The Auckland Council, Fletchers and the servant settler government continue to mount up their violations against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People, to the point where a simple cultural right as karakia on a maunga, (Prayer on a mountain), is denied after being previously agreed on. Within an hour before commencement of the hikoi up the maunga, the agreement of passage had been revoked and instead been replaced with an increased police presence to cope with the outrage. Kaitiaki continue to battle the cold conditions to occupy Ihumātao, to stop Fletcher Residential from building 480 houses in place of this historic site. The business has a market capitalisation of $4.3b and is clearly all for profit at the expense of our history. The kaitiaki at Ihumātao have been labelled by some as outsiders despite many having whakapapa connections to the land, clearly a tactic to undermine them and their efforts. We continue to wait for proper input from the servant settler government and want to remind them, that justification can and should be, reclaimed under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Given the land ended up in Fletchers hands, not from a Treaty settlement, but via a farm purchase from private owners, whose own claims to ownership originated in the unjust land confiscations of the 19th century. So far, the input we have seen is that of the negative, a police presence, a few statements here and there, but nothing kinetic. How much longer must we wait for the servant settler government to finish painting an abstract governmental point of view before seeing real results in favour of kaitiaki and that of tikanga? After all, as mentioned, the servant settler government was the agent of the original chain of events that eventually delivered this land into Fletchers’ hands. Ihumātao itself is a beautiful place, and quite unique in a city that has a tendency to bulldoze its history. Destruction of Ancestral Waahi Tapu and its contents for Air Port extensions, the grinding down of some of Auckland's volcanic cones to make roads, all proof that disregard for history is a culture that goes back a long way in Auckland. Leadership starts from a recognition of the basic historical injustices and that is why we as Maori stand in protection over Ihumātao, highlighting the history and reminding the world on how things should really be.
“Titiro whakamuri, Kokiri whakamua, Look back and reflect so you can move forward”. PROTECT IHUMĀTAO!!