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I hope Ngati Whatua have a really good Mokopuna day

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, February 21st, 2015 - 48 comments
Categories: racism - Tags: ,

Social media is abuzz.  Ngati Whatua have decided to close Okahu Bay today so that it can hold a Mokopuna day.  The rednecks are saying that this is the end of civilisation as we know it.  It is claimed that this is the start of apartheid where white folk will no longer be able to use beaches or roads or footpaths or anything and the next thing is that we will all be transported back to Europe.  They need to get a grip and they need to get an understanding of the history.

From the Herald:

The beach is part of a 48ha “Whenua Rangatira” block, including the reserve behind the beach where the tribe once lived and Bastion Point above the bay, which was returned to Ngati Whatua in 1991 under the Treaty of Waitangi. It is managed jointly by the tribe and Auckland Council through the Ngati Whatua Orakei Reserves Board.

Ms Hawke said 400 to 600 people were expected when the mokopuna day was first scheduled just before Christmas, but it had to be postponed then because of bad weather and she did not expect so many people now that the summer holidays were over.

“It’s a family day,” she said.

She said it was the first time the tribe had exercised its right to use the beach for a tribal event, apart from “civic events” such as ceremonial canoe visits.

“It’s unique in that the way they have designed the event requires the use of the land that they have asked for. It’s well within their rights,” she said.

“It’s not the intention of the family to close out the public. It [the beach] is always accessible to the public.”

The beach has been closed in the past for things like triathlons but apparently if the original owners want to use it for a few hours this presents some sort of crisis.

I suspect these events become flashpoints because the right and the rednecks think that Maori will behave like them and get all possessive over areas they have rights to.  Certainly the rhetoric of the right suggests that everyone will behave in the same venal selfish way as them if given a chance.  My experience of Maori however is that they are several cuts above the right and the rednecks and we have nothing to worry about.  We just need to be respectful.

If you want an Auckland contrast think of Puketutu Island, owned by entities associated with the Kelliher Family, early beer barons in Auckland.  Access has historically been difficult and there was for a long time a gate preventing access to the Island unless you had a code.  For all I know the gate is still there.  Compare this with Okahu Bay which has been used by many Aucklanders without restriction for many decades.

And if you really want to get upset then a brief reading of the history of Okahu Bay will achieve this as long as you are human.  The original problem was that the Maori Land Court awarded the Bastion Point land to 13 individuals, despite there being a hapu of over 100 that owned the land.  Tribal control of the land was lost.  Then to really kick things off the Government took land at Okahu Bay and built a sewer pipe across the beach in front of the Ngati Whatua village. It discharged raw sewage from Auckland into the bay, which at that time was the only access to the papakainga. The sewage outfall was unhygienic and highly offensive, it polluted the hapu’s shellfish beds, and it turned the village into a swamp in heavy rain.  Many people left the village and the hapu broke up.

Can you imagine what would happen if the humans of Remuera had received similar treatment?  Imagine the response if Mission Bay or Kohimarama or St Heliers faced the prospect of raw sewerage being pumped into their bays.

And complain?  Every time we use Okahu Bay or Bastion Point or Mission Bay or any piece of Ngati Whatua land we should express our gratitude to their generosity and apologise for the appalling treatment they have suffered.

I hope that Ngati Whatua have a great Mokopuna day.  And I appreciate their generosity in allowing all of us to use land and foreshore which under the Treaty of Waitangi should be theirs.

48 comments on “I hope Ngati Whatua have a really good Mokopuna day ”

  1. Great post Micky.

    Such a beat-up this story but it does provide some magnetism and iron ingots are pulled from their hiding place as they froth and splutter – which is good because we know they are there and their names and faces should also be known too.

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    Kia pai ō koutou rā.

  3. millsy 3

    Yeah well it represents a thin end of the wedge as far as I’m concerned. Iwi getting parks and reserves = restriction of access.

    • Haven’t seen you out protesting sporting events that close public access – why not?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1

        Thats right, I can think of a few local soccer clubs which have fencing which restricts access and allows them to charge a small amount.

        No one worries if Old Boys United restricts public access. Or even beach volleyball at Mission Bay.

    • weka 3.2

      That is something going on inside your head (or maybe your heart) millsy. There is no evidence of what you fear, and I challenge you to provide examples of it already happening.

      Just to head the “iwi getting parks” example off at the pass, here’s the link to the last time we discussed this (I note you didn’t reply).

