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E Tū Whānau: Charter of Commitment & Kahukura Awards Dinner

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister for Social Development

14 August 2014

Launch of E Tū Whānau
Charter of Commitment and Kahukura Awards Dinner
Hīrangi Marae, Tūrangi

(Delivered by Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell)

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa,

Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou katoa ngā mana whenua o tēnei whenua me ngā rangatira o Te Tari o Te Ariki o Ngāti Tūwharetoa hoki,

tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa.

I acknowledge the iwi of Tūwharetoa, who have upheld the sacred expression of kaitiakitanga over your special landing places.

I am so pleased to be here with the Māori Reference Group of the Taskforce for Action on Family Violence and to be gathered in this place, to recognise such a significant – indeed a historic milestone.

What we are doing today should raise the eyebrows and pique the interest of Māori leaders, whānau, hapū and iwi from across Te Ao Māori who are actively working to make a change within their whānau, hapū and iwi.

It is indeed a historic moment.

As we travelled here today, we had the most wonderful view of Matua Te Mana, liberally decorated with a fresh fall of snow overnight. All predictions are that a massive 80 cms will fall over the next three days.

It is a moment of some wonder that each little snowflake is fragile on their own, but look what they can do when they stick together.

There is something in that for us all.

We are only as strong as we are united.

Together, all together, we can make the change we need to take responsibility, to act with integrity and to be accountable.

Today we are celebrating a Charter of Commitment – E Tū Whānau.

It is a charter which acknowledges that all violence towards whānau is unacceptable within Te Ao Māori – and that such acts of violence are considered a transgression that breach the mana and tapu of the individual, their whānau and their entire whakapapa.

What moves me so profoundly about this Charter of Commitment, is one simple statement, “We will stand up, speak out and stop any transgressions recognising that violence flourishes where there is secrecy or acceptance.”

That is a statement that could almost make me stand up and cheer!

I am so proud of us – proud that we are declaring today, that we will take a stand against all forms of violence within our whānau and communities.

Every three years the nation goes through a peculiar phase of saying what is important to the people of this land.

Looking at the news over the last couple of days it is hard to get any sense of that – other than a fascination perhaps with personality politics.

If there was one thing that my Aunty Wai instilled in me was that the most important thing is to do what is right, not what is popular.

It is to be true to oneself, to uphold the tapu and the mana of our people and to live by our kaupapa me ona tikanga.

That is what I see in this charter. The Charter encourages and supports whānau to exercise rangatiratanga over their lives, to hold each other to account.

That is surely the most important challenge our nation can live up to – to provide leadership within our whānau to enable all to soar and prosper.

I have been watching the new spirit of connection amongst Tūwharetoa ki Whanganui a Tara – the emergence of their own facebook page, the very successful hui to host the Ariki in Wellington – and it gives me a sense of great confidence for the development of our people.

To be here with you tonight, as Tūwharetoa, and to be part of this very important evening is very special to me.

Tūwharetoa are laying forward a pathway for all our people to emulate.

You are standing with courage and with fortitude to say, nothing is as important as the wellbeing and the sanctity of our whānau.

I want to congratulate every single person here tonight, for having the strength to stand up, speak out and make the commitment to eliminate harm from your lives and to build protection and support around all of your whānau.

Each new snowfall brings with it fresh hope to see the world anew. Tonight that hope has become crystallised for me in this Charter of Commitment – E Tū Whānau.

Tēnā tātou katoa

ENDS

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