Historic injustices still felt by Nga¯ti Hinerangi
While people might think Treaty of Waitangi breaches committed by the Crown are irrelevant now, Nga¯ti Hinerangi Iwi strongly disagrees.
Former Matamata MP, John Luxton QSO and representatives of the Crown came to Te Ohaki Marae in Okauia on August 24 and 25 to listen as people aired their grievances ahead of the iwi’s Treaty Settlement to be completed in early 2017.
Nga¯ti Hinerangi chairman Philip Smith, said this was a chance for people to speak of the ‘‘loss of our whenua, culture, tikanga and issues relevant to us’’.
Crown law around the 1900s was devastating for Maori health, housing, cultural identity, development and economics. Under Crown law, Maori land was confiscated unless it was under an individual title. Most Maori owned land as a collective so were disregarded and left landless.
While Pakeha soldiers were gifted land after the war, Maori soldiers were ineligible for the same privilege.
Maori were often left with landlocked blocks, relying on neighbouring farmers for access. Some farmers made access so hard that Maori were forced to sell their land to the farmer for a far lesser value.
Banks were prohibited from lending to Maori so they had to borrow from dairy companies at 22 per cent interest, crippling Maori owned farms. Maori were physically punished for speaking Maori in schools, discouraging Maori to carry on the tradition.
‘‘We hope that through this process, we can help you relate to our feelings and emotions so that we can carve out a path toward a positive future,’’ said Smith.