Bastion Point celebrated and remembered
Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minita Whanaketanga Māori
Minister for Māori Development
25 May 2018
40 years ago the eviction of protesters from Bastion Point or Takaparawhau in Auckland triggered the beginning of the new era in land rights, says the Minister of Māori Development the Hon Nanaia Mahuta.
On May the 25th 1978, police and army evicted 222 people from the waterfront reserve after a 506 day standoff.
The saga began when hundreds of protesters, representing Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, occupied the land after the Government of the day pushed ahead with a housing development on a former iwi reserve.
“This was an important moment in defining Māori land rights. It built on the actions of Dame Whina Cooper who had earlier led the hikoi over land in 1975.
“In 1988 the government agreed with the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendation and gave Takaparawhau back to the Ngāti Whātua. Now Ngāti Whātua is the third largest land owner in downtown Auckland.
“Today is a celebration of the courage of those men and women who held out for over 500 days until they were forcibly removed.
“It is good to remember and reflect on what would have happened if it hadn’t been for Bastion Point,” says Nanaia Mahuta.