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August 5, 2019 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua!

When the people have disappeared, the land remains.


Ko taku whenua taku ūkaipō, taku tūranga waewae, te wāhi e moe roa ai ō mātou tīpuna. Ko te whenua tā rātou waihotanga mai mo te reanga ake. Ko te whenua, te mauri o te tangata, te kapa o tōna manawa. Ko mātou ngā uri o te raupatu whenua, te kōhuru tangata, engari i tēnei ao hurihuri kua huri hoki mātou hei kaitiaki o ō mātou whenua.  


Kupu pākehā cannot begin to explain the connection we, as Māori, have to the whenua. 

It is not translatable, but for the sake of this news article I urge you, the reader, to understand.

Understand that whenua is a kupu used by my people for both the land and the placenta. 

Understand that the placenta is our first home, and the land is our second. 

Understand that we return our placenta to the land to keep the cycle going. 

Understand that our māmā ate kai from the whenua to ensure the whenua inside them provided us with warmth, with comfort, with life. 

Understand that we live off the whenua before we are even born. 


When you understand the strength, the complexities, the intrinsic importance of this connection—only then can you begin to understand the pain that tangata whenua o Ihumātao are going through. The pain that Māori have suffered since colonisation.  


Ihumātao is Māori land. It was illegally confiscated off of Māori by the Crown in 1863. The confiscation of this land was a direct breach of Te Tiriti. Tangata whenua from all across the motu have bound together at Ihumātao to stop Fletcher Building from developing this whenua into a 480-home subdivision. 


Understand that, despite what the mainstream media might be telling you—this is not a “development” for the people of Ihumātao and the people who whakapapa directly to that whenua. This is a desecration of whenua for profit that will result in the eviction of tangata whenua from their ancestral home.  


Look after the land, and it will look after you. And those before you. And those after you. 


Māori mā, Pākeha mā, Tauiwi mā me ngā tāngata katoa o Hawaiiki nui hoki. 



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