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


Māori Party Celebrates the Courage of the Hīkoi


22 April 2014

Māori Party Celebrates the Courage of the Hīkoi

The Māori Party pays tribute to the thousands of New Zealanders, who ten years ago today, began the march to Parliament known as the Hīkoi of 2004.

“On 22 April 2004, hundreds of tangata whenua gathered at Te Rerenga Wairua at the start of what would be one of the most important moments in our history,” said Tariana Turia.

“Over the next two weeks, they were joined by New Zealanders of all ages and stages, all cultures and creeds, who stood against the Foreshore and Seabed Bill created by Labour. It was one of the most moving and heart wrenching times in our history, and it certainly shaped my thinking and actions profoundly.”

“For us in Kahungunu the Hīkoi was part of our Seven Waves of action that included an application to the Waitangi Tribunal to highlight the actions of the Government of the day,” said Dr Pita Sharples. “In 2003, Ngati Kahungunu held our annual pre-Christmas hui. It was at that hui that we decided that we needed to act on the proposed Foreshore and Seabed legislation. Instead of Christmas cards, we sent out the call to all iwi to march on to Parliament to protest this gross breach of due process against Māori. The tribes answered en force, and people all over the country took up the call.”

“On 14th May, the Treaty Tribes Coalition, which included Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu, Taimanuhiri and Hauraki iwi, presented a submission to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York bringing international focus to the shameful proposals to vest ownership of the last piece of customary land to be held by tangata whenua in the Crown.”

“It was one of the proudest moments of my life when just over four years ago to the day (20 April 2010), I returned to New York to signal New Zealand had overturned the previous Government’s rejection of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and that we would sign up to the declaration as a nation.”

“I will always remember the significance of the Hīkoi,” said Te Ururoa Flavell who was the Chairperson of Nga Tai o Te Reinga, Hīkoi against the Foreshore and Seabed Bill.

“The way in which our march mobilised the masses was in itself an amazing milestone in our national story,” said Mr Flavell. “We all became leaders in the transformation – the Hīkoi was remarkable in its capacity to galvanise the people from all walks of life; to take ownership of our own destiny.”

“Out of that Hīkoi emerged the Māori Party; and one of our first milestones to be met was the Takutaimoana (Marine and Coastal) Bill which repealed the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 and restored any customary interests in the common marine and coastal area that were extinguished by that Act.”

“Of course, the work is not over – even with the Takutaimoana legislation through there is still more to do. In reflecting back over the last decade, it reminds me that what can be taken away from us in an instant, takes a long time and a lot of hard work to get back – and if there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s about being here for the long haul, to make the difference our people want.”

“There are a lot of memories associated with the incredible passion and power of the people that showed such tenacity of spirit over the period of the Hīkoi,” ended Mrs Turia. “We reflect on some of those no longer with us – while also sharing the stories with those of our mokopuna who participated, whether it be in a pushchair or in Nanny’s arms.”

“While we reflect and we celebrate, we remember the importance of always listening to the people and doing what is right.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news