• COVID in Our Prisons - An Open Letter to the Justice Sector
    Over the last two years, a crucial piece of the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been implementing health measures to contain and minimise the spread of the virus. This response has been met with widespread support because, as a country, we have understood that the health and wellbeing of every person in Aotearoa New Zealand is worth protecting. We address this letter to you now out of serious concern over the news of the spread of COVID-19 in prisons in Aotearoa. We call on you to apply a common sense health-based approach to better protect incarcerated people from COVID-19. This matter is urgent. As we are seeing, an Omicron outbreak within New Zealand prisons could easily overwhelm prison health-care services and put pressure on the rest of the healthcare services. Incarcerated people cannot meaningfully practice social distancing or have to forfeit what limited opportunity they have for leisure and social interaction to do so. The ongoing practice of double-bunking makes this even more difficult. Family or whānau visits are similarly restricted under the current Covid Protection Framework settings, adding further pressure and stress. The spread of COVID-19 in prisons particularly puts the health of older people, pregnant people, and those with relevant pre-existing health conditions (including COPD, respiratory illnesses and those with compromised immunity) at risk. There is an unacceptably high risk to Māori in prison, prison staff, whānau and communities from COVID-19. The Government must honour its obligations under Te Tiriti O Waitangi, and prevent this pandemic from further entrenching existing inequities for Māori. Reducing the number of people pulled into the justice system and being held in our prisons is essential to avoid further harm caused to Māori communities, individuals and frontline workers in the courts and prisons. This would also demonstrate the Government’s commitment to partnership and long-term wellbeing as promised in the Police strategy Te Huringa O Te Tai and the Department of Corrections strategy Hōkai Rangi. In signing this open letter, we are calling on the government to take action to protect people in the justice system from COVID-19, including through reducing the prison population, and ensuring effective health and safety measures are being implemented.
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  • Te Papa: Tell the Truth about Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    Since the 1998 opening of the Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa, it has never honestly been 'Our Place'. The permanent exhibit ‘The Treaty of Waitangi: Signs of a Nation’ has been untruthful and a continuing act of colonialism since Te Papa’s doors first swung open. Even with the well-spring of experts and experience brought in to guide them, it appears that the Te Tiriti o Waitangi exhibition was always intended to deceive by misrepresenting NZ history to all its visitors. The English ‘Treaty’ displayed prominently and equally across from Te Tiriti o Waitangi (in Te Reo Māori) implies the two documents hold equal status and legitimacy. This is a lie, as Te Tiriti is the only internationally-recognised document with legal authority. The current design of the exhibit also implies that the displayed Treaty (in English) is a true translation of Te Tiriti, which is another lie, as there are significant material differences between the two texts. These differences need to made obvious, rather than being in the ‘fine print’ which many won’t read. Te Waka Hourua, with support from members of Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa New Zealand, have written to Te Papa’s Board, calling for removal of the English artefact from its place of prominence alongside Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and also staged a protest at the exhibit in solidarity with Māori resisting ongoing colonial oppression. Although Te Papa has acknowledged our grievances, they have not taken any action. This is of additional concern as it will be mandatory for schools to teach Aotearoa New Zealand history from 2023, making the obligation on New Zealand’s ‘national museum’ to correct its misinformation even more urgent. Te Papa shouldn’t wait, and must act as soon as possible: our nation has already endured 181 years of deceit founded on inaccurate historical accounts (in addition to pre-Tiriti colonial history). References: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/126779415/climate-protests-kick-off-as-council-issues-disruption-warning-for-wellington. https://www.education.govt.nz/our-work/changes-in-education/aotearoa-new-zealand-histories-in-our-national-curriculum/. What will happen after the petition closing date of 6 February 2022? Te Waka Hourua will provide an update on the petition result via live webinar (preferably on Waitangi Day 6 February 2022, but details to be confirmed closer to petition closing date), and invite open discussion about next steps. Groups in support of this petition: - Network Waitangi Whangārei - Peace Movement Aotearoa - STIR (Stop Institutional Racism) - Climate Justice Taranaki
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    Created by Te Waka Hourua
  • RNZFB: Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi in your decision making
    Kāpō Māori Aotearoa members and whānau have lost confidence in the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) Incorporated governance practices and decision-making processes. - Kāpō Māori, kāpō youth and parents’ do not have a seat at the governance table. - Tāngata kāpō and parent consumer leadership funding continues to shrink. - "We know what’s best” governance approach that incites controversy and distrust of RNZFB governors and employees. - Reactive governance actions that polarise the kāpō sector. - Apathy and disregard to affirm through governance action the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Our rangatiratanga is being marginalised and will continue to be if we do not take urgent action to fix what is obviously broken! This petition is the first step towards affirmative change. Show your support by signing our petition.
