20,000 signatures reached
To: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Get Jacinda to Ihumaatao!
We ask Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to visit the whenua and kaitiaki at Ihumaatao.
Why is this important?
Ihumaatao is a rare cultural heritage landscape that marks the arrival of the first Polynesians who settled here 800 years ago.
The waahi tapu (sacred land) now threatened by destruction is part of this landscape and adjoins one of Aotearoa’s most complex archaeological sites - the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve.
In 1863, this land was confiscated because our people refused to pledge allegiance to the English Queen. They were threatened, attacked, robbed and exiled, and sought refuge in Waikato. When they returned, their land had been given to settlers, the Wallace family.
In 2014, the Wallace family agreed to sell the land to Fletcher Building. Auckland Council and the Government also approved this whenua as a Special Housing Area for 480 homes.
But the most affected people, the Ahikaa (the people of the local marae and whanau of Ihumaatao village) were not consulted. So, six cousins from Makaurau Marae, with the blessing of their people, created the SOUL campaign.
For five years the cousins and their supporters have worked hard to stop the development. Since November 2016, kaitiaki have peacefully occupied the land whilst campaigning to #protectihumatao.
On Tuesday 23 July around 100 police, along with Fletcher representatives and others, arrived at Ihumaatao to issue eviction notices.
Since then, thousands of protectors have come from all over Aotearoa and the world to support our struggle to reclaim the whenua.
During the reclamation, we have reached out to our Prime Minister many times, asking her to walk the whenua; to experience, koorero and acknowledge this kaupapa.
Until our Prime Minister experiences this whenua for herself, we won’t feel confident she has a true sense of what’s at stake or will deeply appreciate why this whenua matters so much and to so many of her people.
When Jacinda became Prime Minister, she promised a kinder approach and we believed her. Under her leadership, the Government can right the wrong of the original raupatu (confiscation) by returning the land wrongfully stolen by the Crown. As Minister of Culture and Heritage she also has a duty to protect this rare archaeological taonga and sacred land from desecration.
Your information will be shared with Protect Ihumātao - SOUL campaign and ActionStation who will get in contact from time to time about this campaign and others. You are free to opt out at anytime.
Video credit: Conan Fitzpatrick
Photo credit: John Kieran Hettig
How it will be delivered
On Thursday 22nd August, we will hikoi from Ihumaatao to Jacinda’s office in Mt Albert, Auckland to deliver the invitation in person. Sign the invitation and come join us on our hikoi!