“If ever there was a time to show true humility amongst our so called leaders, to put our individual Iwi objectives aside in the interests of the greater good for all Maori and demonstrate unity to the Crown, now is that time.”
In particular, Messiter believes Maori are very pleased that the national water hui called last week by the King resolved that a framework for the expression of Mana, must be settled before the sale of shares; and before hapu and Iwi enter into negotiations with the Crown.
Messiter says she believes the Iwi Leaders Group who met after the water hui have not only read their people wrong, they are not listening to the unified voice of Maoridom. “The Iwi leaders group should reexamine their own terms of reference and mandate and the myth that they have the backing to engage with the Crown on issues such as whanau ora and freshwater” Messiter said.
Te Whaainga Wahine members, who attended the national hui on water at Turangawaewae, endorsed the hui’s resolutions to stand united on this issue and support the call for equal representation of Maori women on any forum, working party or decision-making body as the only true representation of the Maori population.
“No one said at the hui that it was going to be easy. Our network just simply wants it to be fair and equitable and we will support all efforts made to unite our voice on this issue. Our wahine are the nurturers and carers of water in our communities. Better we sit side-by-side with our tane to develop solutions that honour the integrity of Papatuanuku, our Mother, than to move down the Crown track of carving up and selling our mother as a commodity to the highest bidder.”
Te Whaainga Wahine are urging the Iwi Leaders Group to stand down on their resolution to endorse their own freshwater group to continue to engage with the Crown and to examine their lack of representation of Maori women in their ranks.
Messiter says the Te Whaainga Wahine network supports the sentiment of King Tuheitia’s that we must not let the Crown continue to divide us.
“However should groups such as the Iwi Leader’s Group continue on their own path and ignore the call for unity, then Te Whaainga Wahine supports the New Zealand Maori Council to initiate Court action against the Crown.”
Te Whaainga Wahine is a national network of over 5,000 Maori women, who advocate for social and political justice on issues that impact on whanau, whenua and the wellbeing of Maori communities.
Their next national hui is being held at Waipatu marae in Hastings from the 23rd – 26th October, where wahine Maori leaders will meet to further discuss their support for the resolutions passed at the national water hui.
Irene Kereama?Royal (Te Reo Maori)