Mōuri Whenua, Mōuri Tangata, Mōuri Ora: Parliament’s Grounds Fully Reopened
Parliament’s grounds have been fully reopened today at a ceremony and community event with mana whenua, members of the public, and representatives of Parliament.
Mōuri Whenua, Mōuri Tangata, Mōuri Ora was held on Thursday, 23 June 2022 and is another step in this kaupapa led by Te Ātiawa Taranaki Whānui to restore the wellbeing of the land, people, and life of Parliament; it marks the full re-opening of the grounds to the public and local Wellington community.
The parliamentary grounds were partially closed to the public since early March 2022, following a three-week occupation of the parliamentary precinct.
Residents and representatives of local businesses and schools affected by the protest action were among the members of the public welcomed onto the grounds in a pōwhiri by Tāranaki Whānui.
Following the call of the three kaikaranga, Ngāti Pōneke kapa haka rōpū performed while people entered the grounds. This was followed by a whaikōrero by Parliament’s Tumu Whakarae Kura Moeahu, waiata, and speeches from iwi and Parliament representatives, including Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern.
Taranaki Whānui Chair Kara Puketapu-Dentice said the ceremony would help to restore the tikanga of mana whenua and to unite the people of the city and the nation.
“This is part of the healing process and a time for kōtahitanga (unity) as we stand together on our tupuna whenua (ancestral lands).”
Restoration of the grounds has included clearing and disposing of waste, repairing the irrigation system, and resowing the lawn.
“It has taken an immense amount of work over several months from Parliament's buildings and grounds teams to restore this area and we are looking forward to seeing the grounds used again by people as a place to enjoy, eat lunch, and gather,” Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said.
“I’m also glad that our partnership with mana whenua has strengthened and look forward to further work with Taranaki Whānui to improve our role as caretakers of this land.”
Following the ceremony, members of the public were able to enjoy the festivities, including kapa haka by Ngāti Pōneke, lessons about the grounds’ history from Parliament’s tour guides, art activities for tamariki and an ice cream and sausage sizzle.
This is the culmination of events to reopen the grounds. An intimate ceremony was held on March 6 to restore the area’s mōuri (lifeforce), followed by Te Whakapiki Mōuri to mark the reopening of the area as a public thoroughfare on 16 March.
Attendance at the ceremony also included Members of Parliament, staff from the agencies that support Parliament, New Zealand Police, and other affected agencies.
Parliament Security continue to actively monitor all events and activity, and regularly liaise with Police.