National | Kīngitanga

Kīngitanga arrives at Rātana with a clear message for coalition govt: ‘Work with us or get out of our way’

Hundreds of people from the Kīngitanga, Tainui Waka and Te Pāti Māori were welcomed to Rātana Pā today.

Kīngi Tūheitia asked his delegation to take the mauri from te hui-ā-motu held last Saturday to Rātana, Kīngitanga chief of staff Ngira Simmonds says.

“The overwhelming message from more than 10,000 people at hui-ā-motu was kotahitanga and upholding the mana of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and we bring that message here to Rātana.”

Tomorrow, the Kīngitanga will deliver its message of mana motuhake on behalf of iwi Māori to the Crown and political leaders. Calling for the protection of te reo, a voice for rangatahi, more Māori kaupapa-driven businesses and fulfilling Princess Te Puea’s vision of a Māori hospital, all examples of mana motuhake that were endorsed at the hui-ā-motu.

Kīngitanga spokesperson Rahui Papa also told Te Ao Māori News that the topics of discussion are not “hindering on the coalition arrangements or the coalition government.”

“It’s about Māori setting their pathway and then saying to the government ‘Here’s our pathway. You work with us or get out of our way’.”

Today marked the first time that members of a political party, Te Pāti Māori, were welcomed alongside Te Kīngitanga onto Rātana Pā.

“That means that people actually want to align themselves with their whakapapa not necessarily with their party lines and so we’ve got a smattering of Te Pāti Māori, of ex-Labour, of a whole host of people but they’re here because of their whakapapa and the mana of their tūpuna rather than the political party that they represent.”

Historical links between Te Kīngitanga and Rātana

Papa said Te Kīngitanga and Rātana have close historical links, underpinned by their support of Te Tiriti and mana motuhake.

“The Kīngitanga is here because of the embodiment of the spirit of Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana in his time and we are staunch believers when the wairua and the kikokiko, the spiritual and the physical walk together we will achieve our aspirations,” he said.

“When Kīngi Taawhiao (the second Māori King) travelled to England in the 1880s, he said ‘Waiho mai Te Tiriti hei korowai mōku’. Similarly, Tahupōtiki Wiremu Ratana always travelled with two books in his hands Te Tiriti and Te Paipera Tapu (the Bible), representing the physical and spiritual worlds.”

In 1924, Kīngitanga tumuaki Tupu Taingaakawa joined Haami Tokouru Ratana and Rewiti Te Whena on a delegation to England to petition the British Crown over confiscated lands and upholding of the Treaty. They also petitioned the League of Nations in Geneva.

“Our prophets and leaders felt their obligation to the mana of Te Tiriti, which their descendants continue to feel today.”

Simmonds says, “As Kīngi Tuheitia reminded us, our work has just begun and we must continue to advocate for te iwi Māori and upholding of the Treaty. Te Kīngi also encouraged people to be proud of their culture and to celebrate being Māori all day, every day.”