Last week the Regional Council set in motion a process that will culminate in a referendum in October 2022 on whether Maori should be entitled to dedicated seats on the HBRC.
Here’s the resolution that was passed:
“Instructs the Chief Executive to give notice to the Electoral Officer that a Poll on the question of whether the region should be divided into 1 or more Māori constituencies is to be held at the next election on 8 October 2022, subject to legislative change in the interim; to be preceded by robust engagement and consultation. [Italics added]
Ngati Kahungunu chair Ngahiwi Tomoana opened the ‘robust engagement’ on dedicated Maori seats on the Regional Council with this missive sent to several thousand members of the Ngati Kahungunu iwi (representing about 18,000 people in the Hawke’s Bay region).
Subject: [Panui ki te Iwi] A PRAYER FOR THE POWERFUL AND ALMIGHTY
20 November 2020
A message from our Chairman – Ngahiwi Tomoana
A PRAYER FOR THE POWERFUL AND ALMIGHTY
Last week Mere and I watched DJango where Django was a freed ” field nigger” as they put it and his wife Bromhilda was a still a “ house nigger”who he tries to free. I won’t spoil the end … but here is a prayer for the powerful and almighty who think we are sub-humans.
WE PRAY FOR THOSE WHO THINK WE ARE ALL BORN EQUAL UNDER GOD’S EYES BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS UNDER MAN’S EYES
WE PRAY FOR THOSE REGIONAL COUNCILLORS WHO THINK MAORI, TANGATA WHENUA ARE SUB-HUMAN AND DON’T DESERVE A VOTE EQUALLY AT THE TABLE AS THEY ARE , WE PRAY FOR THEM
WE PRAY FOR THOSE COUNCILLORS OF FARMING BACKGROUNDS ON STOLEN LANDS WHO DO NOT THINK MAORI COUNT IN DETERMINING THE FUTURE OF THIS REGION AND SHOULD STICK TO SHEARING AND FENCING
WE PRAY FOR THOSE COUNCILLORS FROM AN ORCHARDIST BACKGROUND WHO THINK THE MAORI COMMITTEES OF COUNCIL ARE THE” HOUSE NIGGERS” AND THE SEASONAL WORKERS FROM THE ISLANDS ARE THEIR “FIELD NIGGERS”, WE PRAY FOR THEM
WE PRAY FOR THOSE COUNCILLORS WHOS ANCESTORS WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN THE TREATY OF WAITANGI SIGNING AND HAVE A LEGACY OF BREACHING THE TREATY UP TO THIS DAY STILL WHO THINK THAT MAORI DON’T DESERVE A VOTE AT THE COUNCIL TABLE, WE PRAY FOR THEM
WE PRAY FOR THOSE COUNCILLORS WHO SUNK BACK INTO THE COMFORTABLE CUSHION OF COLONISATION AND DID NOT VOTE FOR MAORI AT ALL
WE PRAY FOR THOSE MAORI COUNCILLORS WHO ARE STILL SUBJECT TO THE RULE BRITTANIA CONSTITUENTS AND VOTED ACCORDINGLY
WE DON’T NEED TO PRAY FOR THOSE COUNCILLORS THAT SUPPORTED MAORI BEING EQUAL UNDER THE TREATY AND AS FELLOW HUMANS
WE PRAY THAT THE POWERFUL AND THE MIGHTY ARE IRRELEVANT TO THE ASPIRATIONS OF MAORI IN THE FUTURE POLITICALLY ECONOMICALLY SOCIALLY AND CUTURALLY.
WE PRAY THAT THEY DISAPPEAR INTO THEIR OWN CLOUD OF POWER AND MIGHT. BY DJANGO!!!!!
Given that Regional Councillors have been rebuked in these remarks, BayBuzz has invited each to respond, and several have.
These words reflect a deep hurt and disappointment, but are an unacceptable over-reaction.
