• An Open Letter- Awhi to our Hana Koko, our Māori Santa
    Our Nelson Santa Parade this year was unique, in that for the first time, the Māori interpretation of Santa Claus was given centre stage. Not as an afterthought, not as a token, not half the stage, but centre stage. The intention behind this letter is to counteract the hurtful voices that emerged with an outpouring of overwhelming awhi, aroha, and deep appreciation. The intention is to tautoko the delight that was felt by many. We seek to express the heartfelt cheer we feel for our Hana Koko, our parade organisers and for our tangata whenua. Through partnership we desire to honour, celebrate and nurture the Māori culture, and the world it opens us to. It is a culture that is rich, layered and profoundly valuable. A culture that teaches much, that has many a beautiful lesson to offer, a beautiful story to tell. It is a culture that has been relegated to the backstage, included as an addition, an extra, a token, for far, far too long. We seek to tautoko the need to push biculturalism further. To be bold. To affirm the courage that tangata whenua have always shown, as you did Mātua Rob, to stand up with openness and pride, without being afraid of being hurt in response. It's time to shed light on those spaces that still remain in shadow, and we are here with you, doing this together, behind you all the way. We seek to support Te Ao Māori with a constant empathy and a willingness to learn and challenge our pre-conditions, for those of us who still need to grow. We, whose names are signed here, are Māori, Pākeha, and a million things in between. Many of us know what it is to stand up and be shot down. We want it to be known that we are happy with our Hana Koko. That many of us have been waiting for Hana Koko. That we hope to see much more of our tangata whenua taking central stage and letting their voice be heard. But more than heard; listened to. 🎄 If this letter resonates, please sign your name to show your awhi/support for our Hana Koko and our organisers, and more broadly, our aroha for Te Ao Māori. 🎄 Many people have stated that the response was simply a question of being genuinely surprised or disappointed that what they expected, what they were used to, what was advertised, was not what was presented. People have expressed that things were simply not well communicated. Or that they love biculturalism, but that there should have been warning, that there should have been two Santas. I wonder if people would have felt the same level of surprise, or disappointment, if they had received a real, tangible and significant dose of Te Ao Māori in their lives, if their children had been taught, and shown that Te Ao Māori makes up a primary and essential part of the culture of their country. I wonder if Māori culture hadn’t been stamped out so efficiently, so enormously, if people would be experiencing the same level of cultural dissonance right now. We must ask ourselves why, in a country where there are three official languages, where it is acknowledged that Pākeha are not the founders of this country, that a Christmas parade cannot feature a ‘Santa’ that is Māori, wearing Māori clothing, without people recoiling, or experiencing genuine surprise. Why is it, that we claim that we support a bicultural society, yet we expect the dominant majority of events, traditions, resources, supports and initiatives to be Pākeha and to support the Pākeha objective? Even with an entire city built on Pākeha principles, an entire parade that is Pākeha, dominated by Pākeha values systems, even with reindeer and sleighs, bells and mistletoe, people claim that with our Hana Koko, it wasn’t bicultural, and we were missing the white Santa. It would have been bicultural with two Santas, some people say. Or even a Māori man in a white Santa’s suit. A Hana Koko inside a waka could have been displayed: it seems this is okay as long as it is not at the cost of Pākeha culture, expectations, values, and norms. We who have signed our names find this to be insufficient as an accepted status quo. We do not seek to attack these views, just question them, and gently invite some fresh perception, and respectful discussion. We raise the issue of the current societal conditions that have resulted in these lines of thought. It is time to cede, that as long as we claim to be bicultural, that we can expect these (particularly major, community funded, council supported) events to be a mixture of both native and Pākeha culture. This should come at no shock. We should expect Māoridom at every corner, in every store, in every exchange of service. We should not expect Māoridom to feature as an aside, but should be prepared for a Māori person, Māori words, Māori garments, Māori waiata, at any time, in any role, in any situation. And so should our children. This is true biculturalism. We should be normalising Māori culture, a blending of cultural themes and ideas, at every turn. Not just the ones we selectively pick. Imagine how the Māori children in the audience must have felt. For possibly the first time, in an everyday, traditionally white occasion, the headliner looked like them, was representative of them. Possibly for the first time, they were the star of a show that wasn’t a marginalised event, relegated as a separate show, with the specific purpose of being a ‘cultural’ event. There is, of course, deep value in holding space and ceremony for traditions that are solely Māori, but surely it is time that some of us shuffled over and opened the space further.
