Hon­our­ing the same kind of lin­eage

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By ES­THER LAUAKI

‘‘It’s the start of a new era in re­la­tions be­tween Maori and Pa­cific peo­ple in Porirua,’’ said Ngati Toa kau­matua Thom Kenny, as he re­flected on the his­toric powhiri which saw the Pa­cific com­mu­nity of­fi­cially wel­comed to the city.

Mr Kenny said last Wed­nes­day’s aus­pi­cious oc­ca­sion was a long­stand­ing vi­sion of the late kau­matua Te Puoho Katene and Ken Arthur.

‘‘It was some­thing that should have hap­pened a long time ago. It’s a ge­neal­ogy, we’re all Poly­ne­sians liv­ing in the Pa­cific and we’re the same kind of lin­eage.

‘‘ Now that we have wel­comed them onto the marae we’ll have a city that is more in­clu­sive of ev­ery­body. The gods were smil­ing on ev­ery­one that day.’’

Porirua deputy mayor Liz Kelly said the Pa­cific Min­is­ters’ Fo­rum had ap­proached her some time ago want­ing to know how to en­gage more with the Ngati Toa, and the kau­matua has sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments.

‘‘It came 50 years late but it’s never too late. The im­por­tant part is that this is the way for­ward for all par­ties. I thought it was neat. Ngati Toa can take [ the Pa­cific Is­land com­mu­nity] un­der their watch­ful eye.’’

How­ever, city councillor Litea Ah Hoi chal­lenged the sig­nif­i­cance of the event and said she did not see the need for a for­mal wel­come.

‘‘As far as I’m concerned, my fore­fa­thers fought along­side Maori in those wars and at the end of the day we all came on the same waka and have lived to­gether all these years.

‘‘I see tan­gata whenua as my re­la­tions and you don’t for­mally wel­come your re­la­tions into your home. It just seems like a to­kenis­tic ges­ture to me.’’

Pa­cific Min­is­ters’ Fo­rum sec­re­tary Pas­tor Ter­e­moana Tauira said the com­bined strengths of both com­mu­ni­ties would make things bet­ter for Porirua.

‘‘Both peo­ples have com­mon is­sues in terms of hous­ing, health, eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion and crime. I think the next thing we can do is ad­dress these is­sues in Porirua. We can tap into our strengths in Maori and Pa­cific cul­tures be­cause we have a lot of com­mon­al­i­ties . . .’’ he said. ‘‘The next step is to sit down and have a se­ri­ous talk about what we can do for our peo­ple.’’

One peo­ple: A kai wera lays down the chal­lenge to Pa­cific Is­land lead­ers dur­ing the powhiri last Wed­nes­day.

Wel­come: Porirua’s Toke­lauan com­mu­nity per­form a dance af­ter they of­fered gifts of finely wo­ven fans to Ngati Toa.

One land: A kai wera (Maori war­rior) raises the Tino Ran­gati­ratanga flag along­side the Ahi Kaa flag of Ngati Toa to wel­come Pa­cific Is­land lead­ers onto Taka­puwahia Marae.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.