What a disappointing reaction coming from an Iwi Chairperson. He will be invited to face our hapū in due course on this matter because that is our tikanga.
The ultimate disappointment I have all round is that this forced process was executed so inadequately that it has lead an Iwi Chair to a dark place of unwarranted and distasteful accusations. Absolutely unacceptable.
These outrageous, confrontational comments are an indictment Ngahiwi’s leadership. They will set back relationships for years.
We are fully immersed in this process & fallout now instead of getting on with ensuring HBRC is fufilling its obligations to protecting & enhancing our environment. There is so much to do. Meanwhile the environment, plan change 6 implementation, Upper Tukituki gravel scheme, water security & all core role work for council has all had to take a backward step. Realistically the rest of this year is a write off in terms of achieving anything around the table. I can only hope we start the new year fresh & get back to what we all stood for. For the sake of our environment & ratepayers.
By way of brief summary of what I would like to say on the matter, please note as follows to the point that “Those Councillors whose ancestors were instrumental in the Treaty of Waitangi signing and have a legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day”, and assuming this to be a reference to myself (and my ancestors who cannot speak for themselves), I respond:
- Would a carving of Henry Williams (karuwha) stand at the base of the central Pou of Te Tii Marae at Waitangi, if the ancestors referred to had a legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day?
- Would Henry and his son Edward have intervened to ensure that the Te Tii Marae land remains in possession of the local iwi (Ngati Rahiri), if the ancestors referred to had a legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day?
- Would Archdeacon Samuel Williams have protested to the Government of the day in 1860, pleading with them not to survey, purchase, and if necessary use force to take land at Waitara, thereby triggering the Māori Land Wars, if this family had a legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day?
- Would Rev Samuel Williams have established Te Aute in 1855, and built it despite withdrawal of long promised Government funding, if this family had a legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day??
- Would the daughters of my great great great grandfather William Williams, a missionary for much of his life near Gisborne, first Bishop of Waiapu based in Napier, and author of the first dictionary recording Te Reo ever printed (still bearing his name under later editions), have established Hukarere School for girls, as part of a legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day?
- Would Apirana Ngata on the passing of William’s son James Nelson have pronounced in Parliament in 1915 that “no family in this country, I doubt whether any family in any country in the world has done so much for any group of people as the Williams family has done for the Maoris of Waiapu County”?
- Would Samuel have established a Trust which to this day provides substantial funding to Anglican mission and education directly targeted for the benefit of Māori communities, and would I be serving as a trustee of that Trust today, as part of the continued legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day?
- Would I have served for five years as Chair of the Napier Pilot City Trust with an express purpose/kaupapa of promoting a bicultural approach to community development within Napier, as part of the continued legacy of breaching the Treaty?
- Would I have completed a course run by Robert Consedine of Waitangi Associates (in 2013) centred on the text Healing our History, to ensure I had a deeper and clearer understanding of the Treaty and its implications, as part of the continued legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day?
- Would I have formed and be Chair of an Incorporated Society with the express purpose of increasing public understanding of the formative Pakeha-Maori relationships established at Paihia through the work of my tipuna as missionaries, contributing thereby to a shared understanding of the meaning, significance and importance of the Treaty, and the context in which it was created, as part of a continued legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day?
- Would I have completed my third semester learning Te Reo at EIT, witnessing to my fellow students that I did so out of respect for Tangata Whenua, as part of a continued legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day?
- Would I have expressed my strong support for Māori seats at the Regional Council table in fulfilment of the promise of Article 2 of Ti Tiriti, both at the meeting on 18 November, and as reported in the Hawke’s Bay Today on 25 November 2020, as part of a continued legacy of breaching the Treaty up to this day?
The legacy speaks for itself and is not as presented in what is framed as a “prayer” from Ngahiwi Tomoana.
My prayer is for all Māori, not only within Hawke’s Bay but across the nation, that this generation and those to come live in a society in which the promise of Article 2 is fulfilled.