Urewera 4 Trial: Day 17 - Waiting for a Bit of Land
Operation 8: Day 17, March 8th
By Annemarie Thorby
Tamati Kruger was called to the stand on Thursday as one of the witnesses for Tame Iti.
Just Waiting for a Bit of Land
By profession, Tamati Kruger described himself as, among other things, a lecturer, teacher and educator. He said he 'also holds some positions representing Tuhoe interests'.
Mr Kruger is the Chief Tuhoe negotiator and the chairman of te Kotahi A Tuhoe.
He received the mandate to represent all the historical claims with the Crown.
Along with being the chairman of a new Tuhoe tribal identity, Tuhoe te Uru Taumatua. which speaks for all of Tuhoe in terms of issues with Crown and other external bodies, he is also the chairman of the Hauora in te Urewera.
Tame Iti is employed by the centre, and Mr Kruger said he 'believed it was the longest job he has ever had'.
Mr Kruger could not give evidence yesterday for the defence; he was in Wellington for negotiations with the Crown. He explained that every month there are two sessions with the Office of Treaty Settlements that he attends.
'My role is that...I provide the responses that represent Tuhoe interests and a Tuhoe point of view in those negotiations....often there is often in-depth discussion and debate around those issues....Where I don't know the answers to the questions, I then say I will respond at a later date'.
Mr Fairbrother asked 'how it was going?'
'Excellent, just waiting for the crown to give back te Urewera...that's a bit of land about 1.1million acres and as soon as they capitulate on that the deal is done.'
Local Security of Their Property
Mr Kruger was then questioned about the forestry contractor, PF Olsen (a provider of forestry services in Australia and New Zealand). PF Olsen uses land leased from Tuhoe for a pine forest.
'The pine forest is the harvest of te Manawa o Tuhoe....There is usually a 30 year cycle from planting to harvesting.'
The forest is one of the bigger land blocks to be found between Ruatoki and Waiohou valley. There are over 2 to 3000 shareholders, said Mr Kruger, looking forward to the benefit. The harvesting is seen as very important by Tuhoe.
On-going discussions with PF Olsen are occurring, with the plan that some areas of the forest are returned to indigenous and native trees. There are also negotiations for access to food resources and especially around road safety.
Traffic safety and roading is of concern to Tuhoe. There are some concerns as to if the only bridge at Ruatoki is up to the standard to take the weight of logging trucks.
An agreement and memorandum has been reached with PF Olsen in regard to security.
When questioned about security issues, Mr Kruger also talked about the Kaingaroa forest. Tuhoe is involved in the Kaingaroa Forest Trust. It was the settlement in 2009 that 'came to be known as 'Tree Lords, the biggest treaty settlement in New Zealand history'. Tuhoe has shares and interest in Kaingaroa
Mr Kruger explained that there are monthly lists published by Kaingaroa Timberlands of trespasses and breeches into the forest.
The agreement with PF Olson provides for local security of their property.
'Where you have pine forests, you are going to get some incidents.'
Mr Kruger explained that these incidents included the same as those found in the Kaingaroa forest, including people trespassing 'because they are going in to pick up free diesel', 'to get any equipment not tied down' or 'growing and harvesting marijuana.'
The security arrangement is by locals and was 'put in two months less one day after Oct 15th 2007'.
'The agreement is in force and locals contribute to the security.'
Mr Fairbrother wanted to know about any incidents after the agreement.
'Yes, a disaster...a horrific accident. A school bus with children being transported home, the bus stopped to let children off, a logging-truck driver made a poor judgement, and ploughed into the back of the bus.'
Several children were hurt, some seriously and had to be hospitalised in Auckland.
The security agreement developed with PF Olsen, when compared to the Kaingaroa Forest, Mr Kruger explained, is a different way of relating.
The agreement is directly between PF Olsen and the landowners and shareholders. Normally, 'you have in between companies that do all the talking, but in this case there is direct negotiation...this is fairly new to PF Olsen as well.'
Tame Iti was involved in the negotiations with PF Olsen.
The Compact and Mana Motuhake
Mr Fairbrother then asked about the 2005 visit of the Waitangi Tribunal and the two reports published by the Tribunal since that visit. Mr Kruger confirmed that the reports can be downloaded from the Tribunal website.
By the time it is finished, it is 'predicted to be 2500 pages.'
Mr Kruger said that there have been 'an array of disagreements between Tuhoe and the Crown. He talked about the different versions of history and the intent of people during 1860 and on to the present.
