Story sees the light of day

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

One hun­dred and sev­enty-four years is a long time to wait.

But that’s how long the north­ern South Is­land Ku­ra­haupo¯ tribes waited for the res­o­lu­tion of their set­tle­ments, first made with the Treaty of Wai­tangi in 1840.

In 2014, the Ku­ra­haupo¯ Ki Te Wai­pounamu Trust fi­nally reached a set­tle­ment with the Crown in what would be a land­mark oc­ca­sion rep­re­sent­ing the hard work and toil of a small group of peo­ple, over many gen­er­a­tions, ded­i­cated to set­ting the record straight.

Not an easy task. And it’s a story wait­ing to be told.

A new ex­hibit at the Mil­len­nium Pub­lic Art Gallery called ‘Re­mem­ber­ing the Ku­ra­haupo¯ Set­tle­ment: Nga¯ Paki­aka Mo¯ rehu O Te Whenua’ seeks to tell that story from treaty to set­tle­ment through the eyes of the peo­ple who were there, us­ing pho­to­graphs, arte­facts, let­ters and the writ­ten word. The ex­hibit takes the viewer on a jour­ney through Marl­bor­ough’s Treaty his­tory.

Dr Pe­ter Mei­hana, who con­tributed to the Massey Univer­sity book Treaty on the Ground, said the ex­hi­bi­tion was just one part of the post-set­tle­ment ac­tiv­ity that had been un­der­taken. Much of that had been col­lat­ing the rem­nants of the past be­fore they were lost for­ever.

‘‘I look at this val­ley and ba­si­cally, it’s a class­room,’’ Mei­hana said about the Wairau. ‘‘Now for us, the ex­hi­bi­tion is a chance to retell and to ex­plain to our com­mu­nity where we fit on the land­scape. You know, be­cause all of these land­marks around here tell a story. And so, we want to be able to tell the peo­ple of Marl­bor­ough that these sto­ries be­long to all of us.’’

The Ku­ra­haupo¯ Treaty set­tle­ment in­cluded an apol­ogy, cul­tural re­dress, and a fi­nan­cial pack­age. How­ever, the set­tle­ment meant far more than that. For the team who fronted the ne­go­ti­a­tions, the Ku­ra­haupo¯ set­tle­ment was a demon­stra­tion of their, and their com­mu­nity’s, abil­ity to achieve a set­tle­ment.

‘‘There are peo­ple in Marl­bor­ough that still carry the names for those peo­ple who took the claim back in the 19th cen­tury,’’ Mei­hana said. ‘‘And part of this ex­hi­bi­tion is also about recog­nis­ing, not just those war­riors from the 19th cen­tury, it’s also about those peo­ple who worked re­ally, re­ally hard to get that set­tle­ment. And so, some of them had passed away. So, we want to re­mem­ber those war­riors too, not just the war­riors from the 19th cen­tury but the war­riors from the 21st cen­tury.’’

In 2014, the tribes of the north­ern South Is­land trav­elled to Welling­ton for the third read­ing of the Te Tauihu Set­tle­ment Bill. The third read­ing was a sig­nif­i­cant mo­ment for the Ku­ra­haupo¯ tribes.

Due to their ‘land­less’ sta­tus dur­ing A woman has been re­united with a fam­ily heir­loom watch that once be­longed to a Catholic nun.

Jane Mac­don­ald, who lives in Pic­ton, was a vic­tim in a spate of bur­glar­ies that took place across the top of the South at the start of the year.

Christo­pher Payne, 38, was ar­rested last month and charged in con­nec­tion with 19 bur­glar­ies in which he’s ac­cused of steal­ing more than $200,000 worth of jew­ellery and prop­erty.

The po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion is now fo­cused on re­unit­ing the stolen prop­erty with its own­ers.

Mac­don­ald was bur­gled on March 29.

‘‘I had some of my own jew­ellery, in­her­ited jew­ellery, and fam­ily jew­ellery, and among it was some of mother’s jew­ellery,’’ she said.

A watch be­long­ing to Sis­ter Mary Genevieve, Mac­don­ald’s mother’s cousin, was in­cluded in the miss­ing items, but Mac­don­ald hadn’t ini­tially re­alised it was gone.

It was only af­ter she read about the mys­tery ‘‘Sis­ter Mary Genevieve’’ watch in the Nel­son Mail ap­peal­ing for in­for­ma­tion, that she’d put two-andtwo to­gether. ‘‘I thought, ‘there’s only one Sis­ter Mary Genevieve and she was my mother’s cousin’,’’ she said.

On closer in­spec­tion she recog­nised the sil­ver en­graved fam­ily heir­loom.

‘‘I went ‘oh bingo, that watch was in my drawer’.’’

When Sis­ter Mary Genevieve had died, the watch was left to Mac­don­ald’s mother, who has also since died.

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