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Maori Party congratulate Dame Kahurangi Nganeko Minhinnick

Media Statement
5 September 2013

Maori Party congratulate Dame Kahurangi Nganeko Minhinnick

Ko Hua Kai Waka Waiohua i karangaranga ngā waka mai i ngā topito o te motu. Mai te Puaha o Waikato ki te Puaha o Kaipara kei te Uru. Mai Te Puaha o Kaipara ki Mangawhai kei te Raki. Mai Mangawhai ki Waitakaruru-Piako kei te Rāwhiti. Mai Waitakaruru-Piako ki Pukekawa, ka hokia ki te Puaha o Waikato kei te Tonga. Ko Waihohonu o Rehua, ko Ngā Tai o Kaipara ki Te Tonga, ko Mangawhai, ko Waitemata me te Whare o te Atua ngā moana. Ko Waikato te Awa. ko Puketapu, ko Maungawhau, ko Maungakiekie, ko Maungarei, ko Matukutukutureia, ko Te Ngāherehere o Kohukohunui kei waenganui. Ko Ngāti Te Ata i Rehia te Iwi. E te Māreikura te ruruhau tēnei te mihi manahau ki a koe.

The Māori Party congratulate Dame Kahurangi Nganeko Minhinnick who today was invested into the Order of New Zealand. She has an outstanding record of achievements and continues to lead her people of Ngāti Te Ata i Rehia into the future.

Tariana Turia, Māori Party Co-Leader said “Dame Nganeko has a long track record of fighting for the rights of her whānau, hapū, iwi and tangata whenua. Her first encounter with the Crown and its process was at 11 years old when she was asked to go to the Māori Land Court by her kaumātua to become informed about land grievances of Ngāti Te Ata. From that point onward, she was encouraged to translate Te reo Māori into English for her mother and kaumātua as they navigated the system.”

“She is skilled in tikanga and whakapapa, handed down by her kaumātua, and embodies these values in everything she does. Her relationship to the land and environment was something that came naturally to her as an obligation to protect for future generations.”

“She descends from a line of Kaihau leaders who fought for land, environment and Māori rights. In1862, her great grandfather Ahipene Kaihau chaired the Ngāti Te Ata Rūnanga and its purpose was to settle land matters. In 1898, Henare Kaihau (MP Western Māori 1896-1911) fought in Parliament to address raupatu and the return of confiscated lands.”

Te Ururoa Flavell, Māori Party Co-Leader who has family connections to her, is proud of her achievements because “in 1982 the Dame lead the Manukau Claim to the Waitangi Tribunal which triggered a landslide of environmental policy discussions on the Auckland Councils’ poor water quality management and the deterioration of the Manukau Harbour as an ecosystem. The undesirable response from the Auckland Council and the New Zealand Government compelled her to seek an international and indigenous understanding within the United Nations.”

“From 1987-1996 she travelled to the United Nations to ensure at an international level indigenous peoples were heard by decision makers. She is well known by many of the world’s leaders for standing up for our people in Aotearoa and for being part of the founding voices of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous representation at higher levels of the UN was and continues to be of great importance to her.”

Dr Pita Sharples, Māori Party MP who attended the investiture ceremony today, and accompanied the Dame to receive her award said “currently, there are eleven Ngāti Te Ata claims at the Waitangi Tribunal waiting redress. Dame Nganeko has been a staunch activist for Māori rights for over six decades and is respected within Māori, political and international settings for her commitment to her ancestors and to future generations of Ngāti Te Ata as well as future generations for indigenous peoples internationally.”

“We started working together way back in the 60’s, where our shared passion for Māori rights brought us together. In 1970 she was the first recipient of the New Zealand Māori Council’s Young Māori Woman of the Year, which was recognition of her commitment to her people even back then.”

“Humble, courageous, articulate and respected. Nganeko Minhinnick has a legacy to be celebrated alongside the commitment and passion of her whānau.

Ka whiti te ra ki tua o Rehua ka ara a Kaiwhare i te Rua - As long as the sun shines over the west coast Ngāti Te Ata will rise.

ENDS


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