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  • Rangatira ai te Whare Pāremata
    Rangatira ai te whare pāremata is a social action campaign created by six young rangatahi from Wainuiomata High School. This rōpū was created upon the urge to push for policy change. Our aim is to influence the Sports, Arts, and Culture policy to redistribute the funds fairly. We have chosen to advocate for this kaupapa because we are concerned about the distribution of the government's money and its priorities. One example of this is how the government has excessive vast amounts of money for foreign events (like America’s cup) instead of indigenous ones (like Te Matatini and Matariki). The America’s cup, a rich man's sport, received $149M, whereas Te Matatini which is Māori performing arts only received $1.9M. We believe the New Zealand Government need to re-evaluate their priorities when it comes to funding indigenous needs over international events. With this petition we hope to bring attention to the community matters that our people suffer from on a day-to-day basis. We want to accommodate our people as this affair does not just concern us but all cultural minorities within Aotearoa. We must focus on returning to our roots and strengthening the connections our government has with our communities. Rather than supporting events that do not help the mending the wrongdoings made by colonisation. “I listen to the sound of my ancestor's weep, as our tikanga drowns below Papatūānuku, Reaching out to Aunty Cindy, screeching with my mouth stripped with silence. Tangi te keo wails the words‘ “Whakarongo ki te hotuhotu o ōku mōrehu kuia” Foreigners, the government fishes out their bulk wallets but... will always be at the bottom of the barrel when we are in need. Dust, transparent seems to be what we always receive. Indigenous, an empty word to cover up the imbedded wounds, Te Matatini! Haka Ngāhau! Matariki! Pave the tapuwae for Māori, the tie that holds the pen and paper Past! Present! Future! Our whare tapawhā screams to be coated with truth, Open your eyes and see that the system isn't built for me, Excuses! To see us crumble below their feet, we fight till our words become carved, Māori continue to sail the choppy waters of colonisation. White flags will not be lifted, ka whawhai tōnu mātou. This fight is for justice but with no blood shed.” Keita Moses & Cynthia WiRepa-Kingi
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  • Return to COVID-19 Elimination
    A return to Elimination with improvements to the COVID Alert Levels is the way forward. We urge people to sign, to email their MPs, and to go on social media to say that we support a return to COVID Elimination, with improved economic supports, so we can effectively end the spread of COVID in our communities. The way to Level 1 is a supported Level 4. Our lives depend on it. The lives of our children and our whānau depend on it. We have done it before, we can do it again, if the government enables us.
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  • Open Letter to the Hon Chris Hipkins – put Māori health needs first
    We are writing to express our extreme disappointment, concern and outrage at your statement on 06 October 2021 that you are not sure the Government would be stepping away from the Covid19 elimination strategy if the general population had the same vaccination rate as Māori. We believe that you have just confirmed the worst fears of many tangata whenua and tangata Tiriti people that the Crown still regards the Māori population as disposable? The implications of your statement are destructive. Firstly, the history of pandemics in this country has been a history of various forms of discrimination and neglect against Māori communities with the mass graves to prove it. Why would you perpetuate this tradition by making a statement that implies a high-risk community is not worthy of the highest level of consideration, protection and resources? The lower vaccination rates are a call to change monocultural strategies not a call to put them at increased risk when you know what that risk amounts to. Secondly you are failing the Crown obligations to be in an honourable relationship with whānau, hapū, iwi and all Māori organisations. Māori are not a minority group or stakeholder in the struggle against Covid 19. Their rangatiratanga means the Crown has an obligation to negotiate regarding changes to a strategy that has direct and potentially disastrous effects on Māori. Thirdly you are undermining the Māori communities and health professionals fighting so hard to work with you and protect people. The success of the vaccination programme in places like rural Tairāwhiti and Te Whānau Apanui, the generous and effective programmes led by urban Māori groups tell us what works. People have been giving their all to ensure this pandemic does not decimate a population with health issues caused by years of inequity in the health system.
