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Bastion Point occupation to be commemorated

9 May 2018

Bastion Point occupation to be commemorated on the 40th anniversary



Forty years ago, after 506 days of occupation, protesters faced off with members of the police, armed forces and the government over plans to build luxury housing on Ngāti Whātua ancestral land at Takaparawhau/Bastion Point, resulting in 222 arrests.

On Friday 25 May, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei will mark the 40th anniversary of what has been called a defining moment in New Zealand history.

This year, the commemoration honours those who took part in the occupation; providing an opportunity to further reflect on the efforts of those who strove for Treaty settlement and a better future for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

The stand at Bastion Point is a prevailing benchmark for protest in Aotearoa, which led to the first successful retrospective claim hearing at the Waitangi Tribunal. It is a move that Joe Hawke, leader of the 1977 protest, has never regretted.

“I went onto the Point, not to invite an arrest, but to arrest a wrong, and 40 years on, all of Ngāti Whātua are benefiting from that stand”, he said.

Joe will be part of the events planned for Friday 25 May that commemorate that struggle, foster reconciliation and re-affirm Ngāti Whātua’s footprint on the land in Auckland.

Events planned for the day include:

6am Dawn Ceremony held at the Joannee Hawke Memorial, Bastion Point
10am Commemoration event at Orākei Marae, followed by hākari at 1pm
6pm 40th Anniversary Concert at the Tuning Fork, Spark Arena including performers linked to the Bastion Point occupation. Further details to be announced.

Marama Royal, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust Board Chair, says the ceremony at the Marae will be open to the public, all interested parties and especially those who played a part in the Bastion Point struggle.

“We hope to bring together those that were arrested, representatives of the Crown, the police, as well as many prominent Māori, Pākeha and Pacific Islanders who played a role in supporting the Bastion Point occupation.

“For Ngāti Whātua Orākei, it will be a re-dedication of our ties to the land in Tāmaki-Makaurau, a positive message of our successes and our place in Auckland today”, she said.

Further commemoration events will take place over the month of May, giving all Aucklanders a chance to engage with the rich history of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in Tāmaki Makaurau.


17 May Not one more acre! Photographic Exhibition at Auckland War Memorial Museum
During May Ki Uta Photographic & Film Exhibition at Auckland Public Library
16,23,30 May Bastion Point 40 years Anniversary Photographic Exhibition at Pearce Gallery, Parnell

ENDS

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