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Seas of movement...foreshore, foreshore!


Seas of movement...foreshore, foreshore!

Friday, Aug 1st Art Exhibition Opening Reflects On The Maori Land Rights Movement

In this article, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku reflects on the whirlwind generation, the young Maori protest movement that was born in the late 1960's, a time when Maori people entered an exhilarating time of resistance and cultural introspection.

Unforgettable, consuming and dynamic; that was the late sixties and early seventies for many of us. Aspects of the young Maori protest movement - Te Reo Maori, and the language petition and beginnings of te Wa o te Reo Maori; the flamboyant and irascible Nga Tamatoa and their haunted political house; the renaming of the New Zealand Federation of Maori University Students to te Huinga Rangatahi o Aotearoa; the giddy alliance with Gay Liberation; the rise and fall of Rongo; prowling with the Polynesian Panthers; the incandescence of that first Maori Artists & Writers Hui at Te Kaha... all these stories await their telling. And there are countless more.…

Those times and events many people call a renaissance; instead, I believe it was a reassertion, a deliberate and forceful declaring of who we are. For we are not being culturally born again; mana Maori motuhake has always been with us, in our kuia, our kaumatua, our marae, our music. How can they be part of a renaissance, when for them, and for us, the continuity never ceased? So......who is being reborn?

Today's thoughts......

He puna roimata, he maimai aroha...koutou, te hunga ki te po, moe mai ra koutou i te atawhai o Papatuanuku, moe mai.

We had so much passion, so much hope, so much rage. We took so many risks. We had so much faith in the rightness of what we were doing; disrupting various hui; pamphleting; waitressing at a Wharenui's centennial celebrations; bombhoaxing international aircraft; challenging; beautifying rural marae; questioning our "elders and betters"; slogan painting public walls; prison visiting; naming the cowards; putting ourselves out there...making changes, making challenges. For land, culture, language, hei oranga ngakau mo te iwi; that was us! Hei oranga ngakau hoki mo nga uri whakatupuranga....

And now...? We remember. We take care of the changes. And we make more. Perhaps in different ways, in different places. We make more; for there is so much more to make, and to do. And to remember, too.

Pai marire.

Na Ngahuia Te Awekotuku

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