Apr 14, 2021

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Maori News & Indigenous Views

“Dear Maori Party…” An open letter from Dayle Takitimu

3 min read

Dear Maori Party…

The unilateral opening up of our ancestral lands and seas to drilling and mining by this Government is the most significant threat to the survival of our peoples and our way of life we have experienced in this generation. Whilst the foreshore and seabed issue, which essentially conceived the Maori Party, was essentially about conceptual ownership of the coastal marine space the granting of permits and exclusive prospecting licences is a real and tangible threat to the livelihood of our people throughout the country.

For those iwi that want drilling and prospecting kei te pai, thats their decision. For those of us who do not, and who are concerned about the environmental impacts of these activities on our tribal territories who are concerned about our mokopuna and the crazy risks the Government are taking with our whenua and moana (and illegal because they unjustifiably breach the Treaty of Waitangi) we have a long, hard political fight ahead of us.

We are trying to get information flowing between iwi, trying to lobby politically, trying to get accurate information into the public domain and trying to throw everything we can at the government in terms of legal or civil action. Its a hard fight, but we have an obligation to our mokopuna to do it these activities are so far removed from our worldview they are dangerous and they are about exploitation beyond our means (and beyond the means of future generations).

The big question is in light of this the struggle where are the Maori Party?

Why havent we heard from you?

Why are you silent at a time Maoridom needs you most? In the corridors in Wellington,

Why cant we hear you advocating for us?

Why cant we see you in the media?

Where are you?

What do we need to do to be on your radar?

Is being Maori and being a Treaty partner with an issue not enough?

Apart from one media message on 3 June 2010 by Ururoa, and attendance at our Taumata Korero in Auckland by Hone in August we have heard NOTHING from the Maori Party; where are you?

Major submissions were due today on the draft Energy Strategy which proposes more drilling and more mining. We pushed and pushed our populations to make submissions, and we had to rely on mainstream organisations to help us with analysis and templates where were you?

Whanau ora is choice; but what about the wellbeing of our mokopuna when their whenua is too barren to grow kai?, when their moana is so polluted they cant get a koura?, when their ancestral whenua has been raped and plundered so much their whanau has no oranga what then?

What do you need from us to step up to this issue and make some noise on our behalf?

We can hear the Greens, loud and clear. We cant hear you.

Ko te inoi atu kia akoutou, me kaua koutou e noho wahangu i runga i tenei kaupapa; he whakahirahira rawa atu tenei ki a tatou.

Dayle Takitimu
Lawyer, Te Whanau a Apanui

2 thoughts on ““Dear Maori Party…” An open letter from Dayle Takitimu

  1. Maori Party responds to attacks by a “few”

    Wednesday, 8 September 2010, 12:35 pm

    Press Release: The Maori Party

    Maori Party responds to attacks by a “few”

    The Maori Party says it has faith in hapu and iwi throughout the country, and the majority of marchers who took part in the 2004 hikoi, to dismiss the attacks on it by a “few people” over the new foreshore and seabed bill.

    “We know who we represent – our whanau, hapu and iwi remind us every day and everything we do as a political party is driven by them,” Maori Party acting leader Te Ururoa Flavell said.

    "There are some pretty scurrilous claims coming over the wire including that anyone can make a claim.

    “Misinformation such as all claims must be settled within six years under the new bill is a load of rubbish – there’s no deadline on settling claims, only one for lodging them. And of course our people have the option of putting a pro-forma or holding claim into the High Court while they build their case.”

    Mr Flavell also rebutted statements that the new bill was a renaming exercise.

    “The new bill gives our people access to the courts – a right that was taken away from them in previous legislation, so all this talk about names is really just politicking.”

    The Maori Party fought long and hard to ensure that the legislation acknowledged the enduring mana-based relationship of Maori, as tangata whenua, with the foreshore and seabed, Mr Flavell said.

    "In fact in the interpretation section of the bill, it describes an applicant group as meaning ‘one or more iwi, hapu and whanau groups that seek recognition of their protected customary rights or customary marine title.’

    "Last time I looked, the meaning of iwi, hapu and whanau were strictly defined by whakapapa so I fail to see how this can be so misconstrued.

    “Tangata whenua asked us to repeal the 2004 act and address the basic inequality it created in denying Maori access to the courts to seek clarification of rights.

    "We are proud that we have finally been able to achieve this and we acknowledge the huge investment that so many have made towards ensuring repeal and restoring the rights of access.

    “Let us not forget the hideousness of the 2004 act, that allowed for mass confiscation, and that today we are at a point where our people have a better chance of getting back control of the taku taimoana.”

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