    348 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Yasmeen Maria Picture
  • #protectihumātao
    The Ihumaatao landscape (of which the land in question, Special Housing Area 62, is a part) is a rare cultural heritage landscape that matters because its stories, relationships, built heritage, ecological values and archaeological sites are critical to our understanding of the histories and futures of our city and country. For mana whenua (local Māori), this place embodies sources of identity and wellbeing as well as family, community and tribal relationships. This area is one of the last remnants of the archaeologically rich stonefields landscapes across Auckland. and is one of the last surviving places where the land and stone walls used by Māori for growing new crops, such as wheat and European vegetables for the Auckland markets prior to 1863, still exists. The land was confiscated ‘by proclamation’ under the New Zealand Settlements Act in 1863 as part of the colonial invasion of the Waikato that drove mana whenua from their lands, ahead of the settler armies. Overnight they were made landless and impoverished. Now, that existence is further threatened by the commercial development. The proposed development site is minutes from the Auckland International Airport and should be considered as a promising cultural, heritage and ecotourism location. For many years there have been aspirations for social enterprise, local employment and sustainability initiatives that enable kaitiakitanga and tino rangatiratanga. Local and central government used the fast-track, developer-friendly provisions of the Special Housing Areas Act 2013 to designate the land. Mana whenua and community concerns were sidelined. Mana whenua have suffered enough for the good of the developing city and every critical account of history agrees with them. For more than three years, the SOUL campaign to #protectIhumātao has engaged in non-violent, direct action to raise awareness and build public support. Our guided walks and events on the land have attracted thousands of visitors. We have presented concerns to the Auckland Council Governing Body and to Parliament, met with politicians and been to the United Nations three times in two years. In 2017 the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination wrote to the NZ Government recommending that it ensure proper consultation with all affected Maori on this issue. A recent Environment Court decision showed significant flaws in New Zealand’s heritage legislation that did not allow the Court to consider the values of whole cultural heritage landscape when reviewing Heritage NZ’s decision to grant the company the authority to modify or destroy Maori archaeological and other heritage sites on the land. Gaining that authority doesn't make the decision right, it simply puts it within the narrow terms of the existing law and allows the developer to proceed. SOUL has now exhausted every legal means to stop the development. Now we are fast approaching a confrontation on the land but will keep doing everything we can to prevent that from happening. What we need is collective action and innovative thinking to resolve this mounting crisis. We’re now calling on the public to take a stand for this land. Join us in protecting this unique landscape for all New Zealanders and future generations. Please sign this petition now!
    20,394 of 25,000 Signatures
    Created by Cordelia Huxtable
  • Secure the Māori seats
    Most New Zealanders value equality, and the way we relate to each other, across cultural differences and other differences in background. We cherish values such as respect, and we speak often about honouring the history and cultures that shape us. Many New Zealanders overseas talk about these values and practices as reasons they’re proud of the country they come from. But our laws and politics don’t always live up to these values. In our Parliament at the moment, the seven seats reserved for MPs to represent Māori are not treated in the same way as the general seats. To abolish a Māori seat you only need a simple majority in the House (51%), whereas to abolish a General seat it takes a 75% majority. Māori seats are more precarious and treated differently from other seats. And there’s no reason for this. The Electoral Entrenchment of Maori Seats Amendment Bill introduced by MP Rino Tirikatene will secure (or entrench) the Māori seats to make sure the Maori seats get the same protections as General seats.[1] There are currently seven Māori electorates and 64 general electorates. Each one represents a seat in Parliament. The Māori seats are a way of making sure the interests of Māori are represented. If you choose to go on the Māori Roll, you will vote for someone in one of the seven Māori electorates. If an MP wins a Māori seat, they are mandated to advocate for Māori. This can allow Māori to advocate for their language, values, beliefs and culture, and to enable Māori to do things in a way that may be different to the dominant Pākehā way of doing things. This advocacy can ensure Te Tiriti o Waitangi is honoured in everything we do, or that Māori language and history is celebrated and taught in communities and schools. This advocacy can help make sure government funding goes toward Māori-led solutions to poverty, homelessness and sick rivers, as well as government and business-led ones. By securing the Māori seats we will guarantee there are people in Parliament who offer a Māori voice, not just a voice of the general population. Entrenching the seats will also remove the chance of some politicians using the Māori seats as a political football when they want media attention. We have the chance right now to make sure the cultural and political diversity of our country is protected. Sign now to show the politicians considering the Bill your support. Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi. With your contribution and my contribution, our community will flourish. Bill to entrench the Māori seats passes first hurdle, NZ Herald, 5 Sep 2018 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12119877 Harmony and the case for Māori wards, Stuff, 11 May 2018 https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/103750284/harmony-and-the-case-for-mori-wards