In the reports 'the Crown acknowledged the accusations against the Crown that we had made.'
'The Crown acknowledgements are in essence the Crown putting up their hands and pleading guilty, no longer wanting to argue and debate points.'
In July last year the Crown and Tuhoe signed a compact which recognised Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe.
The Crown has not acknowledged the Mana Motuhake of any other iwi.
The compact is significant because 'the relationship problem between Tuhoe and the Crown has lasted a century and a half...this document is quite remarkable as evidence of goodwill.'
The report is evidence of wanting 'to build bridges and to conclude a history that is a history of misery of Tuhoe people and prejudice upon Tuhoe people by the Crown.'
It is a very important document for Tuhoe people.
At this stage the judge interrupted and asked Mr Kruger to explain what he understood to be meant by Crown acknowledgement and recognition of Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe.
'It is the Tuhoe right to determine their own future...to govern their own affairs, to live by their values, to be the first in line to assist their families, their hapu, their communities in a wide range of issues', Mr Kruger then listed many issues including family life, health and education.
The Judge said, 'but obviously stopping short of full self-governance? '
Mr Kruger laughed and said we have had 'trouble with the Crown around things like passports and can't afford our own airport at the moment.'
Mr Fairbrother asked about Tame Iti's role, and Mr Kruger said 'he was the precursor of all these negotiations, he had been exponential in these negotiations coming sooner rather than later.'
The compact 'is taken very seriously by the Crown and Tuhoe.' It has moral obligations attached to it.
Mr Fairbrother wanted to know if the people of Tuhoe viewed the compact with the same importance as Mr Kruger did.
I must say that I think those Tuhoe that have followed and are keen on their history...especially since 2005.... I believe I can say with certainty that they, they believe that this document is important...others that have not do not have a strong interest in these politics .'
Tame Iti, he said, 'is very, very clear about the importance of the document.'
'The Crown and Tuhoe desired that irrespective of any negotiations, a compact was required because Tuhoe and the Crown had failed to take advantage of opportunities over the last 150 years to deal with relationship and political issues.'
'The compact is evidence of real effort...to describe what the relationship is or has been and also insightful enough to state what the relationship could be. '
'As a document it is quite useful for negotiations.'
Mr Fairbrother talked about the history of Mana Motuhake, saying that the Mana Motuhake Party was formed in the late 1970s after Matiu Rata left Labour and that 'it's been a form of active, political activism over the years.'
Mr Fairbrother wanted to know how it was recognised by Tuhoe, as 'a protest movement or a passing of responsibility and obligation of Tuhoe? '
Mr Kruger said that Mana Motuhake is 'a term used to describe how Tuhoe existed before the settlement of Aotearoa New Zealand by British settlers.'
'Mana Motuhake is a useful word to describe how Tuhoe constructed and framed itself as a nation...it pre-dates the judicial system of this country. It pre-dates Parliament. It pre-dates the settlement of New Zealand...there is an appreciation of the framework of Mana Motuhake and the residue of that is the presence of iwi, hapu, whanau and rohe. '
Mr Kruger said that Tame Iti is part of the whanau and hapu of Tuhoe and that he is described in the Waitangi Tribunal reports as a lead claimant. Tame Iti is also mentioned in Judith Binney's book (Encircled Lands) which, Mr Kruger said, 'is so well regarded that the Tribunal quotes it ad nauseam.'
'Ruling a Line'
Mr Fairbrother then presented a page from one of the Tribunal's reports and asked Mr Kruger what the relationship of a Marae to a hapu is.
'It's the visibility of that hapu. Marae are a means by which the hapu becomes tangible...it's like hanging out the shingle for your business down Queen Street...it's so people know where you are and where you are located.'
He said that there are some Marae that have two hapu associated with it and then described what a hapu is – some are 'exploding in number' and others small.
He said 'Tuhoe also has association with some Marae outside of te Urewera .'
Mr Fairbrother then asked about iwi and confirmed that Mr Kruger had the mandate from Tuhoe for some of his roles. He asked if it was normal for an iwi to have a collective mandate.
A collective mandate is 'very difficult to get...the New Zealand Government struggles to get a 50% mandate every time we vote. The Tribal Organisation Authority received a 97% mandate vote.'
'But in Tuhoe's history...a leadership mandate is really difficult to get...Tuhoe usually operates by a corporate leadership model, but sometimes in its history we get a mandate of chieftainship been given to one person. '
The next page from the Waitangi Tribunal report shown to Mr Kruger was one showing the inquiry district.
