May 9, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Why it can be hard being Maori in Christchurch

4 min read

The Christchurch Press is reporting that a dispute has broken out between a Maori family and the Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, with Mr Parker publicly shaming the family (without first meeting those involved to verify reports).

The Maori Party has stepped in calling for a public apology over the treatment of a “30-strong” Christchurch whanau who was evicted from the Earthquake Welfare Centre at Addington Racecourse on Friday.

Maori Party MP Rahui Katene called the treatment of the family “disgusting” saying “to say they were freeloading because they didn’t pack up and leave immediately It really is over the top.” Katene said she had visited the family in the shelter and had seen them helping with the relief effort.

I’ll be looking at why they were turfed out and looking for an apology from the authorities, and a public one at that” she said.

Immediately after the disaster the Martin whanau were heralded as a poster family of the quake and met with Prime Minister John Key and were even interviewed on Campbell Live. This same whanau were called “repulsive” by Mayor Bob Parker after he learned that they were ordered from the Addington Welfare Centre on Friday.

Problems seem to have arisen with police saying family members were intimidating others (this seems to have been when the police came to evict them, without any prior notice) and they had falsely claimed their houses were uninhabitable. Lala Martin showed The Press through her quake-hit Gayhurst Rd home yesterday and pointed out what appeared to be sewage coming out of a drain and into her mud-pit, flooded front yard. She was trying to keep her six children, two of whom were bottle-fed, out of the muck, but one of her babies appeared to have developed a gastric illness.

Remember whanau, most of those staying at the Welfare Centres were doing so because they felt safer there, not necessarily because their houses were uninhabitable. This is NOT a requirement for using such facilities and no reason for being “evicted”.

The Martin whanau showed The Press green inspection notices that bore Thursday’s date but said it was the sanitation aspect that made her flee her home.

We’ve gone from being victims of the earthquake to victims of the people who were helping us out. I wouldn’t use the facilities again, I would just stay home.”

This incident shows clearly how important it is that Maori, hapu, iwi, and marae be involved when it comes to Civil Defense and the preparations that take place. was interested to learn that marae in the Rotorua area were not involved in any Civil Defense preparations, although the team there were very keen on having marae on board.

Grandmother Manawai Martin wept as she said she was more traumatised by being labelled “bludgers” and publicly castigated by the mayor than by the earthquake. “Maori will be too scared, too embarrassed, to come use [relief services],” she said. Grandfather Noel Martin said he left his Mongrel Mob patch in the car when they arrived at the centre. “Yes I’m in the gang. What’s that got to do with the state of emergency?”

Manawai said the first the family knew of being evicted was when police approached them. At 1.20pm they were issued a trespass order saying they had until 2pm to move all 30 out, she said. Manawai said she started crying immediately.

The way in which the family was dealt with seems to be the cause of much of the problems, instead of speaking directly to the family the Welfare Centre choose to involve the police first.

The Martin family had helped out at the centre and one of her 14-year-old granddaughters had been given a Civil Defence vest in recognition of all the work she did. The family only discovered their houses had green placards on Friday and she wanted one more night in the shelter as getting 30 people mobilised was difficult.

There was no definition of those who were allowed in the shelter, she said. Most of those they met had no damage to their homes and were there because they needed support or they were scared.

Mrs Katene also expressed her concerned about claims that Maori youth were being targeted by police.

Ive heard from whanau that in one particular area rangatahi who were volunteering in their community and helping their whanau were accused by police of theft. The whanau are trying to work these issues through with the police, but Im growing concerned about what appears to be ethnic profiling.

35 thoughts on “Why it can be hard being Maori in Christchurch

  1. Undeniably imagine that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be at the internet the easiest thing to remember of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while other folks consider issues that they plainly do not recognise about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the whole thing without having side effect , other people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thank you

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  3. oh well ruaumoko is still around dosent make me forget what the civil defence did to our whanau in the september 1

    the deck heads the were very careful at the 22nd feb……… 2011 there were no media allowed in the shelter not that we used it ,,,,, i wonder why

  4. Time to move on from this nonsense. Too many people with real issues are still hurting out there.

  5. i totally agree with manawai people just sooooooo judgemental when it comes to this kind off take they only hear 1 side off the story and being not it all think they no the other side off the storys pleasee wake up aotearoa read the play people that work for the goverment try and cover up thea tracks aye bob parker civil defence and 1 off the te puni kokiri worker yes meikura araahanga she was thea for the wrong reasons she knew what was sed but no she didn't wanna tautoko you all will keep hope it doesn't happen to any off your fanau its not very nice what this family had to go thru taku aroha kia koutou te whanau martin

  6. Latest news received a response from Mr PARKER , UNFORTUNATELY WE DO-NOT ACCEPT WHAT HE HAS TO SAY FOR THE THOUSANDS OF VEIWERS WERE TOLD WE WERE FREE LOADERS , Mr Parker writes about everything else bar the reason we got the boot, and that's the information he got from Civil Defence. He still not taking note of the other side of the story.

  7. well i have emailed the civil defence another letter i think they have gone to sleep but not me still wide awake and will continue to wait for as long as it takes someone will give way at the intersection,,,,,,,, watch this space

  8. its nice to share when you dont get any comment back from pple that dont no the story anyway it quite fustrating waiting on those responsible for their muck ups during the quake , but still not giving up. i guess be bit scary for them especially when they no dam well its sitting on their desk and haven’t the decency to put their hands up and yet the moment you do something wrong your standing before a charge the following week .all good though getting their and i ahve to i tell every reader on here the whole story.i just been holding of with the info i have . lets see what happens.