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  • Respect The Rāhui - Supporting the protection of our Oceans
    Our moana is under increasing stress from many different effects including chronic overfishing by industrialised methods such as dredging and trawling in the coastal marine areas which has led to the significant decline of treasured species to both Māori and the wider community. The community supported the actions of hapū / iwi to make the applications of protecting these taonga species. Mauri o te Moana hosted an online hui with Māori leaders in this space, who have been waiting for months for a response from the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, David Parker. The Fisheries Act has provisions for Māori values through its customary regulations, however these provisions are problematic and challenging for tangata whenua to use. The Fisheries Act, section 186A temporary closure application that has been sitting with the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, David Parker for over 8 months, this delay has resulted in the continuation of destructive activities. Māori leaders have found the tool to be prohibitory, slow and disconnected from addressing the chronic marine degradation caused by overfishing. Several hapū and iwi of Te Moananui a Kiwa have applied under the Fisheries Act regulations for closure to fisheries to speed up recovery of taonga species. Link to Hapu and Iwi Applications: - Ngāti Hei https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-temporary-closure-of-the-eastern-coromandel-coast-to-the-harvest-of-scallops/ “I’m really blown away by the support and I believe it’s going to start a chain reaction of rāhui.” - Joe Davis https://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/300344835/hallelujah-moment--pito-bay-scallop-rhui-unites-community-creates-ripple-effect - Ngāti Kahu - Whangaroa Harbour https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-temporary-closure-of-the-whangaroa-area-to-the-harvest-of-scallops/ The closure was requested by Nga Hapū o Karangahape marae, Whānau pani, Ngāti Kaitangata and Ngāti Kauwau, who are concerned scallop stocks have been depleted due to flooding, sediment, dredging, water quality, overfishing and climate change. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/far-north-scallop-ban-public-in-favour-of-whangaroa-harvesting-rahui/LWFRLFWGLQ2HDU625NVTZOAWGY/ - Ngāti Pāoa - Te Moutere o Waiheke https://www.mpi.govt.nz/consultations/proposed-temporary-closure-around-waiheke-island-to-harvest-of-scallops-mussels-rock-lobster-paua/ "There's nothing to actually take anymore, so that's the real concern for our iwi. So it was quite a simple, easy decision to make, to actually put on the table that we need to lay down a rāhui to restrict everyone from taking particularly species that are now extinct," - Herearoha Skipper https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/two-year-rahui-for-waiheke-island-waters-to-protect-kaimoana/4Z7OHUUDFR2VZJZ22FTAAG2NVE/ Tangata whenua, marae, hapū and iwi are experiencing the degradation of their rohe first hand. The loss of taonga species associated with these areas has been distressing and made the maintenance of tikanga (customary practices) more challenging as localised extinction occurs in the near shore coastal environment. #RespectTheRāhui #MaurioteMoana https://www.facebook.com/mauriotemoana
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  • Police bias at Pūtiki Bay marina development
    On Thursday the 15th July the police deployed 6 Police Boats, 4 Paddy wagons, a helicopter, 2 drones, Police Media, diving squad & dog, and an estimated 4 police units (up to 100 police) all to arrest four peaceful protestors from Protect Pūtiki for 'wilful trespass', two of whom are Ngāti Paoa and whakapapa to the island, who were occupying the pontoon at the time. It remains un-clear who ordered the operation and why it was considered necessary to deploy such excessive police force. Maori wardens had been on site for at least a week and it is understood they had no forewarning of this operation. Protect Pūtiki and the wider community of Aotearoa demand an examination into why Police are continuing to uphold the corporate interests of this particular development, Kennedy Point Boat Harbour Ltd. At present, the Police have shown a commitment to empowering the KPBH Ltd. marina development with a continued daily basis, on-site presence. Police have facilitated the developers in forcibly delivering peaceful protestors in the Moana to the police boat where they are then arrested. We demand Commissioner Andrew Coster initiate an inquiry into the increased police presence immediately. Over the last month, when requests for assistance are made by protectors to police these calls often go unanswered, including in situations where no police have been present on site and protectors have sought their presence to provide for safety of all involved. Local police have chosen to not engage in order to maintain their community relationships but as a result their absence has left protectors