    2,355 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Max Harris Picture
  • Change the discriminatory law that enabled the Māori wards referenda
    We are a community of people that value fairness and inclusion. We want our cities and towns to be vibrant and flourishing democracies where everybody participates, and our children and grandchildren can see themselves reflected in the leaders we elect. We believe the more people participate in local government, the more council decisions and actions will achieve positive outcomes for all of us - everyday people and the land we love - both now and for the future. Sadly, we are being held back from this vision because Māori are under-represented in local government and they have been for a long time. One way to rebalance this and increase Māori representation is to establish Māori wards. These are a bit like the Māori seats in Parliament, but for local government. They establish areas where those who choose to go on the Māori electoral roll can vote for councillors to represent them. Councillors in five areas - Kaikōura, Whakatāne, Western Bay of Plenty, Manawatū and Palmerston North - had voted to establish Māori wards to increase Māori representation. Until Don Brash, Hobson’s Pledge and a handful of anonymous wealthy backers used fear and the politics of the past to force a public referendum using an outdated, discriminatory law. We are all for increasing participatory decision making. But these referenda are unfair for two reasons. ➡️No other ward (e.g. rural) can be subject to a referendum and decided on this way; and ➡️ The rights of a minority group should never be decided by the majority. On Saturday 19 May, all votes were counted and as of writing, all districts have voted against increasing Māori representation. In Whakatāne, 56.39 percent voted against Māori representation. 43.37 percent in favour. The total Māori population in Whakatāne? 43 percent. These referenda shouldn't have ever happened. It's long past time to change the discriminatory law that enabled them in the first place. That is what we are asking Nanaia Mahuta to do. Together, we can create an inclusive community where we all have a voice, and everyone is involved in making good decisions together about our shared future. *** MORE INFO: www.votemaori.co.nz https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/14-05-2018/why-we-need-maori-wards/
    2,041 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Team ActionStation Picture
  • Teach New Zealand and Treaty history in all schools and communities
    In 2017 10,000 members of the ActionStation community came together to co-create our united vision in Te Ira Tāngata: a People’s Agenda. This vision looks ahead to a positive future in the year 2040, the 200 year anniversary of the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi. Our community has the vision that Aotearoa New Zealand in 2040 will be a fair and flourishing country with care, creativity, courage and compassion at its core. We will honour te Tiriti o Waitangi and the rights of indigenous people in our constitution, our institutions and in everything we do. We envision in 2040 that Aotearoa New Zealand’s constitution and structures reflect our Treaty commitments, and rangatiratanga is guaranteed to Māori. Every person in Aotearoa New Zealand understands and respects Te Tiriti as our founding document, understands the harm done by colonisation in our country, and works to heal injustices and to see Te Tiriti honoured. Sign the petition to ask the Government and political parties to join in building a future where each of us understands, values and honours te Tiriti o Waitangi. https://www.peoplesagenda.nz
    9,537 of 10,000 Signatures
    Created by Team ActionStation Picture
  • Honour Te Tiriti: #ChangeTheOath
    The oath of allegiance, taken by all new citizens, is an important statement on what it means to be a citizen of Aotearoa. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the nation's founding document, yet the current oath only acknowledges one Treaty partner, the Crown (for more information see http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1977/0061/latest/whole.html#DLM444038). There is a need for the oath to acknowledge both Māori and the Crown, and to reflect that honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the responsibility of all citizens of Aotearoa. Changing the oath to include a statement on honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi would: - Recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of the Nation - Honour both Treaty partners in citizenship ceremonies - Make it clear that honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the responsibility of all citizens of Aotearoa - Encourage new citizens to learn about Te Tiriti o Waitangi and their relationships with tangata whenua - Be one step towards achieving an approach to immigration that recognises Māori rights, responsibilities, and aspirations 'Change the Oath' is a group of Māori and migrants of colour standing in solidarity. The group includes (in alphabetical order) Faisal Al-Asaad, Tahu Kukutai, Ricardo Menéndez March, Pania Newton, Aaryn Marsh Niuapu, Arama Rata, and Julie Zhu.
