National | Ihumātao

Ihumātao - 'Don't forget, the Crown caused this problem', Moana Jackson

Moana Jackson told Te Ao with Moana the Crown is responsible for the situation at Ihumātao and also the division it has created.  Photo/File.

Lawyer Moana Jackson says Ihumātao represents a ‘crystallising’ of numerous injustices against Māori and although people may not know all the background they know injustice when they see it.

“I think what Ihumātao illustrates - as say Pākaitore did, the foreshore and seabed, Raglan, Bastion Point - they illustrate that sometimes the history of an injustice becomes crystallised in a particular moment, in a particular piece of whenua and people may not necessarily know all the history, they may have a jaundice or misunderstood view of the history, but they recognise an injustice,” says Jackson.

He says the people who are calling out this unfairness at places like Ihumātao should be respected.

“While some may go to those places for their own reasons, I think it is that recognition of the injustice that this is not right, this is inconsistent with the treaty, inconsistent with what the treaty envisaged this country could be and people respond to that and I think they should be respected for that.”

Jackson says Māori can avoid conflict over Ihumātao by being “patiently understanding” with each other and remembering it is the Crown that created the problem.

“By bearing in mind what the initial injustice was and how that injustice still needs to be resolved and that is the malfeasance, the dishonourable conduct of the Crown, to try and understand the damaging effects that injustice still has on our people, not just Ihumātao but around the country,” he says.

According to Jackson, the Crown is the one who must right the situation.

“Keep going back to who caused the harm, and the causing of the harm was the Crown and the Crown still has responsibility for the damage," he says.

"Part of the ongoing effects of that damage is the fracturing and the division that it has caused among our people. And we need to be, I think, patiently understanding really of the causes of that division and keep looking at what was the originating cause, which was the Crown.”

WATCH the extended interview with Moana Jackson here.