without support when needed. Overall, the police presence has largely resulted in escalation of the situation rather than to de-escalation. There has been close to 80 complaints laid with the police department from both protectors and developers, largely regarding assaults and trespassing but to date only the protectors have been charged and appeared in court. We believe a formal apology from New Zealand Police addressed to the kaitiaki/protectors of the Pūtiki occupation is a reasonable demand that should accompany this inquiry. If the police presence is to be maintained at Putiki then as a bottom line they must uphold their own code of conduct which includes impartiality and ensuring safety of all participants - not purely to trespass or arrest kaitiaki/protectors and enable further development. Tautoko our main petition: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/protectputiki And stay updated with the occupation via IG: @protectputiki | Twitter: protect_putiki | Facebook: Protect Pūtiki | Email: protectputiki@gmail.com
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  • Power to the people: A right, not a privilege!
    The energy industry is full of solutions for people AFTER they have felt the impacts of power poverty and AFTER they have been disconnected. What is missing is an electricity retailer specifically designed to support vulnerable consumers, that can work with whānau to prevent those things from happening. The only way that this retailer can exist is if Generators, Government and all other players in the industry commit to work together in the Spirit of Manaakitanga. This is what true partnership looks like between tangata whenua and tangata tiriti. Solving this issue is not one that can be done alone - but one in which Māori must be involved in. Let us demonstrate a partnership our Tūpuna (ancestors), Tangata (people) and Tamariki (children) will be proud of. Power companies can switch off electricity for vulnerable whānau who aren't able to pay their power bill and turn others away if they have struggled to pay their bills in the past. With 17% of people saying they had trouble paying their power bill last year (Consumer NZ, 2020), hundreds of thousands of Kiwis are vulnerable to going without sufficient power to meet their needs, not in the future but right now! According to the ICCC report (2019), if the Government’s 100 per cent renewable energy goal is achieved by 2035, the average power costs for households would increase by 14%. And while we stand with the Government’s goal of decarbonising Aotearoa, we want to make sure policy is in place that means no whānau is left behind. If nothing changes, the amount of whānau living in energy hardship will accelerate. We believe money should NOT be a prerequisite to accessing sufficient energy to keep a whānau warm. No one should have the power to deny a parent the ability to feed their tamariki and keep the whare warm and dry. Over the past year, Nau Mai Rā has proven that if whānau are treated like whānau they will pay their bills on time every time, regardless of their credit history. By allowing us the responsibility to take care of power for vulnerable whānau, no New Zealander will be left out in the cold. Let's work together in the spirit of manaakitanga and ensure no whānau is left behind. Your support of this petition could solve power poverty in Aotearoa. Let us look after whānau Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi With your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive Ezra Hirawani Te Āti Haunui-a-Paparangi / Ngāti Rangi / Ngāpuhi / Ngāti Hako / Waikato Tainui Ben Armstrong Ngāti Hine / Waikato Tainui Read Stuff's recent article here for more information: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/125262459/many-of-our-energy-assets-are-built-on-mori-land-so-why-do-mori-disproportionately-endure-power-poverty
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  • #ProtectPūtiki
    When consent to this marina was granted, our stories were excluded. If we are not heard now, developers benefit directly from the displacement of our people, the displacement of our mātauranga and further colonise our environment in the process. Auckland Council and the Crown have a relationship with us under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. They are in a partnership with Ngāti Pāoa as mana whenua. In fact, when our iwi had our treaty settlement at Wharekawa Marae earlier this year, the Crown explicitly recognised the many historical grievances that Ngāti Paoa have endured which have directly caused the fragmentation of our people. As Uri o Ngāti Paoa, we want this recognition to go beyond words by enabling us the right to be heard now that we have begun to regather and heal. The partnership we are in comes with the responsibility for Tiriti partners to recognise and respond to the dynamic contexts and history of different hapū and iwi in a way that is more than just a minimal box-checking consultation process. It is imperative that developers engage in a robust consultation process that enables wider representation