  9. well we had a visit from a civil defense worker who had come to personally apologize to us over the Media invading our privacy at the shelter and was appalled how this happened, its nice too no that people that were there can pass judgment on the whole situation .we continue to prove our point. great''''''

  10. lastest is mr parker has emailed and acknowledge (cant say with who for now) to meet that was at the beginning of the week we are at the end of the week ,

    still delaying but hey still here this is still not gonna go away.

  11. POTAUA





  13. well louise if that is really your name sounds like you from ………{ fill the gaps bubs}and believe it loulou we will be going on and its not your biso and disgrace as you say, thats why i suspect you are from the dotted lines , anyway i am intelligent to people like yourself to judge and my guess is that you have been before a real judge in the courts and you have a conviction so my advise clear your own back yard and your extended whanau. this is a scripture" if you have done no wrong cast the first stone " if you have shoosh your moosh. BELIEVE IT.O TRUE YOU SAY I WONT GET AN APOLOGY , SO TELL ME WEN THE NEXT EARTH QUAKE. JUST WATCH THE SPACE……..

  14. I can't believe Ms Martin is still going on about this. Your family are a disgrace and always have been, but somehow it's never your fault. You are obviously intelligent enough to wail on about your rights, but seem purposefully ignorant of your responsibilites. You won't be getting an apology. Get over it.

  15. Kia ora Manawai – thank you for your korero and all our best wishes to you and your whanau. I was wondering if you would be interested in writing an article about your experiences so that I may post up on our website ( and support your issues with the City Council. We have been appalled at your whanau's treatment and think it is important to take them to task. If you are interested, please contact me: [email protected]. Many thanks – Potaua/Managing Director of

  16. good on you mr parker for your win so now we may get our talk and sort our taake out with abit of hope.

    gee i thought i had my own lil website but im slowly looking and im been deleted i wonder y the heck thats happening now?????? ummmm could it be pple have relised the jump the gun and shot themselves bloody good job told you's so hahaha…… i cant have a coffee ,smoke and read pples comments.''''

  17. bita of a update mr bob parker, civil defence have been given their letter's of complaints from us , 24.09.2010. police were issued theirs 1st , we will be waiting for their reply. we weren't prepared to wait for mr parker as he stated that we weren't a priority at the tyme he went live and same with us we aren't waiting for him either til the elections are done here in christchurch 4 mayor, as it may very well 2 suit him if we the whanau 'hush hush' until that.we have all our facts together.

  18. If you are associated of the mongrel mob…you are mongrel scum. If you want any respect from society….stop associating with scum. It makes you scum too.

  19. not only does the baldhead talk kaka so does maori commenters, da call my whanau digusting and make their asumptions up uhh cheek

  20. i will keep updating here, we as whanau may not have the resources as media , bob parker to gt the truth out there it will certainly happen the biggest resource is the lords truth , hey dont gt me wrong folks no im not a church goer i do remember his truths and thats the revelation i hold onto on behalf of our whanau,just have to be patient and let it take it's course, very fustrating but all good,mr parker we have come in contact with 1 of the person's that took from the shelter mor than wt she should've of , hows that for finding out things we are faster than the cop's just keep watching this space it will gt better.the grn stickers- media claims{civil defence) spoke to the martin family tuesday their house was go to return , well my sticker was signed from the council on the thursday 48 hours later""what has happened here? who did the speak to the lady with the ta moko or the man with the ta moko we are quite exstinct cant be missed? or did they speak to another maori face? ummmm interesting''''

  21. i am the victim as part of the free loading whanau and no this is not going to be hanging no way we will and are in the process of proving that bob parker owes us ( and thats wat we say as the whanau)not only does he 2 others also owe us , at the moment others dont think that, caring cos they no jack, rahui yes she is at her end and us at ours and things are moving , as far as the ol emergency worker well yes he is so correct in wat heshe say's(all incidents did happen) trouble is da got there wires x,the got us mixed up with the other brown faces in the centre and if they have martin as their surname well me and my hubby musta cheated on one another and had sprogs to others, that either of us new about, AS FOR BOB PARKER ALL I CAN SAY DONT VOTE FOR HIM, ESPECIALLY IF HE ONLY LISTEN TO 1 SIDE TO THE STORY, HELL PUT YOU IN TUTAE AS HE DONE TO US.WE WONT BE GIVING UP HEIL TO THE NO'''''''

  22. A week has passed. What has happened on this issue in the interim. Is Katene doing a follow up on the events at the welfare centre? Please don't just leave this hanging. "Emergency Worker" in the Press website has presented some alternate reasons for the removal. Are these correct? If not please refute this and advise further. Thanks

  23. Bob parker wat a pig you are u should think before u speak a pig is worse than an egg drop nuts that poor man is one of the ones keeping chch streets clean for you and this is how u treat him and his family wat a disgrace to you and your office

  24. all Marae within the Area should Immediately open their Doors and put those Management degrees into action, what are they waiting for, Doomsday?

  25. At times like a Natural catastrophy people should hold together, it is about the safety of all, not one or two, receiving or waiting for green card to say the house is ok.. is no guarantee that the house is safe.

    Dear Mr Mayor of Christchurch, Please take consideration for others. Choose your words carefully, or just dont say anything. Racial tension is a cause from lack of communication and prejudice, brought about mostly from stereotyping, and ignorance. Our lord our God bless and keep you.

    Ma te Atua koutou e manaaki e tiaki

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