      Metiria Turei’s speech prepared for Ratana

    • Tracey 3.3

      “If you want an Auckland contrast think of Puketutu Island, owned by entities associated with the Kelliher Family, early beer barons in Auckland. Access has historically been difficult and there was for a long time a gate preventing access to the Island unless you had a code. For all I know the gate is still there. Compare this with Okahu Bay which has been used by many Aucklanders without restriction for many decades.”

      let us know when you are on TV with your banner outside the gate so we can tune in.

  4. newsense 4

    Please post addresses (*this is a joke, DO NOT post addresses) of those who are complaining and we’ll have a barbecue and camp in their back yard, because owning something doesn’t mean you can keep people out. Precedent established.

  5. I am proud to be Pakeha. I am grateful for the Treaty. Happy Mokopuna Day. Many happy returns. Peace and love to Aotearoa.

  6. vto 6

    Is a great use of the site.

    Better than having these places closed down every second weekend for running races and bike races for Subaru-driving, skinny, bearded, fleece-wearing nerds sweating and glaring from strained wide eyes ……….

    Nora – if you can restrict access for;

    bike races
    swim races
    running races
    car races
    yacht races
    boat shows
    car shows
    a&p shows
    l&p shows

    then why on earth can this not be done?

    • vto I am enjoying your comments on these matters. What are your thoughts on combating the obvious bigotry and double standards that get exposed when Māori do something that others do.

      • vto 6.1.1

        Sheesh that’s a biggie that could be written on for some time and unfortunately the wilds beckon so have to vacate the premises…

        Very briefly though, I think it is a generational thing. Which means it will take passing generations for things to change. Have mentioned in the past that our own family has tangata whenua ancestry. We only found out when I was well-aged as our elders had grown up in times when such was kept hidden, believe it or not. This kind of reflects that generational thing. My own generation I think is a cross-roads between that and what look like being more inclusive generations in the future.

        So perhaps it is too difficult to change some attitudes and a kindly approach is needed until that passes. Unfortunately. People like Ghandi and Mandela are people to look to for guidance here methinks.

        Of course there are many facets to this which we have thrashed around. For example, I don’t believe the Treaty is in the form most suitable for the future – but that is for another day. There are other such, and they all intertwine.

        But yep, very difficult to change. Turn the other cheek. Show grace. Let the clock turn and it will change, as it is now …

        Sorry, gotta fly …… see what Mandela would do ….

      • music4menz 6.1.2

        I hope that all those present today at beautiful Okahu Bay had a terrifically enjoyable family day in glorious sun! I guess that the important thing for most Kiwis is that we are an inclusive society and not an exclusive one, and that no-one should ever feel deliberately excluded from enjoying our public parks and beaches. There may well be times when such areas are restricted because a particular event is being held such as sports or a parade, but in these situations people are not being excluded because of their race.

        I am not sure that it is correct to say that Ngati Whatua are just doing ‘something that others do’. I haven’t yet experienced a situation when a public area is designated even for a short period as ‘Pakeha only’ or ‘Tongan only’ or ‘Asian only’. I think that we would find that was against the laws of New Zealand.

        • marty mars

          It is their bay and they can use it for this activity – it is NOT against the law. Most of the whole country was stolen and utilised for non-Māori so this is a very small but significant reassertion of power and mana. Those that are threatened by it need to look at their bias and prejudice.

        • Molly

          In the same way that corporates closing off the beach for a permitted event will require those attending to be part of the corporation or their invited guests, the use of the beach by the original owners and their families falls into the same process. I have no problem with it, and just thank Ngati Whatua in their generosity for sharing their beach with the rest of us for what in reality is close to “all of the time”. I would even support the creation of an annual event, so people can get used to the idea.

          Another thought regarding restricted access to public places: There are instances of subdivisions that have Private Property signs on public roads. One example being Seagrove Road in Pukekohe where the final couple of 100 metres of public road appears to have been closed off behind a locked, chained fence. Essentially appropriated by whoever has done that.

          If the public roads shown on Auckland GIS is correct and access has been denied, it is against the law. But people tend to believe signs saying private property, and some who understand that find it a very convenient way of creating a private enclave.

  7. Tracey 8

    Excellent summary Mickey

  8. tc 9

    We havent come very far have we, great post mickey. Cant help but think this says alot about akl rather than wider nz where I see some good levels of tolerance and understanding.

    Ive always found those inner bays full of snobby twats, walked along kohi beach often with my girl (labrador) and found a nice chat with locals to reveal alot of ambient bigotry.

  9. greywarshark 10

    Sometimes I have thought I would go somewhere and there has been a sign – Closed this Saturday because of a private function. I have survived and gone back later and been welcomed as usual. I am sure that Ngati Whatua will follow this path.