from mana whenua. This way, mātauranga which is directly relevant to the consideration of resource consents can be heard. A Rūnanga cannot speak for all voices of an iwi, for all hapū of that iwi, and for all people who whakapapa to that iwi. Active protection from Tiriti partners requires an inquiry into whether notification and “consultation” has reached those who are affected by a proposal. Through the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust, this did not occur. Auckland Council have acknowledged that the legal mandated entity for Ngāti Pāoa at the time (the Ngāti Pāoa Trust Board) and the people of Ngāti Pāoa were not consulted, but the Supreme Court determined that nevertheless, this does not need to be reheard by the environment court. We say that this does not come close to fulfilling Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations and the principle of Active Protection. We say that we need to be heard by the environment court in order for an active relationship and partnership that supports tino rangatiratanga to be upheld. ⭑ Background Our bay at Pūtiki is under threat from the construction of a 7.3 hectare marina by developers Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited. Amongst the plans of this marina are 186 berths sized from 10 to 30 metres, two septic tanks for blackwater and greywater sunk into the seabed and Aotearoa New Zealand's first floating car park. Hundreds of steel piles could be drilled into the seabed of the moana here at Pūtiki Bay to float the concrete structures of the marina. Tikapa Moana is an ancestral taonga for many hapū and iwi, including Ngāti Pāoa. Pūtiki bay is a wāhi taonga, a significant cultural landscape. The bay is the landing site of the ancestral Arawa and Tainui waka. After its great ocean crossing, Te Arawa waka named and journeyed through Tikapa Moana, finally coming into Pūtiki to be relashed. The day of relashing resulted in the awa, wetland, moana and nearby whenua being called ‘Te Rangihoua’ (The Day of Renewal). After exploring Tikapa further, the Arawa journeyed on to Maketu in the Bay of Plenty. Kahumatamomoe, (Son of Tamatekapua, Captain of the Arawa waka) and some of his whānau returned to Rangihoua to settle and named their pā site ‘Te Pūtiki o Kahumatamomoe’ (The Topknot of Kahumatamomoe). The whanga (bay) and moana, they named Pūtiki. More than 65 recognised archeological sites as well as other wāhi tapu surround this bay. Pūtiki Bay is a significant cultural landscape and a visual repository of our taonga, our whakapapa, our history. Tikapa Moana as a whole is already under threat. In every successive Hauraki Gulf Forum ‘State of the Gulf’ report, Tikapa Moana is found to be suffering continual environmental degradation. The State of the Gulf 2017 report states that the marine environment is seriously depleted and contaminated by developments, such as marinas. Any marina here on Waiheke would continue this destruction of our moana. The State of Our Gulf report 2020 found that many things have been lost or degraded from Tikapa Moana, and it has been progressively reshaped by human activities, often irreversibly. We know this marina would desecrate the cultural landscape of Pūtiki in a way which will be hugely damaging, character changing and irrevocable for Tikapa Moana. It will impact the taonga species that call Tikapa Moana and Pūtiki bay their home, amongst which are kororā (little blue penguins), makō (sharks), aihe (dolphins) and parāoa (whales). Our growing mātauranga of Pūtiki and connections with this bay are critical as a representation of our relationship as Ngāti Paoa, as Waiheke Islanders, and as people with nature and with our ocean at large. Now and for future generations, urgently encouraging and nurturing relationships of connection with the taiao (environment) are even more critical because this very moana is on the brink of ecological collapse. The proposed marina does not encourage a relationship of nurturing our natural environment, nor connecting with the mātauranga that carries life, culture and history. Instead, it furthers the monopolisation and privatisation of our cultural landscapes and environment. It is urgent that we actively protect and preserve our moana and restore its mauri which is under threat. Protect Pūtiki. #ProtectPūtiki @protectputiki https://www.facebook.com/protectputiki
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  • Māori Wards on Horizons Regional Council
    Māori remain woefully underrepresented in local government around the country. Having a representative elected directly by those on the Māori electoral roll ensures that a specifically Māori perspective is present in the council chamber. Given the ever-increasing legislative importance of recognising and incorporating such perspectives in all public decision-making, that can only lead to better council processes. Māori knowledge and perspectives are hugely beneficial when considering land use, conservation practises, climate crisis responses, local business, tourism, and the protection of vulnerable communities, for example.
