Tears flow as hikoi gathers at Parliament | NZ Herald

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Photo Courtesy of Sina Brown-Davis

(NZ Herald, Photo Courtesy of Sina Brown-Davis) A 300-strong hikoi marched on Parliament today to lay to rest the foreshore and seabed legislation and its replacement, along with the Maori Party logo.

Weeping and walking slowly in the manner of a funeral procession, the hikoi left Te Papa and arrived at Parliament just after midday to be met by several MPs including Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia, Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, Greens co-leader Metiria Turei, Labour’s Shane Jones and Parekura Horomia, and independent MP Hone Harawira.

The protesters laid down the New Zealand flag alongside a flag of the Maori Party logo, together with the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act and its replacement, the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill, in a tangi (funeral service).

Amid signs saying “Betrayed by our own” and “Takutai Moana: Racist legislation”, several kaumatua rose to give spirited speeches, lambasting the Maori Party and parliament’s Maori MPs for failing Maori people.

The tangi was wrapped up together and laid to rest on parliament’s steps. National Party MP Tau Henare collected it and took it into parliament.

Afterwards, Mr Harawira said he had been moved by the hikoi, even though it was a fraction of the size of the 20,000-strong hikoi that protested against the 2004 legislation.

“I would expect even my erstwhile colleagues in the Maori Party [would have felt] a sense of the pain in the gathering today.”

Mr Harawira said the tangi was held to “return the pain”.

“They were laying down the Maori Party flag, I think, because they had a sense it was the Maori Party that was here in 2004, but sadly the Maori Party is also party to this bill. They were laying down the NZ flag on top of the Maori flag to remind us how dominating, still, that is.

“They were laying down those acts because those brought pain to Maoridom right across the country.”

He said the smaller numbers of the hikoi could be because it was hard for Maori to march against Maori.

Mr Finlayson described the hikoi as very respectful, and “very small”.

It would not make a difference to the bill, he said, which is going through its committee stages and is expected to pass by the end of the week.

The bill would place the foreshore and seabed – except what was already in private ownership – into the public domain that could never be sold, and would guarantee free public access.

Maori could claim customary title by proving exclusive use and occupation since 1840, and if they did so, they would then have certain property rights.

When asked what he got out of the hikoi, Mr Finlayson said: “I got wet”.

Mr Harawira said Mr Finlayson did not understand Maori.

“He has no interest in Maori tikanga (customs), he has no interest in Maori kaupapa (concepts and principles).”

Earlier, Mrs Turei revealed Justice Ministry advice that said the bill created a double standard, because it excluded the parts of the foreshore and seabed that were already privately owned.

“National’s foreshore bill does nothing to change the status of the 12,500 existing private titles in the foreshore and seabed. This is unfair and creates a double standard which treats Maori rights as inferior,” Mrs Turei said.

Mr Finlayson said both the current and former Governments made a decision to interfere with the rights of the 12,500 private titles along the coast.

“It’s the old principle of two wrongs don’t make a right, and nationalising the foreshore and seabed on those titles would be the wrong thing to do.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. Chur not bad alright …. NZ Govt still operating in legalised theft again. You did when your tauiwi landed on our shores many moons ago and you continue to keep doing it now… why?? because there's shitloads of money to be made then you'll turn around and sell that asset offshore to whoever when your hairbrain projects for spending money on frivolous ventures go broke. In the meantime who suffers and gets ripped off again and again … our Maori people!! We are either persecuted or wrongfully disadvantaged and burdened by your bullshit taxes, bullshit legislation, jobless promises and getting nowhere fast policies. Once again victimisation at its best and legalised theft on the rise! Maori need to introduce a new bill in parliament for every time the govt create some bullshit bill for wasting our time, interferring with our customary practices, beliefs and ownership; causing a disturbance of our natural human right to live peacefully as the first nation in our own home and deliberately and wrongfully causing stress and unduress, you need to be fined and relieved from your position for every single breach! You are nothing but a bluddy headache, a disturbance, a MENACE to society … we are all getting sick of your shit … maybe its time you paid up or shipped out!

  2. KIA ORA KOUTOU KATOA NA MIHI TO HAVE VOTED IN THE MAORI PARTY THAT HAS EFFECTIVELY STABBED ALL OUR MOKOPUNA NOW AND IN THE FUTURE BY THERE BLOOD DRIPPING IN THE WATERS OF TANGAROA IS THE WORST KIND OF CURSE I WAS A PARTY TOO IN SIGNING THE VOTE FOR THE MP!WHERE DID THEY ALL THINK THERE WAS A DIVISION BETWEEN PAPATUANUKU AND TANGAROA THEY ARE ONE AND THE SAME AS RANGINUI IS FATHER TO MOTHER AND SON THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN THE ESSENCE OF WHO WE ARE!. WHEN DOES IT SINK IN WE LOST THE FORESHORE WHEN THEN SIGNED THE SEALORDS DEAL AFFECTING ALL THE LEGISLATINS TO ENDORSE EACH ACT! HELLOOOOO ANY BODY AWAKE!

  3. 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

  4. Interesting….that the 12,500 titles along the coast are not included in the
    Foreshore and Seabed legislation???…..wonder how many of them are European? they can take from Maori but to take from Tau Iwi is seen as WRONG! Talk about double standards. There is no equality here…Still love the mahi that the Maori Party are doing, it's the likes of Chris Finlayson who contributes to the discord amongst our people…TYPICAL! He tangi hotuhotu!

  5. Kia ora I see how some people look at numbers but its not about quantity Its about Quality its about the hearts of the People the rights of the People and Generations to come.

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