Letters: Sorry King Tuheitia, the land is all gone

Monday September 02, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
Maori King Tuheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero, his wife Makau Ariki Atawhai and grandchild are carried on the paata. 19082905 Maori King Tuheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero, his wife Makau Ariki Atawhai and grandchild are carried on the paata. 19082905

Dear editor,

With all the celebrations recognising the Maori King with the gifting of land from the people of Aitutaki I have to ask how can it be?

 

Tangata of Aitutaki have gifted him land for eternity, but those of us with blood rights can only have a maximum of 60 years.

They say it is an honour to bestow this land 80 years after the original gifting; for the rest of us our occupation rights or lease would have run out at 60 years.

If this is the way of the people then I have to ask what will the Maori King give back? It is said maybe he will add some job creating business – what if it is a casino gambling and what if on a Sunday? Will it be acceptable? 

Tainui is one of the seven vaka canoes that left Rarotonga for New Zealand but how many Tainui know this or promote they come from here? 

If you go to Rotorua they still talk of Hawaiki as a fictitious place; many like to think Hawaii is their birth place. But it can’t be, because Hawaii was one of the last islands to be populated. 

It is written as historical fact, but of the 200 tourists I teach our culture and history to every week for the past five years, many of whom are Kiwis, this is new to them. 

I have Tainui Maori say to me, "it feels like coming home, even the language sounds similar."

That is because we are the Tuakana, the parents, and New Zealand Maori are the Tamariki – our children, not the other way round. 

Will the Maori King now start insisting Tainui teach that Rarotonga is Hawaiiki? Will he have his iwi learn the history of the migration from the Avana Harbour of the Tainui vaka?

When you grow up in New Zealand, Maori don't look at us as Tipuna or ancestors, they don't even say cuzzies.

They look at us as if we are from somewhere foreign like China – and then DNA experts say this is where they originated from the Lipita people.

We like to say to the people from New Zealand and Tainui, "The Great Migration from Hawaiki" started here on the shores of Rarotonga. So we say "welcome home to paradise!"

But if you come looking for land, then, "sorry, too late, it’s all gone!"

RAT Mave

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