Hone Harawira's Ae Marika! - Anzac Day
I attended the ANZAC dawn service at Waikumete cemetery at the invitation of Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey.
Whenever ANZAC Day comes around I always think of my grandfather and my dad, both of whom served in WW II, and I am grateful for the fact that both of them came back from it alive. My grandfather actually served in WW I as a soldier and then in WW II as the first padre to the Maori Battalion, and wouldn’t let my dad go to war until after he had returned.
Both of them are now buried in Te Kao, so next year I hope to attend ANZAC with my Aupouri relations.
ANZAC seems to have a very special pull for New Zealanders all over the world, with Gallipoli drawing more and more Kiwis, and more and more kids voluntarily turning up to commemorations all over Aotearoa every year.
I like the way that ANZAC encourages people to seek out their links to those who have passed on. It’s a lot like the way that Maori remember their own ancestry through whakapapa. May that connection never be forgotten.
And talking about connections, over the past few weeks there’s been a series of frantic negotiations between the Crown and various iwi here in the Far North – both collectively and individually.
Those negotiations and discussions culminated in a couple of Ministers of the Crown, Parekura Horomia and Mita Ririnui, coming to Waimanoni last Friday to talk to all the iwi about a deal to turn over Crown assets including land blocks and the Aupouri forest to a “forum” of Far North tribes.
The meeting was well attended by people claiming to represent every tribal interest in the area (as well as a few from a little further out of the way) and a golden opportunity for the Crown to put a concrete deal on the table.
In the end though, the ministers seemed scared to come right out and say what the deal was, and everyone left the meeting none the wiser.
Hopefully though, the notion of collective decision-making will be built on to ensure a better result for all iwi in the future.
Tai Tokerau MP