Time to find peace at Ihumatao and for the rhetoric to end
The New Zealand Maori Council has called for calm and cool heads on the matter of Ihumatao and asked politicians on both sides to pull back as the parties try and resolve the matters. Matthew Tukaki, Executive Director of the New Zealand Maori Council has once again warned outsiders to the land in question that rhetoric, taking sides and cat calling is not helping:
“These are complicated matters involving a very historical and grief ridden event. That grief has continued unabated for many, many years and we need to be mindful of all the opportunities lost in resolving the matter of Ihumātao. Step forward to today we have an elder and local Iwi who have done an incredible job in trying to negotiate a settlement both with the previous and current landowners as well as a group of people and mana whenua who are just so passionate about the land itself. But they are both passionate about one in the same thing and therefore have a lot in common.” Tukaki said
“What is not helping the situation is the constant pecking on the sides of people who are seeking to inflame everything away from resolution. So again, just as I asked the Police to withdraw, and they now have in great numbers, to dial down the tension of the presence of the thin blue line so too is it time for others to pull back and allow a process to unfold.” Tukaki said.
“That includes the politicians. It doesn’t help that the leader of the Opposition is using this issue to score points against the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is overseas attending to a place that, itself, involves so many challenges and who have sought our protection over many years. Individual MP’s should refrain from taking sides and instead we should all, as a nation, seek to find a solution to the broader question of the protection and securing of sites of historical and archealogical significance both pre and post European settlement. We also need to have an honest conversation of both the tone and substance of Maori Crown and Maori to Non-Maori relations.” Tukaki said
“If this means reform of The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014, if it means more transparency in the development application and review process and if it means taking the bull by the horns and seeking to schedule and recognise sites of significance to all New Zealanders then that is what we must do. The New Zealand Maori Council has a long history when it comes to our involvement in UNESCO, albeit absent for the last few decades, and so it’s only right to bring that back online as well.” Tukaki said
“In reference to Fletchers and New Zealand business and industry I say this on private land and disputed Maori land historical significance. Do not play wedge tactics with our people or our Iwi. This New Zealand Maori Council will not put up with their behavior nor we will put up with recalcitrant local government authorities playing silly buggers with our people.” Said Tukaki