Local ‘mana whenua‘ Ngati Haua, signed an agreement in principle to settle their land claims and historical grievances with the Crown in the weekend. I mention a few of the factors mentioned to me in the lead-up to this event and pass comment.
I popped down to the local marae on Saturday and watched as the local tangata whenua (people of the land) signed an agreement to move forward with an agreement with the Crown. I know that sounds weird but that’s what they did – apparently this is all part of the process – an agreement to agree that in a year or two an agreement may or may not be signed.
I’ve been told that the correct phrase is “mana whenua” not “tangata whenua”. I do not know if this is just a local idiosyncrasy or a nationwide thing. Forgive me if I get this wrong, please.
I liked the fact that the flags flew, well one came down due to its age and was draped over a table and didn’t fly and I absolutely loved the effort that the team put into making their marae look cool for the day. A pristine building and land really makes their presence felt properly in the Pakeha world for sure. Mana, for real.
A few random comments and thoughts then that I have picked up along the way . . .
Grievances. Most people will look at the dollar values and the media will likely focus on the $19m. I think that while this is natural, that the heart of the matter are grievances stemming back to historical events whereby bad faith has occurred. Using power and misrepresenting the situation (abuse) meant that Ngati Haua lost a lot at the hands of injustice. No Crown should ever have done what they did – either way back when or today. They did and do, of course but that is the nature of power. People seek it and get it in order to use it. They always use it when they get it. That’s just the way things are!
Secrecy. I’ve noted a huge reticence from Ngati Haua (as with many others too I might add) to retaining control of critical information. This is totally unbiblical because secrets are the reverse of His nature and it is His wish to trust, love and share.
Maturity. Ngati Haua claims to have a degree of maturity in their position within Maoridom, therefore they have a greater responsibility. I don’t know this but it could indeed be so.
Coldness. While Saturday’s event was obviously a private event, the welcoming spirit that the Maori are renowned for was not present. This is a historical spiritual matter whereby the Wairua will be moving through people, time and matter to spread the beauty of the King Country far and wide. In time I believe that this coldness will convert to a warmth that will engage globally.
Elite. The current leadership is presented as united. I don’t believe that it is. It seems to me that there is evidence of self-interest and a defensiveness akin to the old-school of hurt, pain and suffering.
For the future. I noted that Chairman of the Ngati Haua Iwi Trust, Graham Bell spoke of the future as it belongs to the younger generation. This resonated with me and I wonder what vision he and his team has for the iwi moving forward. Having established roots in multiple cultures I look forward to engaging with Ngati Haua as or if they choose to do so.
Hopefully those agin me locally will come to see reality from another perspective as I stand up for what I believe is right, day after day, year after year. It’s a marathon people not a sprint and we are just a small cog in the big picture. We’re not the focus!