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    Created by Fiona Kahukura Chase
  • Careers in Kapa Haka
    The current issue with recruiting and the retention of qualified and professional kapa haka tutors in schools is a serious concern… Tamariki love kapa haka! The number of students who are participating and passionate about kapa haka is growing all the time! The student's knowledge of Te Reo me ona Tikanga Māori and confidence grow as they learn waiata, haka and other skills. We have seen improvements in the attendance and engagement of many students through a good quality kapa haka group. But finding the right people to fulfil that teaching role is a major and ongoing struggle. The Problem for Kura... As a national education priority (NEG 9 and NEG 10), the ability to find affordable, suitable and committed tutors shouldn't be so difficult. Schools are scrambling around every year to find professional tutors. On more than one occasion we have had people commit to tutoring our groups and then pull out in week one, term one! The anxiety this induces when you have up to 140 kids sitting in a hall ready to learn kapa haka is intense! The solution to this has been employing independent professional tutors. However, they are expensive, especially for smaller schools. Furthermore, the pull between priority curriculum areas and funding Māori performing arts is difficult for principals and boards of trustees. Funding is often prioritised to literacy and numeracy, science and technology, PE and LEOTC (NEG 5). The responsibility for funding Māori Performing Arts is a choice that should not be on the heads of individual principals and boards. As we are bound by Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Article Two), to protect this taonga and this should be done at a national level. Tutors are hard to find and relying on whānau to do the teaching of kapa haka is neither a respectful nor a sustainable option. Once you do find a volunteer (or someone who does the job for koha) the retention of tutors is difficult, life circumstances change for volunteers, more financially viable opportunities come up, new educational opportunities arise and family commitments, at times, take precedent. Many tutors cannot commit (for free) long-term to a school program. The problem for professional tutors... To run a free-market-style business funded by schools can be difficult for kapa haka experts. Particularly in relation to supporting families and maintaining a start-up business model or in the long term. Tutors can only charge what schools can afford and need to do all the mahi of running a business, understanding finances and organsing amongst many schools. They, therefore, need to have a certain amount of energy, confidence, and know-how to take these risks to manage this effectively. This is not an easy model for many people to set-up and run long term. As stated previously, schools are left to rely on whānau who volunteer or are given koha. This often puts pressure on whānau who have their own work and family commitments. It is not respectful to ask for so much for free, in a world where money is the formal acknowledgment of value. This feels disrespectful and is disheartening, to say the least for those who are asked to give so much for so little. On top of that, some tutors may not have the teaching skills required and it can be a daunting task for a whanau member (or two) to tutor a large group of children. There is usually little or no teaching training for these people and it can be seriously challenging for them. In summary, there are few or no professional and secure career pathways for people skilled in kapa haka. We need to create a system where people can achieve success in a Māori world and then have that honored with financial stability and security in the wider community. In short, the current system is not respectful of Māori mahi or the enormous value and importance placed on kapa haka by our tamariki. The schools are doing the best they can to fill this gap, but it shouldn't be this difficult to honour our commitments to Te Reo me Ona Tikanga Māori, me, Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We are calling that the taonga of kapa haka is protected through supported career pathways, that our tamariki have no obstacles to participation and that the Government and Iwi in partnership have a discussion and make a plan to implement structures for a long term tautoko of kapa haka. So join us to fight for paid professional kapa haka tutors in every school!
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    Created by Anna-Marie Stewart