Indigenous | Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Thousands expected at national hui at Tūrangawaewae for mana motuhake action plan

More than 3000 guests are expected to attend Kīngi Tuheitia’s hui-ā-motu at Tūrangawaewae Marae this Saturday to lay down their ideas for mana motuhake and hold the government to account.

The king issued a royal proclamation in December calling for the national hui to unify the nation. Kīngitanga chief of staff Ngira Simmonds said there was a lot of unhelpful and divisive rhetoric during and following the 2023 election campaign, felt by many New Zealanders – both Māori and non-Māori.

The policies concerning Māori include the coalition government’s proposals to dissolve the country’s Māori Health Authority, roll back the use of the Māori language, end the country’s limits on tobacco sales and review the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Simmonds says, “We have invited people to lay down their kōrero and their aspirations and ideas for mana motuhake and upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

The hui will be one of several opportunities for people to express their views and explore potential solutions.

“Mana motuhake is an approach offering solutions and hope for the future of our nation. Māori can lead for all, and we are prepared to do that.”

In a statement, the Kīngitanga said for the past five decades te iwi Māori had worked tirelessly to achieve substantial gains for future generations by asserting rights and interests under the Treaty of Waitangi.

“These achievements have been secured via grassroots action, protests, advocacy, negotiations, legal opinion and cases, petitions, submissions to Parliament, and legislation. All of this has been accompanied by a renaissance in cultural understanding and pride and a burgeoning Māori economy with significant businesses and assets.”

Tainui iwi chairman Tukoroirangi Morgan, a former politician, said that, since the election, statements had been made by the coalition government about prospective Crown policies and decisions which were in direct conflict with the Crown’s commitments and related obligations to Waikato-Tainui.

“If implemented, those actions would undermine decades of work and progress to address the adverse effects of the raupatu (confiscation) and improve both the health and wellbeing of the people of Waikato-Tainui, and the health and wellbeing of our lands, waters and other resources,” Morgan said in an opinion piece on Te Ao News.

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith said last week the government took Treaty settlements seriously and valued te reo Māori.

“Yet proposals set out in the government’s coalition agreements and statements by other members of the government are completely at odds with that,” Morgan said.

On Wednesday, January 10, Waikato-Tainui filed proceedings in the Wellington High Court seeking declarations to affirm the rights and interests of Waikato-Tainui and the corresponding obligations of the Crown.

“Let me assure readers that Waikato-Tainui is ready, we are mobilised and will not only pursue these matters in the court but will bring them to the very steps of Parliament itself if necessary. We will take every course available to us to protect our rights and interests and hold the Crown to its commitments under both our settlements and Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” Morgan said.

Simmonds said the hui-ā-motu at Tūrangawaewae Marae would be open to all. Discussions would also be held online. A web and mobile app will be available for guests to access the agenda, key documents and send questions.