His­toric in­jus­tices still felt by Nga¯ti Hin­erangi

Matamata Chronicle - - What’s On - HIN­ERANGI VAIMOSO

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.

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