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New Tangata Tiriti Aotearoa Movement Formed At Waitangi

The coalition government’s review of the Treaty of Waitangi is prompting not only Tangata Whenua unity but has also inspired Tangata Tiriti to coalesce.

An emergent Tangata Tiriti Aotearoa movement gathered at Waitangi today. It aims to support and connect the more than 30 Tangata Tiriti groups already active throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

The 50 hui participants came together at short notice in the Bay of Islands, spurred by Hon Shane Jones’ challenge to take the Tiriti debate to Waitangi.

“We’ve responded to a groundswell of pro-Tiriti public opinion – from Pakeha, Pacifica and the whole broad Tangata Tiriti community – who believe that New Zealanders can co-operate and collaborate to create a beautiful future for all our grandchildren and build a flourishing nation, Aotearoa New Zealand,” said convenor Denis O’Reilly.

Tangata Tiriti is a term coined at Waitangi in 1989 by Sir Edward Taihakurei Durie, the chair of the Waitangi Tribunal to describe immigrant peoples whether their whanau arrived in Aotearoa one day or 150 years ago.

O’Reilly says core values of the movement formed today are inclusivity and positivity.

“This movement is for all people regardless of where they are at on their personal journey to understand, honour and fulfil Te Tiriti. It is for all people who believe that New Zealanders can co-operate and collaborate to create a beautiful future for all our grandchildren and build a flourishing nation, Aotearoa New Zealand.

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“The crew of 50 who turned up today ranged from switched-on rangatahi to seasoned social justice campaigners, activists and treaty educators. A source of great strength and knowledge in the room was New Zealand public policy scholar and former National MP Dame Marilyn Waring.

Today has laid the groundwork for a broadly-based movement of New Zealanders who identify as Tangata Tiriti and who wish to honour and fulfil Te Tiriti o Waitangi in an authentic and principled way, O’Reilly said.

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