Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Speech: Te Ururoa Flavell on Marriage Amendment Bill

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 8:43 PM

MARRIAGE (DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE) AMENDMENT BILL
Third Reading
Te Ururoa Flavell, Māori Party, Waiariki

Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker, kia ora tātou.

Can I thank my Treaty partner “Hone” Banks for allowing me to have his final five minutes.

In case there is any doubt, we are talking about the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill. This is not the first time that Māori have encountered controversy around the concept of marriage. In 1888 the Supreme Court of New Zealand made a decision that has been described as “doubtful legally and deplorable socially”. That doubtful and deplorable decision was to reject the customary marriages that had existed mai rānō, and to assume that the marriage law of England took precedence.

In fact, the colonial law from another land was considered of such importance that the children of Māori customary marriages were then described as “illegitimate”, yet so significant was the status of customary marriages amongst our people that they continued to be recognised for the purposes of succession to Māori land until 1951.

So when opponents of this bill criticise a change to the definition of marriage as contravening our sacred traditions, I would have to say “Whose traditions are we talking about?”.

I want to bring a specific contribution to this House as a proud uri of Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Te Arawa waka—yeah! In 1849 Wīremu Maihi Te Rangikāheke of Ngāti Rangiwewehi shared his knowledge of our Atua in a publication called Ngā Tama a Rangi. It is one of those stories I want to bring to the House with me today. You, sir, may well have heard the story about Hinemoa and Tūtānekai, a story of love glorified by Victorian settlers, with all the markings of romance. According to tribal law, Hinemoa swam to Mokoia in the middle of Rotorua to be with her true loved one—everybody say “Ah.”

Hon Members: Ah.

But I am going to add an extra part to the story, and tell you instead about Tūtānekai and Tiki. Before Tūtānekai married Hinemoa, he had a close male companion, Tiki. In a manuscript by Te Rangikāheke, Tūtānekai says to his father: “Ka aroha atu a Tūtānekai ki a Tiki, ka mea atu ki a Whakaue: ‘Ka mate ahau i te aroha ki toku hoa, ki a Tiki.’”
Translated: “Tūtānekai loved Tiki and said to Whakaue: ‘I am stricken with love for my friend, for Tiki.’” Later, Tūtānekai refers to Tiki as “tāku hoa takatāpui”.

So, from the wisdom of Ngāti Rangiwewehi, a new word was coined: “takatāpui”, defined in the Dictionary of the Maori Language compiled by the missionary Henry Williams in 1844 as “an intimate companion of the same sex”. “Takatāpui” is now used universally to describe people who might otherwise describe themselves as gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, or intersexual.

This history is set out by a Māori academic—not of Ngāti Rangiwewehi, but nevertheless—Dr Clive Aspin in his analysis of “Hōkakatanga - Māori sexualities”.

The research tracked fast forward to the early 2000s, with the Māori sexuality project undertaken at Auckland University. Many of the respondents to that research were able to recall examples of their kaumātua and kuia talking about people they knew who had same-sex attraction. These people held traditions of importance and status within their whānau and hapū. According to Dr Aspin, they were not rejected or marginalised, and were considered to be valuable members of their communities.

Talking about our history, our shared history in Aotearoa, is really important. We all know another painful history of discrimination, of prejudice, and of homophobia expressed by other members in this House tonight. Young people are in such agony about the way that they live their lives that suicide becomes the only option—a people living in fear and shame, scared of the harassment that they have all too often experienced. Some of the lobbying that every MP has endured over this last nine months has shown us the ugliness of stigma that has been hurled at Louisa Wall—ki a tāku tuahine, ka nui te mihi ki a koe.

So I urge all of us to think deeply about the universal values of aroha, of commitment, of whakawhanaungatanga, of trust, of faith, and of hope—kaupapa tuku iho.

As this third reading comes to an end, I think about tamariki and mokopuna who now know that they do not have to hide the fact that there are two mums in their household, about parents who want to know that their son can marry the man of his dreams and they can be all out and proud on their special day, and about all of our whānau takatāpui who celebrate tonight as a day on which history is made; in which their exceptional love– the love that endures all - is finally able to dare to say its name out loud.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • Labour Party: McCully Doesn’t Deny Bribe In Saudi Sheep Scandal

    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Welfare: Closure Of Relationships Aotearoa

    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand. More>>

    ALSO:

    TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>


    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:

    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news