0. Our kaupapa is still connecting Maori online and this way, we want to encourage greater participation and interaction – sharing information, exchanging communications, panui, events, comments, opinion, discussion and debate – it’s all here.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our whanaunga Chief Judge Wilson Isaac on his new appointment as Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court. Absolutely brilliant! We need choice stories like this to keep us motivated, especially given the korero around unemployment, the recession and Maori.
I was watching Native Affairs over the weekend and saw the stats that Māori unemployment sat somewhere around 12-14%, which seemed stunning (Pakeha were at 4%). The Government have released a series of Youth-targeted programmes, which look good so far, but at the same time are cutting many Night Classes and funding to Tertiary Providers, sending mixed messages to the community – you need to up skill but you could picking up a greater amount of the cost to do so.
In this challenging job market, there are opportunities; these need to be supported, however, by a more far-sighted set of policies that stimulate creativity, productivity and employment, rather than the cutting of services. Here is one choice initiative to help the unemployed – www.kiwisinwork.com. Thanks to Janine Dickey for this link. Native Affairs also pointed to one key area for Maori – that of housing and the need for urgent upgrades, the desire to have Papakainga Housing on whanau and hapu lands. This could lead to massive scale training and work opportunities, as well as improve the lives of countless whanau. We’ll keep you updated there. We’d like to mihi to Kaye-Maree Dunn for her awesome work in the Maori community housing area.
Last week was another bleak week for the relationship between Tuhoe and the Government/the Crown. An offer was made by the Government that essentially excluded Te Urewera, the tribal homelands of Tuhoe, placing more emphasis on co-management and very little to the historical fact that the lands were stolen by colonial and settler forces. Many tears were shed when the offer was made, as it belittled the lives lost and the pain and heartache felt throughout the generations. Perhaps New Zealand wants to get on with the future but if it ignores its own injustices of the past, this country can never assume to hold moral integrity on the world stage.
The release of the Waitangi Tribunal report on Te Urewera points to the aggression inflicted on Tuhoe and many others, recounting the dispossession and forced alienation from Te Urewera by the Crown and by the Government. Speaking personally, the offer was an insult to Tuhoe and while some say it was a good starting point for negotiations, no amount of money will replace the desire to have our homelands returned.
We were told that perhaps the Government is reluctant to return Te Urewera as it would then set the precedent that all dispossessed land be returned to those affected hapu and iwi across the country – but then so be it – as land was taken, so should it be returned. Co-management seems to assume the Government retains control and essentially, legitimates the initial dispossession. We cannot forever hear that while the Crown was wrong for what it did, it cannot return what was taken, as greater interests are at stake. Quite simply, No Justice, No Peace. This historical wound will never heal if the Government of today ignore the most obvious remedy. Tuhoe want the return of our homelands and to end the exile.
Now that we are back, it will be good to keep in touch, so if you have any panui that you would like to share, please send it thru to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll upload to the TangataWhenua.com website.
Congratulations to Te Huarahi Tika Trust and 2Degrees Mobile for a successful launch – looking forward to major things happening there.
Please take a read of our latest panui and we hope you enjoy some of what is happening in the wonderful world of Maori.
Kia kaha nga whanau, nga marae, nga hapu katoa. Let’s continue to recognise, celebrate and work together as Maori for the benefit of our people, for all people.
Have a choice week.
Aroha tino nui ~
Potaua, Nikolasa, Atutahi and Hiona