Our People, Our Land, Our Future - Te Tiriti o Waitangi
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Our People, Our Land, Our Future - Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Our People, Our Land, Our Future - Te Tiriti o Waitangi

E ngā matawaka me ngā whānau ki VisionWest puta noa, nau mai, haere mai ki tēnei whakairinga rangitaki ko Te Tiriti o Waitangi ara me ētahi atu Kaupapa Māori kōrero hoki ka whai ake nei!

 To all our tribes, clans (go the Scots), other ethnic groups and families represented at VisionWest, a warm welcome to this very first ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ blog post and other Kaupapa Māori posts to come!

As Waitangi Day is fast approaching again, for us this year it will be about highlighting ‘Whakanuinga-a-rohe’. Supporting regional celebrations, being on the same page regarding general Treaty information as well as celebrating our VisionWest commitment in a more wider sense.

On that note, I would like to share several key thoughts and snapshots of ideas so grab a fresh cuppa and enjoy!


Yeah Nah Club

In the 80’s and early 90’s if you were to ask any local Joe Blogs on the street if they knew anything at all concerning the Treaty of Waitangi, you were more than likely left with the “yeah, nah” response (btw, for our overseas folks this means ‘yes and no’). I distinctly remember back in the mid 90’s when speaking at a marae hui [gathering], the main kaumatua [respected elder] stated he knew very little about the Treaty other than that it was created in 1840, that Māori chiefs signed the Māori version and that way later many of our people were left very unhappy and angry.

So, for the sake of us being on the same page, what is the Treaty of Waitangi? In short, the English version of the Treaty was:

  • A way for the British Crown to establish their sovereignty over all New Zealand by Māori ceding their authority or sovereignty to the Crown.
  • A way for the Crown to have exclusive or first option purchasing rights of Māori lands, villages, properties and treasures.
  • A way to confirm and guarantee for all Māori leaders and people, collectively and individually, 'exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands and estates, forests, fisheries and other properties'.
  • A way to protect Māori from overbearing or overzealous British settlers.
  • A way for Māori to be accorded the same protection and rights as British citizens.

However, or as we say in Māori, “Engari…!” the Māori version was:

  • A way for Māori to cede authority to the Crown to establish “kawanatanga” or the power to govern and establish a government framework of laws and legislations over New Zealand.
  • A way for Māori to exercise their ‘Chieftainship’ or ‘Tino Rangatiratanga’ over their lands, villages, properties and treasures.
  • A way for the Crown to have first option, if not exclusively, purchasing rights of Māori lands, villages, properties and treasures if Māori decided to sell.
  • A way for Māori to be accorded the same protection and rights [tikanga] as British citizens. ‘Snap!’.

Sun, Food and Music

In keeping with the celebration spirit around the country on this important day. Here are a list of cool, fun community Waitangi events happening in the regions that VisionWest serves in so feel free to check them out. Normally you can expect kai stalls, plenty of local music, kapa haka performances and other arts and crafts stalls. In some cases, you may find several healthcare stalls also.


The Treaty in Brief. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2018, from https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/treaty/the-treaty-in-brief


By Fred Astle, Head of Maori Development at VisionWest
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