Mr Fairbrother pointed out that, 'cutting through the inquiry district is a smaller dotted line...called the confiscation boundary...crossing just above Ruatoki on the map.' He then asked Mr Kruger what the Confiscation Line was.
'Well, in 1865, the Crown made certain accusations against Tuhoe...one was that we were complicit in the murders of two people, te Maitaranui Fulloon who was part Tuhoe, part Ngati Awa (the neighbouring iwi) and part Pakeha. He was a surveyor and he was killed....The other was of a priest (Carl Volkner)...in Opotiki, and Tuhoe were implicated.'
'The charges never went to any court, never went to trial. The Crown found Tuhoe guilty and as a result of that drew a straight line...from Putauaki Mountain (Mount Edgecumbe) in the west...to a mountain in our rohe in the Waiotahe Valley and...on towards the coast.'
'Coincidentally, this was all lands that settlers had been trying to buy and lease decades before and Tuhoe had refused.'
'It was the most fertile land Tuhoe has.'
Mr Fairbrother then asked about the
effect of this on
'The Crown wanted to close Tuhoe in, hence the title of Binney's book, 'Encircled Lands.' The Crown, for example, to the east, went to great efforts to buy up land so there would be no creepage of Mana Motuhake out from te Urewera...'
Mr Kruger agreed that 'the confiscation has been a live issue in the consciousness of Tuhoe since 1865.'
He 'would find it hard to imagine that there is a person living within Ruatoki and Taneatua that does not know that confiscation line. There are Tuhoe and non-Tūhoe people who know that confiscation line. '
'Even the landscape changes as you cross over it. '
'All of that land was used by the Crown to pay for the militia and for its soldiers...because they couldn't pay them wages at the time .'
'The main road you take from Taneatua to Ruatoki...connects up with the main Reed Road and connects up with the Awahou Road which is called by the locals the back road. The road is directly on the Confiscation Line, it was constructed that way. '
Mr Fairbrother wanted to know if the Confiscation Line on that road was 'a poignant reminder to Tuhoe.'
'Yes, I remember...going to town and my parents and my grandmother would tell me 'this is your stolen land, you need to get it back.'
'This is a story repeated to every Tuhoe of every generation. '
Mr Kruger said that on 15th October 2007, on the day of the termination of Operation 8, he visited the Confiscation Line.
The roadblock was on the Confiscation Line.
Mr Fairbrother asked if the roadblock 'generated any feelings'?
'Oh immediately. Immediately for the locals, the connection and the re-enactment of history.'
The Confiscation Line is 'not much of a walk from Ruatoki...it's all part of Ruatoki.'
The 2005 Spectacle
Mr Fairbrother then enquired about the 2005 visit of the Waitangi Tribunal to Ruatoki and what happened on the Confiscation Line, He wanted to know about 'the spectacle' and who organised it.
It was Tame Iti.
Mr Kruger was there and 'standing next to Constable Temm, his father was a High Court Judge and his brother President of the New Zealand Law Society'.
Tame Iti's role was to 'design and choreograph the welcome to the Waitangi Tribunal. '
'We were all a little bit anxious because he wouldn't divulge the details of the plan, but...we went with it...it was unveiled that morning when we all arrived.'
Mr Fairbrother wanted to know if 'welcome in a Pakeha sense have a different meaning from the Maori sense'.
'Yes, contrary to...the book called 10 Easy Steps to Marae Etiquette ...The principle of a powhiri or a welcome on the marae...is that in order to bind the host with the visitors who may be complete strangers....one needs to have a process where you share spiritually, you share emotionally, you share intellectually and then you share physically.'
Mr Kruger then explained how this is done with the karanga, which is 'not just calling the living, but...calling together all of the spirits of the friends, of relatives that have past on to be...part of that moment and so that's a spiritual blending'.
The whaikorero 'is the intellectual the intellectual debating and sharing of knowledge of genealogy of history, of poetry, of songs, of anything else that may connect the two. Then finally...the two groups move together and physically close that gap with the hongi and...they share a meal together'.
So 'for Maori there is a greater chance then of achieving contractual arrangements and pledges, and promises.'
'It's a 2000 year process that someone should quickly lay claim on...it is the most effective bargaining process.'
'Auckland Port could do with it at the moment. '
'It is a non-verbal challenge and basically the signal is 'You are now in my domain, my territory, my area so my rules prevail, my protocols prevail.'
