Tihei Mauri Ora
Ki nga hou e wha
Huri noa i te ao hurihuri, it te ao ipurangi
Tena tatou katoa
This week is the biggest ‘Treaty Settlement’ week in the history of settlements and it’s a huge week for members of the North Island iwi and hapu. A quick recap of the week ahead:
Hundreds of us descend on the Parliament this week. Travelling down in cars, on the train, and of course the buses and yes – even the planes. Laughing and singing together, eating together and understanding why we are heading to Wellington in the middle of winter. We’ll enjoy ourselves that’s for sure, as we reconnect with each other. It’s whakawhanaungatanga baby. Catching up with the whanau, catching up on whanau goss, the scandals, the dramas, ‘the latest’ – in person instead of through txt. We’ll find each other, after getting lost on the streets of Wellington looking for the aunties who were told not to take off shopping, but did anyway.
Not losing sight of what has brought us to Wellington, we’ll sip cups of tea and be truly inspired by the achievements of the long hard slog by so many of us, of which these few days are a product, a big step forward, shifting up to the next level. And that shift up creates the opportunities for dreams and hope to flourish.
These are short days when we watch our leaders along with Michael Cullen sign on the dotted line – each of those dots could represent a month or a decade of work. Where apologies are offered, for the devastating actions of the past, to descendants. Where the indigenous leaders, with humility and in good faith, accept those apologies on behalf of their fellow iwi and hapu members. Call it romantic, call it minimal, call it at least a positive step forward. There is no denying it is progress with explosive potential.
From the apology, comes the detail of the settlement – land, compensation, access to participation in decision-making. No region in which a Treaty settlement has been reached has become worse off because of it. What it does offer is opportunity.
To offer and accept apologies based on truth creates a bond and a pathway that can rebuild relationships we can work with each other. It is one of the kete that contribute to Maori development and prosperity.
We want our kids to be able to stand on top of the world and – with laptops in hand – and to be able to do it from the top of their own maunga.
If it takes a village to raise a baby, it takes a country to raise a Treaty Settlement.