    648 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Change The Oath
  • Save Poroti Springs
    A private water company is applying to build a bottling factory at Poroti Springs, a hapū-owned pure water source, near Whangarei. The plant will not only risk the purity of the spring and aquifer but also add increased activity in the local community and around Poroti Reserve. It will create a significant health and safety issue with 80 truck movements per day, right next door to Poroti School. Please use this form to make an official submission to the Whangarei District Council. Submissions are open until 5pm Wednesday 30 August. Over years the local hapū have been shut out of decision-making over the treasured spring, and the aquifer under their Reserve. For example, the Council spent $1.08 million on establishing the adjacent bore site then sold the site to private interests for $40,000 without hapū knowledge. Now the company with rights to take the water want to build a 3600-square-metre water bottling factory across the road from the Reserve. The factory will bottle up to a million litres of water a day to sell for the domestic and Chinese markets. Your submission on the risks to the spring posed by the factory, from potential groundwater contamination and the increased traffic activity, will help the Council give more consideration to the protection of the spring and aquifer. You will also be standing with the hapū and give support for their right to be heard as guardians of the springs. Make a submission today using this form. If you have local knowledge of the area and/or people you can add a personal message to support your submission. You can make a contribution to the cost of the legal fees to deal with the Zodiac objection here: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/porotisprings Zodiac Holdings Limited - Resource Consent Application http://www.wdc.govt.nz/NewsRoom/PublicNotices/Pages/Resource-Consent-Zodiac.aspx#Expand History: The Whatitiri Māori Reserves Trust is legally responsible for administering the “Whatitiri Māori Reserves” under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 and The Māori Reservations Regulations 1994. The first seven trustees of the reserves were appointed, 28th June 1940 and replaced the people who were originally vested title in the individual blocks. The 1895 Survey Map shows Poroti Springs Reserve as a “water supply” for the benefit of hapu Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau and Te Mahurihuri subtribes of Ngapuhi’ 1960 Sept 28th Gazette Notice – further confirms Poroti Springs Reserve as a “water supply” for the benefit of hapu Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau and Te Mahurihuri subtribes of Ngapuhi. Our hapu of Poroti will object to the proposed building of a bottling factory just across the road from our Poroti Springs. The building is huge and will have 40 in and 40 out truck movements heading to Marsden Point. Up to 2.5 million litres of water is consented daily to Zodiac Holdings Ltd to take from the Whatitiri aquifer that feeds our springs and previous WDC takes have dried us up in 1983 and 1987. This water is intended for export to Asian markets and Zodiac has been marketing the business for sale to overseas interests. This company also markets under the name of “New Zealand Spring Water Ltd”. We as a hapu find this situation to be intolerable and yet our local Governments Northland Regional Council and Whangarei District Council facilitate for our water to be plundered by people whom do not belong to our community. We cannot accept to wake up one morning to see up to 16 foreigners loading our water across the road, 16 hours per day to send overseas. "He waka eke noa" "A canoe which we are all in with no exception. We are all in this together" For more info go to https://www.facebook.com/saveporotisprings/ News media Poroti Springs hapu not happy about bottling plant consent application, NZ Herald, 8 Aug, 2017 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11899815 Northland hapū run out of steam in water-bottling fight, RNZ, 11 August 2017 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/337016/northland-hapu-run-out-of-steam-in-water-bottling-fight
    1,563 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Millan Ruka Picture
  • Hands Off Our Tamariki
    ‘Hands Off Our Tamariki’ has been developed to raise awareness of the issues related to the State removal of Māori children and the placement of our tamariki in non-Māori (Primarily Pākēhā families). It is our view that this form of removal and abuse of our tamariki must end, and that the only way to bring it to an end is for whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori organisations and all other supporters across Aotearoa, New Zealand to stand together against the further imposition of legislation that enables this government to take control of tamariki Māori across the country.
    442 of 500 Signatures
    Created by handsoff ourtamariki
  • Peace For Pekapeka : Return Waitara Lands
    The New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill 2016 is not supported by the vast majority of hapū and iwi members within Waitara. The Bill further divests the lands confiscated including the Pekapeka Block, from hapū and iwi. Our tupuna Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake stated clearly that Waitara must remain in the hands of our people. "I will not agree to our bedroom being sold (I mean Waitara here), for this bed belongs to all of us; and do not you be in haste to give the money. If you give the money secretly, you will get no land for it. You may insist, but I will never agree to it. . . All I have to say to you, O Governor, is that none of this land will be given to you, never, never, till I die." Wiremu Kingi to Governor Browne, April 1859. The Waitangi Tribunal emphasised that any settlements of these claims must not create further injustice, as stated: "A more arguable case would appear to be that the settlement of historical claims is not to pay off for the past, even were that possible, but to take those steps necessary to remove outstanding prejudice and prevent similar prejudice from arising; for the only practical settlement between peoples is one that achieves a reconciliation in fact." (Waitangi Tribunal The Taranaki Report, Kaupapa Tuatahi: p.315). It is our view that this Bill fails to meet the expectation by the Waitangi Tribunal and the whānau, hapū and iwi of Waitara that the settlement process would be honourable and would not reproduce the prejudices of that past. For true, meaningful and enduring resolution to take place in Waitara the stolen lands held by the NPDC must be returned to the hapū of Te Atiawa at no cost. The NPDC (and earlier councils such as the Waitara Borough Council) have received lease payments of these lands for over 100 years. Many of the original confiscation lands within Waitara have already been made freehold sections and privatised without the knowledge of the hapū and iwi. Both the council and those private owners have benefited financially while the hapū and iwi have struggled to maintain our connection to our ancestral lands. Hapū and iwi should not be forced to 'buy back' our own lands that were illegally confiscated by the colonial forces. Te Atiawa iwi should not be expected to 'buy back' lands from those that have benefited directly from the confiscation. The lands in Waitara must be returned for our people to have any sense that our voices have been heard. The lands in Waitara were stolen, the lands must be returned. Me riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai.
    2,386 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Peace Province Initiative