Regional | Ngāpuhi

Māori government challenge before Ngāpuhi

The establishment of a Māori government is the challenge put to Ngāpuhi at today's commemoration of the signing of the 1835 Declaration of Independence at Waitangi.

178 years on, descendants of the signatories continue to seek the realisation of that covenant.

In elder Nuki Alridge's view, the commemoration of this covenant must continue because it is a sovereign covenant bequeathed to their descendants.

Today, the nation's first flag was flying over Waitangi and tribes within the wider Ngāpuhi grouping say the Crown continues to trample this covenant.

Rihari Dargaville believes the Crown should not give the Rūnanga and its chair the mandate to speak on the whole iwi's behalf.

Members of the Confederation of Tribes are already meeting with island nations for the establishment of branches across the wider Pacific.

Kingi Taurua says Frank Bainimarama is keen to align with the Confederation of Chiefs.

According to Mr Taurua, Bainimarama will open a new branch of the Pacific Island Development Forum in Fiji on Nov 10, and many island nations, including Indonesia, will attend.

Mr Taurua says the forum is aimed at establishing sovereignty.

Those who signed the 1835 Declaration were well aware that its intention would not be realised through discussion alone.

Today, those aspirations remain for the Māori nation to realise.

Mr Aldridge says Māori should commemorate the hardships (our) ancestors faced.  That what they didn't realise in their time remains for their grandchildren to pursue.

While Mr Dargaville believes it won't be until Māori establishes their own government, as initiated by the ancestors in their time, will Māori sovereignty be realised in this day.