PM praises vi­tal Treaty project

Rotorua Daily Post - - Local News - Ka­tee Shanks

Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern has for­mally launched a sig­nif­i­cant Treaty set­tle­ment project which she says will keep “our sto­ries” alive.

Ardern launched Te Tai Whakaea Treaty Set­tle­ment Sto­ries at Te Manuka Tu­tahi Marae in Whakata¯ne yes­ter­day.

Te Tai is a na­tional project to col­lect, pre­serve and share the broad and multi-faceted his­tory of Treaty set­tle­ments.

It will of­fer a dig­i­tal plat­form for peo­ple to con­nect and en­gage with Treaty set­tle­ment his­tory and in­clude au­dio-vis­ual oral his­tory in­ter­views, re­search ar­ti­cles, doc­u­men­taries, multi-me­dia web sto­ries as well as a range of cross­cur­ric­u­lar ed­u­ca­tion re­sources in both English and Ma¯ori.

It will also pro­vide an ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme which will align with the New Zealand Cur­ricu­lum.

Promi­nent Ma¯ori leader Sir Hirini Moko Mead, Dr Monty Soutar and Te Ru­nanga o Nga¯ti Awa chief ex­ec­u­tive Leonie Simp­son have been in­stru­men­tal in Te Tai.

Ardern ac­knowl­edged the work they had done and said Te Tai would in­crease ac­cess to sig­nif­i­cant Treaty set­tle­ment sto­ries.

“The hu­man sto­ries con­tained in Te Tai are hon­est,” Ardern said.

“They will chal­lenge be­liefs of the Treaty.

“Th­ese sto­ries have been hard to tell and I ac­knowl­edge peo­ple here who have told their sto­ries.”

She said youth needed to be in­volved if Aotearoa was to con­tinue to move for­ward.

“I know this re­source will be pow­er­ful, it will ed­u­cate and reed­u­cate our peo­ple.

“Now more than ever it is so im­por­tant that we col­lect, pre­serve and share the his­tory es­pe­cially while many of the key fig­ures in­volved in the Treaty set­tle­ments are able to tell their story di­rectly to us.

“That is why Te Tai is such an im­por­tant kau­papa.”

Ardern said the ini­tia­tive was like a “col­lec­tive mem­ory pro­vid­ing en­dur­ing knowl­edge so that th­ese sto­ries, our sto­ries, will never be for­got­ten.

“With this wealth of his­tory sto­ries and in­for­ma­tion about Treaty set­tle­ments we are able to re­flect on how we got here as a na­tion and then con­tinue to grow to­gether.”

She said it was ap­pro­pri­ate the launch hap­pened in the wharenui Mataatua which was re­turned to Nga¯ti Awa through the Treaty set­tle­ment process.

“Te Tir­iti o Wai­tangi set­tle­ments are unique to Aotearoa New Zealand, and are recog­nised in­ter­na­tion­ally as a model for ad­dress­ing past in­jus­tices.

“They are also an es­sen­tial step to­wards restor­ing pride and vi­tal­ity to many com­mu­ni­ties and are help­ing to shape our modern iden­tity as a na­tion.”

Moko Mead also spoke at the launch. “We, Nga¯ti Awa, are hon­oured to be the lead treaty in Te Tai. Our story is the first to be told.”

He said what hap­pened to each iwi and hapu af­ter the Treaty of Wai­tangi was signed was dif­fer­ent so not ev­ery­thing about each set­tle­ment could be told.

Moko Mead spoke about the Nga¯ti Awa in­jus­tices suf­fered at the hands of the Crown and other iwi.

“In 1980, when I started speak­ing up for Nga¯ti Awa, our fund­ing came through Te Arawa. That is a sign of how far and how long the ac­tions of the Crown im­pacted on

Nga¯ti Awa.

“To­day we are gath­ered in this beau­ti­ful whare that was part of our set­tle­ment. The whare stands tall, there is hope and there is dig­nity in this whare.”

Judge Layne Har­vey, of the Ma¯ori Land Court gave an ac­count of Nga¯ti Awa’s Treaty ex­pe­ri­ences and all the peo­ple the iwi has dealt with over the years.

He said the iwi was build­ing fol­low­ing the set­tle­ment process.

Dr Monty Soutar, who is the se­nior Ma¯ori his­to­rian at the Min­istry for Cul­ture and Her­itage, also spoke at the launch. “Through Te Tai we aim to bet­ter in­form peo­ple about Treaty set­tle­ments and their im­pact by con­nect­ing and en­gag­ing them with a di­verse range of Treaty Set­tle­ment sto­ries,” Soutar said.

“We be­gan this process to­day with the first of the iwi sto­ries, those of Nga¯ti Awa launched at Mataatua Te Ma¯nuka Tu¯tahi marae in Whakata¯ne.

“Te Tai is cap­tur­ing first-hand the ex­pe­ri­ences of key fig­ures in­volved in early Treaty set­tle­ments while they are still with us.”

Ardern took a walk through the state-of-the-art Mu­seum and Re­search Cen­tre which was of­fi­cially opened last week.

The re­de­vel­op­ment of the Whakata¯ne Dis­trict Mu­seum and Re­search Cen­tre — Te Whare Taonga o¯ Take­take aims to ad­dress stor­age, cli­mate con­trol and ac­cess is­sues.

It aims to cre­ate a com­mu­nity as­set to en­able the mu­seum to care for, pre­serve and man­age its col­lec­tion.

When Ardern ar­rived at the mu­seum yes­ter­day morn­ing she was shown its most val­ued ex­hibits. The mu­seum’s prized pos­ses­sion is an il­lu­mi­nated man­u­script hand­writ­ten and hand painted in Latin.

The Prime Min­is­ter asked how the mu­seum came to be in pos­ses­sion of the book and was told it was do­nated.

Ardern was told the per­son who do­nated the book was prob­a­bly un­aware of what they had.

She was also shown a ko­rowai that be­longed to Rua Ke­nana, a Ma¯ori prophet, faith healer and land rights ac­tivist.

Mayor Tony Bonne told Ardern they were hon­oured to have her visit. “This is your first of­fi­cial visit to Whakata¯ne, the last time you were here you were a list MP.”

Bonne said Whakata¯ne-based Labour list MP Kiri Al­lan had been “out­stand­ing” at bring­ing the East­ern Bay to­gether.

“I want to let you know she is do­ing a fan­tas­tic job.”

Ardern was also pre­sented with a land­scape paint­ing of the area to ac­knowl­edge her child­hood days in Mu­ru­para and Galatea.

Of the paint­ing, Ardern said: “I’m glad it was a land­scape, I was wor­ried it might have been a class photo.”

She said she en­joyed the mu­seum visit as her fa­ther had passed on to her a love of his­tory.

“You’ll be in­ter­ested to know I con­sid­ered be­ing a mu­seum cu­ra­tor be­fore I be­came a politi­cian,” Ardern said.

“When I see his­tory now I think of my an­ces­tors. Thank you for pre­serv­ing this his­tory.”

PHO­TOS / KA­TEE SHANKS

Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern launches Te Tai at Te Manuka Tu­tahi Marae in Whakatane. Te Tai is a na­tional project to col­lect, pre­serve and share New Zealand's Treaty set­tle­ment his­tory.

Jacinda Ardern walks on to Te Manuka Tu­tahi Marae in Whakatane.

Jacinda Ardern ac­cepts a gift from Whakatane mayor Tony Bonne. The paint­ing is land­scape of Mu­ru­para where Ardern grew up and a place, she ad­mits, shaped her into the per­son she has be­come.

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