Waitangi Reflections

Coming together with others who have a shared understanding of Te Tiriti and those who are resisting our Government’s oppressive agenda was a significant motivator in heading to Waitangi this year. Listening to mātanga share their experiences – and lay challenges in pursuit of rangatiratanga – imbued many with the hope to continue the mahi we often do in isolation. Connecting with others who stand for a free Palestine, who stand for justice in and outside the government lifted spirits, particularly when we are often fragmented from one another. Collectivising in the form of demonstration, and in the form of wānanga, and celebrating who we are provides hope that we are building futures anew. 

Here are some kōrero that stood out to me: 

Annete Sykes Government Pōwhiri video

  • Holding the current Government to account and challenging their actions/inaction.
  • The inequality in funding donated to right-wing political parties during their campaigns.
  • Calling out the New Zealand Government for their inaction regarding the need for a ceasefire in Palestine, and the freedom of the Palestinian people in the International Court of Justice.

Mereana Pitman Waitangi 2024

  • Debunking the myths around Te Tiriti in alignment with the intent of He Whakaputanga. Te Tiriti is an affirmation of rangatiratanga, of arikitanga, of inherited leadership.
  • Colonisation redefines who we are and separates us from our gods, from our lands, and one other. “To seek rangatiratanga is to seek to repair all of our relationships”. Understanding the long history of resistance in our whakapapa to have Te Tiriti honoured.
  • Rangatiratanga is centralised in the collective – it is not individual, it is from whakapapa.

The legacy and whakapapa of resistance was a standout. Listening to kōrero from Ngā Tamatoa, from Annette Sykes and the likes of Donna Awatere and Mereana Pittman provided context and whakapapa to the ongoing commitment of our people to decolonisation and change. It reminded us of our history of resistance, of those who have dedicated their lives to  Māori constitutional rights, to the return of our reo, of our whenua, and of our mana Māori motuhake. When we sit alongside the work of those that have come before us, Waitangi showcases the waters we are collectively navigating and how we are (and can) nourishing futures beyond what colonialism offers us. 

For additional resources check out the links below:

RNZ Waitangi Podcast

Government Pōwhiri video 

Whakaata Māori Waitangi recording

Forum tent video

Hinerangi Rhind
Kaimahi Kai Māori, Kai Ora

Ko Ngongotahā, ko Panekire, ko Kohukohunui ngā maunga
Ko Ngāti Whakaue, ko Ngāti Ruapani, ko Ngāti Paoa ngā iwi
Ko Ngāti Pūkākī, ko Ngāti Hinekura, ko Te Uri Karaka ngā hapu