Mr Kruger compared it to someone visiting a home or himself entering the court. He said that in the court he is the manuhiri and the Judge is the tangata whenua and if the Judge does not like how he behaves, 'he could ask me to leave and I'm dutiful bound to do that...that is the wero. The wero is the challenge to the visitors to make it clear that there will be consequences if they are not obedient to the rules and protocols which are there to help all parties out.'
The wero 'must be fearsome otherwise the visitor may laugh at you and come to believe that you have no power at all to assert your will and to protect your tikanga, your protocols.'
For Tuhoe this process is necessary.
Mr Fairbrother wanted to know if this 'process is generally under the label tikanga' and whether someone 'can gain an impression of tikanga by looking at it through a keyhole? '
'No, you can't.'
'So if someone puts cameras in, on somewhere in your area, would that give an accurate impression of tikanga and what activity in your area is all about? '
'No, no, it won't.'
Mr Fairbrother then asked Mr Kruger about what happened in 2005. It began with the Tribunal getting out of their limousines.
The Tribunal came 'in on horse carriage, as it is kind of the romantic view of the settler period...as they travelled down the road towards the Confiscation Line, there was an array of demolished, crashed vehicles along the side of the road and they were on controlled fire with lots and lots of black smoke drifting across not only the road, but the whole landscape, and it made quite a scene.'
When asked how confrontational it was, Mr Kruger said, '...Judge Savage did share with us that a couple of members of the Tribunal feared for their lives. '
'It was explained to Judge Savage that so it was for Tuhoe people in 1865 .'
Mr Fairbrother wanted to know about the mutual recognition.
'It's the sharing of emotion...the sharing of knowledge, the sharing of emotion. The whole Tribunal process was the exchange of intellect...an effort to get people to feel history.
'History is never past. It's always with us, just like what we did yesterday, it's with us. '
It was at this powhiri, that Tame Iti discharged a gun several times in front of the Tribunal.
Mr Kruger said there were policemen present at the powhiri and that no issue was raised by them because they were fully aware of what was going on. That it was 'in a general sense Tuhoe tikanga'.
Tame Iti subsequently took part in the submissions at the Tribunal hearing.
There were about 10 members of the Waitangi Tribunal present and they had their own kaumatua to guide them on .
The Past is Always Something That is in Mind and in Heart
Mr Fairbrother read a quote from Judith Binney's book which explained how in Maori narratives time is often collapsed.
Mr Kruger agreed with her description, but said he 'would've used other words prettier than that'.
He said, 'in the Maori view of space and time...the days before are mua, which means in front of you...the past is always in front of you...because it has happened, you are a witness to it...it is the surest thing that you know of what has happened...The future...is behind you, it's yet to come.'
'Therefore, the past is always something that is in mind and in heart....The characteristics of a leader is to be very, very intimate with your history. .'
Mr Kruger said it was difficult to pass on as 'the pool of leadership is more confined to those resident in the rohe. An unspoken Tuhoe practice is that Tuhoe leaders are always present within the boundary of te Urewera.'
Mr Fairbrother wanted to know if the teaching of Tuhoe tikanga a constant thing by Tuhoe leaders.
'It has to be. It has to be. In our view if a people are ambitious for their freedom and liberty and to self-govern, one of the first institutions that you must establish in order to secure your continuity, to secure your permanency is education. '
'The permanency of Tuhoe cannot rely on mainstream education...it has to be a system...designed and established by Tuhoe....The government is not responsible for Tuhoe reo, culture and identity....that is our responsibility.'
Mr Fairbrother asked it the teachings of Tuhoe are attractive to people who are not Tuhoe, such as Pakeha. Mr Kruger said the prime example is Elsdon Best who spent '20 years of his life living with Tuhoe people.'
Elsdon Best is 'known as the father of anthropology and ethnology in New Zealand.'
When asked if part of the tikanga is to develop a sense of living in the bush, learning bush craft, Mr Kruger said it is 'as much as it is to teach road safety in Henderson to your children'.
He explained that, 'the Tuhoe territory comprises of te Urewera. It is 90% indigenous forest...the largest native forest left in the North Island. You have to have different skills and a different mind set to operate there, to survive there, to be able to be comfortable there.'
'Tuhoe people believe that you really have to be damn lazy to starve to death there.'
'There are certain skills that you need to have.'
Mr Fairbrother asked about one time when Mr Kruger was asked to wait outside his house in Taneatua for a lift. It was between midnight and 1am., Mrs Kruger knew about the plan.
Mr Kruger said that he went 'down his driveway to the street, and moments later a car parked some metres down my street then flashed its lights and then moved towards me. There were two people on the car. They said nothing to me and I knew they were inviting me to get on the car.'
