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Maori Party Recognises Kingitanga

Maori Party Recognises National Significance of Kingitanga

Dr Pita Sharples and Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leaders of the Maori Party

Thursday 1 May 2008

The Maori Party honours the distinctive presence of the Kingitanga as an important force in the past and future design of a nation.

"As today we celebrate 150 years since the coronation of Potatau Te Wherowhero, we at the same time acknowledge the legacy of the movement and its influence upon the cultural landscape of Aotearoa" said Dr Pita Sharples.

"We recall the courage of King Tawhiao in leading a deputation to England to petition Queen Victoria to seek an independent Maori Parliament, and an Independent Commission of inquiry into land confiscation" said Dr Sharples.

"And now this movement - which once upon a time the Crown attempted to destroy - has achieved an established place in Aotearoa" said Dr Sharples.

"The 150 years has been a period of struggle, of survival and of proud resistance" said Tariana Turia. "The Kingitanga emerged at the time in which 1.2 million acres of Maori land was confiscated during the Waikato wars.

"Sustained by the spiritual strength of Pai Marire, and the leadership of Kingitanga in fighting injustice, the movement has a proud history of protecting the histories and traditions of the people" said Mrs Turia.

"The Kingitanga represents the vigour of tangata whenua in defending the rights of self-determination alongside a commitment to peace and reconciliation" said Dr Sharples.

"We acknowledge the confederation that makes up Tainui - Waikato, Ngati Haua, Raukawa, Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngati Rarua and Ngai Tai for the special responsibility they have upheld in preserving the kawa and tikanga associated with the Koroneihana, the poukai, and all of the practices maintained with nga marae topu" said Dr Sharples.

"And we join with the nation in paying tribute to the leadership and the philosophy of the Kingitanga movement for the spirit of unity they promote" said Mrs Turia.

"We honour that movement in the colours we wear in the Maori Party - colours embodied in the proclamation of Potatau Te Wherowhero: "Kotahi te kohao o te ngira, e kuhuna ai, te miro ma, te miro pango me te miro whero'" (there is but one eye of the needle through which white, black and red threads must pass".)

"The richness of this whakatauaki uttered by the King at his coronation in 1858 has been a powerful symbol for the many paths, and the many peoples, that come together to make Aotearoa our home - our pathway forward to the future".

"It is a day of great celebration and pride for the nation" ended Mrs Turia.

ENDS


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