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Tikeitia te wae! Take the Long Stride!

Tikeitia te wae! Take the Long Stride!


Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has today issued a challenge to all who call this land home – to celebrate the courage of generations.

“I am thinking particularly of a woman of Ngā Wairiki/Ngāti Apa; Nga Rauru; Whanganui, Tuwharetoa who ten years ago stood at Ratana Pa, and took a long stride forwards.”

At 3pm on 30th April 2004, Tariana Turia returned to Ratana to tell the people of her decision to cross the floor, and stand against the Foreshore and Seabed Bill.

“It was an action which resonated in the hearts and memories of whānau throughout this land, who admired the pluck and courage of a woman to stand up for what was right,” said Mr Flavell.

“We need to tell our histories, share our stories to inspire and mobilise our younger generation into knowing we can create change in our lives.”

“It would be a fantastic thing if right across the country at 3pm today, people take time to share a story of courage and strength.”

The concept of Tikeitia te wae comes from a Ngāti Apa waiata which talked about the story of Hau – who in his journeys, traversed the west coast and named all the rivers from Whenuakura (south of Patea) right through to Porirua.

“In many ways, before Tariana made her historic decision on the 30th April 2004, she pursued that same pathway – gaining courage, strength and commitment from the whānau, hapū and iwi of Te Tai Hauāuru as she sought her direction about what they wanted her to do.”

After that hui at Ratana, the late Sir Archie Te Atawhai Taiaroa approached the Prime Minister of the day, Helen Clark, and informed her that Mrs Turia would resign from Labour and vote against the foreshore and seabed legislation.

"What their courage teaches us is to believe in ourselves. To believe that we can create change on our own terms, as whanau and as Māori."

"That is what Tariana's stance ten years ago was for. That is what the Māori Party was born from and that is still our purpose," said Mr Flavell.

“All of us have stories to share about the impact of the 30 April decision – and indeed – the impact of the courage of others before her who also took long strides forward in the interests of their people. Tariana remembers in particular the bold stance taken by former MP Georgina Beyer, who joined her on that historic day; even though it was possibly detrimental to her career.”

“Over the last ten years the Māori Party has brought the focus of attention in Parliament to the vast range of champions that are speaking up for change – whether it be in enabling good lives in the disability sector; in addressing gambling harm; in protecting our environment; or, as recently as the last 24 hours, in supporting families ravaged by the harm of synthetic drugs.”

“Every day is another opportunity to take a leap of faith, to advance the interests of the people – and the Māori Party will always readily take up this challenge.

"The hikoi brought us together as tangata whenua, and the Māori Party want us to continue that hikoi to Parliament to make our voices count and ensure our courage can make a difference for our next generation."

Tikeitia te wae!

ENDS

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