Mr Kruger said he sat in the back and nobody spoke as they drove to Ruatoki. He was taken across the bridge at Ruatoki to a forestry farm site. There were other people there. It was dark, it was about May or June 2007.
The arrangement was that he was invited to be 'a guest speaker about Tuhoe history, Tuhoe tradition, and the connection between Tuhoe and te Urewera'.
Mr Fairbrother then asked if moving in the bush at night is a skill Tuhoe possess.
Mr Kruger said, that 'it's something you have to teach...it's a necessary thing to learn. Who knows when you may need to do that? '
When he is travelling on buses in Auckland and sees cyclists, Mr Kruger explained that he 'wonders why they want to do that and risk their lives...but in Auckland that's a necessary risk. ..It's something you probably won't find in Ruatoki but we accept that the odd people that live in Auckland do it .'
Tame Iti met Mr Kruger when the car arrived at the site in Ruatoki. There were people there earning to move in the bush without torches .
Mr Fairbrother asked if 'torches are an inherent Tuhoe tool? '
Mr Kruger agreed that it is 'the normal Eveready torch with the button'.
Next Mr Fairbrother wanted to know if 'bush craft survival is on the increase among Tuhoe or on the wane'.
'On the wane...I think that my generation and possibly the next one after my generation, are probably the last....this concerns us very much, the loss of those skills and ability....it's something...all Tuhoe people would like to pass on to their children and grandchildren.'
Rama and Guns
Mr Kruger was then asked about the word 'rama'.
He explained that it has several meanings depending on context and that it is not specifically a Tuhoe word but a universal Maori word.
It is a word used in the bible and means 'You are my light, you show me the way,'.
'Rama literally can mean the torch.'
Mr Fairbrother then asked if Mr Kruger would 'be surprised to find people in Ruatoki carrying guns' and would he know if most people in Ruatoki have guns.
The answer was no and he 'would not be surprised if half, if not more than half, of those Tuhoe that owned firearms do not have licences. '
He would not be alarmed to see someone walking along the road in Ruatoki with a gun.
It would 'depend on the circumstances...if I knew that person, knew of that person and if I immediately recognised that person as someone who hunted and visited the bush' he said he would not be alarmed.
And he would not be surprised if Tame Iti had a gun.
The next line of questioning from Mr Fairbrother was about the use of the word struggle used by Mr Kruger to describe what Tuhoe has undergone since settlement by European.
'Struggle seems to be too tame a word to describe that. For the Crown. Tuhoe is the old enemy and for Tuhoe, the Crown is the old enemy....In times of distress and of misery and where a people understand that their freedoms and liberties have been taken, and that their land and means of survival and living has been plundered and their prospects vanquished. I would expect and find it reasonable for those people to be in a state of hatred.'
'Those things re-enacted most times that Tuhoe people get together and speak of that history and remind each other of the state that they are in and the need to fix that state....it is a misery that the history of the Crown is a history of misery for Tuhoe.'
'And that is recognised by the Tribunal in the reports?'
'...since 2005....pragmatically it cannot be done by a Treaty settlement...I think it will take generations, generations to do it. '
Mr Fairbrother then asked about the indications before 2005, was there ever an indication of change and movement before then?
'No,...before 2005, the relationship between Tuhoe and the Crown was one of indifference, one of prejudice...the Crown has long held not only suspicions but superstition about Tuhoe. ..and I think generally the public still do.'
Mr Fairbrother asked about words used to express these 'strong emotions' in private conversations, would these words 'sound sinister'?
'Of course, as we all do. Language is something we borrow and use from one another.'
An examples was given of the Maori and Pakeha. Mr Kruger said that 'for most New Zealanders, Maori means 'brown fellah' and Pakeha means 'white fellah'. The words are interpreted differently in Maori.
'I don't know if you've heard one Maori saying to another, 'Gee you're a Pakeha.'?'
It is not an insult, but 'a location of your ideology, your philosophy, and your style of life that you prefer...Maori people can refer to a Pakeha person as Maori'.
Mr Kruger explained how he can go to Ruatoki with a Russian friend and introduce his friend as a Maori. Everybody would know that this person lives their life in a Maori way.
'It is a fact due to colonisation, that there are Maori people that no longer choose to live by Maori values,...they,re known as Pakeha. '
'Occasionally I have been accused of being one of those. '
Getting your Compass Right
Mr Fairbrother wanted to know if Tuhoe had ever described itself as being at war with the Crown.
