Significantly Symbolic Hikoi | Statement from Te Whaainga Wahine

7
255

The Takutai Moana Hikoi yesterday was significant in its symbolism and expression of lament for the declining bastion of Maori rights to New Zealands foreshore and seabed.

Maori assertion of rights to land and resources in Aotearoa is nothing new, neither is the way Maori have used the symbolism of mourning or tangi to express sorrow, hurt and loss for something or someone of significance to them.

That was the message of the Takutai Moana Hikoi of 2011, that was why the Kuia in the front row lamented, heads down, voices wailing, foreheads covered in traditional greenery. That was why the young women stood solitary, performed a haka, eyes defiant, tears mingled with their words. No shouting occurred, no spitting on the ground, no challenge, and no exchange of argument across the fence.

The marchers left the grounds immediately after delivering their symbolic message. They knew there was nothing more to say. They know the voice of Maori has been silenced. They didnt go there to be heard again on the Bill. That wasnt the point of the march. Nor was it to gather thousands more Maori to signal in another way their disagreement with the Bill. They went to lament, to mourn the loss of land again, to cry for their future generations and to look directly at those whose responsibility it is to protect their rights and to weep.

And while the symbolism and purpose of their actions was clearly lost on those Parliamentarians whose faceless words to the media in the corridors of the Beehive attempted to belittle the marchers presence and their message, it was not lost on those of us who watched the Hikoi progress from the North to Wellington and met them along the way with somewhere to rest and a cup of tea, who have made submissions to the Takutai Moana Bill Select Committee, who have attended Maori Party meetings, Iwi and hapu meetings, who marched in 1975, 2004 and 2011, who have taken Court action all the way to the Privy Council, who have participated in UN forums, lodged claims with the Waitangi Tribunal, attended Waitangi Day activities, lobbied successive governments and politicians and voted to put Maori into Parliament to advocate for Maori rights.

This was not a numbers game nor a time for Maori to say enough is enough. Thats been done. This was a demonstration of a different kind. This was a clear message to say that the tide is turning on governments who erode Maori Treaty rights and silence their ability to participate in the democratic process of forming and informing legislation.

The Hikoi was significantly symbolic, emotionally powerful and sincerely principled. It had been cancelled twice before to acknowledge the pain of the communities in Christchurch. The marchers were joined by Pakeha and Pacific peoples along the way and were hosted by several tribes throughout the country, cheered on by passersby; office workers, labourers and Mums with push chairs and joined by Green Party members, Christchurch refugees, secondary school students and other supporters in Wellington.

And of course our Kuia, Kaumatua, rangatahi, tamariki, pakeke who marched. We applaud your effort, your resilience and your determination. Ka whawhai tonu tatou mo ake tonu atu.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Does anyone know how I might be able to reach a woman representing Te Whaainga Wahine? I am media (and an old friend!) visiting NZ after many years, and in particular hope to reconnect with Deirdre Nehua. I would like to help tell your story/stories to the world. Please, will someone help me? Thank you, and I honor you. LOVE. My email is zoe@cosmicsister.com

  2. Does anyone know how I might be able to reach a woman representing Te Whaainga Wahine? I am media (and an old friend!) visiting NZ after many years, and in particular hope to reconnect with Deirdre Nehua. I would like to help tell your story/stories to the world. Please, will someone help me? Thank you, and I honor you. LOVE.

  3. We object to the Political Party named “The Maori Party” within the New Zealand Government, voting in support of the legislation named “The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutaimoana) Bill.

    This legislation violates and breaches Maori Rights embedded in the treaty named “Te Tiriti O Waitangi” and the Declaration named “He Whakaputanga o nga Rangatira o Niu Tireni”.

    We also object to the Maori Party,s continuation of support to this legislation.

    Therefore,we would like to state Maori Party’s vote of support for the Marine and Coastal Area Bill DOES NOT represent our support or tautoko.

    We request that the Political Party named the Maori Party cease immediately their continuation of support of the “Marine and Coastal Area(Takutaimoana) Bill, as it continues to violate and breach “Te Tiriti O Waitangi”.

    For the asaid reasons given above

    We request that Assent is NOT GIVEN to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutaimoana) Bill by the Governor General of New Zealand.
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/we-object-to-you
    voting-i/

  4. Objection to Maori Party voting in support of Marine and Coastal Bill

    Online Petition to Maori Party and Governor General

    We object to the Political Party with in New Zealand Government named "The Maori Party" voting in support of the legislation named "The Marine and Coastal Area (Takutaimoana) Bill.

    We also object to the Maori Party,s continuation of support to this legislation.

    This legislation violates and breaches Maori Rights embedded in the treaty named "Te Tiriti O Waitangi" and the Declaration named "He Whakaputanga o nga Rangatira o Niu Tireni".

    Therefore, we would like to state Maori Party's vote of support for the Marine and Coastal Area Bill on the 22nd March 2011 DOES NOT represent my support or tautoko.

    We request that the Political Party named the Maori Party cease immediately their continuation of support of the "Marine and Coastal Area(Takutaimoana) Bill, as it continues to violate and breach "Te Tiriti O Waitangi".

    For the asaid reasons given above

    We request that Assent is NOT GIVEN to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutaimoana) Bill by the Governor General of New Zealand.

    Click on link below to sign the online petition
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/we-object-to-you

  5. Kia ora TangataWhenua.com only you fullas could write an article that is pono and worthy of reporting to our nation. I appreciate our stories being told properly. It is indeed a democratic government alongside our own who have betrayed us. As a parent of six tamariki I look towards the leadership of a new generation of mokopuna, rangatahi who will rise before adversity to overcome and achieve the dreams of their tupuna by the guidance of seasoned mentors who acknowledge and support them as our future leaders – Ka pu te ruha ka hao te rangatahi!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.