Māori set to gather in Hastings for next National Hui

8:07 pm on 27 May 2024
Attendees listen to speakers on Saturday morning, at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia.

Thousands attended a nationwide hui at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia, on 20 January, 2024. Photo: RNZ/ Ella Stewart

Māori from across Aotearoa will gather in Hastings this Friday for the next Hui Taumata.

The hui is the next in a series which began at the start of the year when Kiingi Tuheitia called for a National Hui for Unity.

The mauri of that hui was then taken to Rātana Pā, Waitangi Day commemorations and continued to the National Iwi Chairs Forum (NICF) a month later.

Ngāti Kahungunu chairperson Bayden Barber, who is hosting in association with NICF and other tribal authorities, said the hui at Omāhu Marae would seek to identify ways Māori could unify.

"One of the key themes spoken of at each of these hui was the need for Iwi Māori to unify. We must come together as an irresistible force that cannot be ignored, no matter who is sitting in government."

Māori must not lose momentum, Barber said.

"We need to take advantage of the energy and passion that is out there. The timing is right."

In preparation for Friday's hui, organisers had made documents and power points available on the Hui Taumata website.

The documents included discussion papers exploring the idea of a National Iwi Alliance which would function as an entity completely separately from the Crown.

Ngāti Toa Rangatira chief executive Helmut Modlik, who facilitated the NCIF wānanga in Rotorua in February, said the time for talking was done.

"We've done the talking. It's now time to do the mahi and consider what Kotahitanga could look like in the 21st Century. If we are to truly achieve Rangatiratanga as a people, we need to come together, but it needs form and function," Modlik said.

His discussion paper, titled 'Towards a Māori Nation', set out what an initial model for a federation of iwi Māori could look like.

Barber said Kohitanga was key to gaining influence.

Bayden Barber of Ngāti Kahungunu speaks as a delegation including representatives from Kīngitanga, Rātana, Parihaka and Te Pāti Māori is welcomed on to Te Whare Rūnanga at the Treaty grounds, on 4 February, 2024.

Bayden Barber of Ngāti Kahungunu speaks as a delegation including representatives from Kīngitanga, Rātana, Parihaka and Te Pāti Māori is welcomed on to Te Whare Rūnanga at the Treaty grounds, on 4 February, 2024. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

"We have numerous existing collectives within Te Ao Māori such as the National Iwi Chairs Forum, NZ Māori Council, Māori Womens Welfare League etc. and they all play an important role, however, we are yet to achieve the Kotahitangi needed to truly influence.

"This government continues to ignore us. We need to change that," he said.

'Prove the might of our economy' - Calls for national Māori strike sweep social media

Māori activist rōpu Toitū Te Tiriti have issued a national call to action asking Māori to go on strike this Thursday to "prove the might of our economy".

A 'Save the Date' post issued on Sunday announced a 'National Activation #2' would take place on Thursday to coincide with the government's budget announcement.

Details released on Monday said the goal was to demonstrate a unified response to the government's "assault on Tangata Whenua and Te Tiriti o Waitangi".

Thousands of people responded to a national call to action shared by Te Pāti Māori in December last year with 'Carkoi' and 'Hikoi' organised in main centres and rural communities.

Organisers issued a series of posts asking 'all Māori and Tangata Tiriti to GO ON STRIKE for the day to prove the might of our economy by disconnecting entirely from it', it urged supporters to instead use the day to attend their nearest 'rally/hikoi' in their region.

The National Urban Māori Authority and Te Kōhao Health would co-ordinate a 'Carkoi' on the southern motorway in the Waikato Tainui region with further action being taken at key roundabouts in Hamilton later in the afternoon.

Toitū Te Tiriti - Tairāwhiti announced a 'Haka Activation' event would take place in Gisborne tomorrow evening as part of the lead up.

The post included audio of the haka 'Te Tiriti o Waitangi' composed by the late Dr Ngapo Wehi and an open invite to anyone wanting to participate in learning and performing it.

Tapeta Wehi of Te Wehi Haka would host the event at Tautua Village and organisers said the haka "carries a rich legacy and deep meaning still relevant for our mokopuna of today".

Further details of locations and activity would be released later.

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