'...fixing history is sort of like a fight, battle....you can't move on...you can't forgive a crime unless a crime is acknowledged..'
'There's no way a person or a community can move on, unless the wrong is recognised...and we go on to attempting to fix it.'
It was compared to, 'like someone been raped and then there's the denial of it. There's no way that person can move on...'
'So dealing with history is a difficult thing because we're trying to grapple with the foundations of human civilisation....we search for truth and that is elusive. And in the end we also search for peace...'
Mr Fairbrother asked, if 'within the historical context of Tuhoe,...in private conversations, if someone says war or revolution, does it upset you?'
'In Tuhoe context, revolution is the battle for your mind and heart....It's the last battlefield...it is about de-colonising yourself...it's about getting your compass right and of knowing where your centre is...and where to act from.'
'In New Zealand we have done the military thing...we did that thing from 1860 to about the 1880s....So the lesson from history is done...it didn't work, we need to do something else .'
The Power of Symbolism
'In this context of conscience raising and changing the mindset, how have you viewed the political activism of Tame?'
'He a leader in the programme of consciousness raising. Equally he makes Tuhoe uncomfortable, as he does Pakeha. He makes me uncomfortable with some of his ideas...'
'Have you seen the resolution of his activism unfold?'
'...activism and evolving the mind-set of people is a self-realisation process. In order for it to be successful that other person must self-realise....If you just bombard them with messages, people may just nod and listen to you just to shut you up...but the whole point is for the person to self-realise what the colonial issues are...and to transform....'
'Tame Iti is master at it...he is very aware of the power of symbolism and imagery for both the Crown and Maori.'
Mr Kruger then described the 'ladder incident' in front of Doug Graham.
He explained how Tame Iti had said he was going to do something.
'I was worried, I was worried for the honour of Tuhoe, and should I be prepared to apologise later...but he came in with a ladder and put it in front of the table where the Crown officials were, and he climbed up the ladder and spoke down at them....they found it difficult to look up at him, so kept their eyes averted...kept looking down at their papers and listening to what he was saying...'
The gift Tame Iti gave Douglas Graham was 'a freshly used horse blanket' He had written on it some of the history of Tuhoe.
'Tame Iti presented it to Douglas Graham, saying blankets and axes and beads had previously used by the Crown to buy land so he was returning the Crown's blanket...but this one electrical.'
The blanket was freshly laundered and now hangs in one of the treaty negotiation rooms at the Ministry of Justice .
The Crown people present felt 'great discomfit' but 'no one was alarmed...to one stood to usher him out because all his protests are filled with drama rather than violence'.
That was the Fiscal Envelope protest.
Mr Kruger described another time when Tame Iti delivered eviction notices to all the farmers who had settled beyond the Confiscation Line.
'It was another imaginative display of bringing history to the fore...'
It generated dialogue with the Pakeha residents...but also created some anger.'
'Some months later' Mr Kruger encountered one of these people, a JP. He needed some affidavits signed and one of them was for Tame Iti.
The JP said, 'isn't it ironic that Mr Iti serves me with an eviction notice and now he requires me to sign an affidavit?'
The JP signed the affidavit.
Mr Kruger believes that the current generation of New Zealanders are more open and comfortable about dialogue and debate around Treaty issues – 'not so with his father's generation.'
Mr Fairbrother then asked 'what is the taiaha?'
It is 'the most prominent and important of all weapons available to Maori.' and Tame Iti presented one to Michael Cullen.
It was on the occasion of sealing the conclusion to the central north island forest deal.
'...There were thousands of people in the main concourse of the Beehive and Tame walks through security with the taiaha,...he was asked to put it through the machine, but of course it is wood, so no alarm goes off.'
In the Grand Hall of Parliament, Tame Iti stood, interrupted the agenda, and presented the taiaha to Michael Cullen, the Minister of Treaty at the time.
'...the symbolism was if this taiaha represents the ignominy and the resentment between the Crown and Tuhoe,...when we have resolved it...can we have it back.'
He then hongiied Michael Cullen and Helen Clark.
The hongi, said Mr Kruger is 'the pressing of noses,...a more intimate salute...than the handshake. It goes back to the Maori creation story...where mortal human beings were created...the first mortal being was Hine-ahu-one and she was given her breath through her nose, and then she sneezed and came to life. So when Maori people meet or any other people...we greet each other by hongi... acknowledging that whatever may be – we are all human beings... we are born and then we die...what is more important is to acknowledge humanity...'
Mr Fairbrother then presented some documents to the court and it was morning tea.