    A Council might decide that people can’t go somewhere, park somewhere, because of an important event. It has happened and wasn’t the sign of disinheriting us from our country. Sometimes the Council or the gummint can be quite unreasonable in the way they will interfere in our ordinary human rights!

  10. Clemgeopin 11

    Well persuasive post there, Mickey.

    I have very mixed feelings, for and against, about this issue. Hard to put into words as they would be easily misunderstood either way.

    Only one of those points I would like to make is I hope that the Ngati Whatua are doing this in good faith and sincerity and not due to wanting to make a political power or separation statement.

    • rawshark-yeshe 11.1

      fwiw Clem .. sadly, to me anyway, your doubt about Ngati Whatua intentions says more than your decision to say nothing.

      not fighting, just an observation.

      Great post Mickey .. thank you.

      • weka 11.1.1

        “fwiw Clem .. sadly, to me anyway, your doubt about Ngati Whatua intentions says more than your decision to say nothing.”


        Clem, what makes you think that this might be a political move?

        (edited to rephrase question).

        • Maui

          I think there is a lot of fear from pakeha that our rights will be taken away or will be slowly eaten away. Obviously it is a threat to the privilege and control white people have had over New Zealand since we arrived here, time to start sharing. When we’re born into privilege it is hard to see the other side’s perspective.

        • Clemgeopin

          None. Just a doubting Thomas instinct, hopefully wrong.

          P.S : Now do you see what I meant by saying my mixed feelings could easily be misunderstood? A pity!

          • weka

            Nope, I understand. I would guess that you think that your feelings are politically relevant. fair enough, how about we explore that then.

            Can you please explain more about “Only one of those points I would like to make is I hope that the Ngati Whatua are doing this in good faith and sincerity and not due to wanting to make a political power or separation statement.”

    • Tracey 11.2

      they say it was planned as a family day before christmas but it rained. doesnt sound political to me

    • greywarshark 11.3

      Why shouldn’t Ngati Whatua close the beach once a month to prove that they can? I dont think its likely usually they aremore giving but they could choose to make a point.

  11. Maui 12

    As far as I’m concerned with a marae looking that cool (refer to front page) they can do what ever they like! They have culture, spirituality and an understanding of history that pakeha can only dream of.

  12. RedBaronCV 13

    Personally I think we should graciously thank Ngati Whatua for sharing the land and beach with us for so much of every year. Thank you.

    Which is a great deal more tha one can say about the rich owners of a great deal of other beachside property.

  13. One Anonymous Bloke 14

    Personally I think rednecks should be confined solely to land that they can prove ownership of.

  14. Saarbo 15

    Good post Micky, this quote sums things up perfectly I think:

    I suspect these events become flashpoints because the right and the rednecks think that Maori will behave like them and get all possessive over areas they have rights to.

  15. ankerawshark 16

    Its a fantastic event and those who disagree are being ridiculous.

    Next time my local streets are closed off because of the Farmers Xmas Parade, I am really going to be up in arms! (NOT!) How dare they not let me have access to the road because of some family event!!!!

  16. Weepus beard 17

    The gate is still there at Puketutu Island. I went through it today for work.

    It now has a security guard too.

    • mickysavage 17.1

      I have been on the Island a couple of times. It is a majestic place. I cannot understand why it should not be opened up to the public after current usage is sorted out.

  17. Penny Bright 18

    I hope the Ngati Whatua ‘Mokopuna Day’ goes well – but I for one am extremely concerned at the precedent it creates for a supposedly ‘public access’ beach.

    In my view – the sensible option would have been for Ngati Whatua to have made a public announcement of their intention to have their ‘Mokopuna Day’ at that place – without closing access.

    It really concerns me how much attention and focus BIG business have put into they ‘corporatisation’ of Iwi, and how some Iwi organisations are effectively being used as a brown Trojan. horse’ for privatisation.

    Eg – Iwi groups wanting to privatise State housing for ‘social’ housing.

    That’s not why I for one got arrested at Bastion Point in the fight to stop that land being used to provide housing for the rich – decades ago ….

    Penny Bright

    • Sacha 18.1

      Nearby St Heliers beach was closed today for the kids triathlon sponsored by Sanatarium. The most common reason public places are closed off to other people is for exactly that sort of event. No widespread concern about precedent though. Funny that.

  18. Brutus Iscariot 19

    “My experience of Maori however is that they are several cuts above the right.”

    What is this sloppy, appalling generalisation supposed to mean?

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