Beware the Miss-Leaders ! The statement from the Women's Conference Against APEC Wellington, 19-20 June 1999

This weekend women have been talking about what APEC means for womens lives - from young Maori women in Havelock North to migrant women and Burmese refugees in Thailand to clothing workers in Levin.

These women's stories will not be heard at the APEC women leaders' meeting.

Free markets benefit an elite, within Aotearoa New Zealand and throughout the region. For masses of women, however, free markets mean deepening poverty, increased inequality and a struggle to survive.

Globalisation poses a paradox. The pain it creates for women throughout the region is remarkably similar. Yet women experience this at a local level, often feeling isolated, individualised and powerless to control our lives.

This conference has shown the commitment of women in Aotearoa New Zealand to come together

* to give voice to their [our] pain,

* to share their [our] stories,

* to commit ourselves to the decolonisation of this land,

* to stand in solidarity with our sisters throughout the region and the world, and

* to join together in struggle as each of us confront the power of globalisation, which APEC seeks to promote.

Women called for a life-centred approach to decisions

* that defends the place of wahine Maori as first women of Aotearoa,

* that values the sharing of knowledge as a source of power,

* that celebrates our successes, and * finds creative ways to challenge those who deny women the right to control our own lives.

Wellington, 20 June 1999


1 comment:

Ana said...

from the Tino archive:

> From: asykes asykes@...
> To: Tino Rangatiratanga
> Subject: Fw: [Tino-Rangatiratanga] Re: Fwd: Maori Women's APEC Hui
> Date: Monday, 21 June 1999 22:18
> Tena Koutou
> The womens forum over the weekend organised by Tere Harrison and Tania
> Schultz was awesome. For those who didnt attend the womens forum
> APEC organised in Wellingon here is a bit of a run down of some of the
> events.
> Unlike the APEC Women Leaders Network Meeting, the conference was
open to
> all women. Women from right around Aotearoa and overseas travelled to
> part in the hui to look at the real issues relating to the narrow
> more-market APEC agenda, the human and environmental costs of the free
> trade, open investment, free market model of development. The first
> was a joint Maori women and Pakeha women plenary with about 150 women in
> attendance.
> The session kicked off with a powerful presentation from a panel of
> women entitled the First Voices. The panel comprised Mereana Pitman, of
> Ngati Kahungunu; Leonie Pihama of Taranaki and Ngati Mahanga and Jessica
> Hutichings of Ngai Tahu. Their korero traced the links between the
> colonisation of Aotearoa, its impact on Maori women and the
> agenda promoted by APEC.
> "They have tried to commodify everything and now it is banks,
> corporations and the state, acting together, that are the new
> said Mereana Pitman.
> Leonie Pihama, an educator and lecturer at Auckland University,
> the government's attempts to encourage Maori to support APEC:
> "Indigenous Peoplese are clearly a threat to the APEC and wider
> globalisation agenda. We see that particularly clearly here in

> The intense public relations programme that the government is currently
> engaged in is evidence of the desire to have all people in this country
> support APEC and the the ideologies that underpin globalisation. That
> includes Maori. We must expose that for the sham it is"
> Jessica Hutchins lecturer in environmental law at Victoria
University and
> soon to be past employee of the KPMG Maori development unit spoke of the
> corporatisation of iwi by the process of privatisation and the Treaty
> settlement frameworks imposed by the Crown. She also gave a very
> challenging discourse on a process of reconstruction of Maori models of
> resource development and management that were people centred and
> with Kaupapa Maori.
> This session was followed by another indigenous speaker from Asia Debbie
> Stothard, a Bangkok-based - coordinator of ALTSEAN (Alternative ASEAN
> Network on Burma) who spoke of the impact of the APEC agenda on Asian
> women. She emphasised "that being more committed to trade than the
> of human beings is the ultimate hypocrisy".
> The Maori women then entered into phase two of their forum which
> with a symbolic protest at the Plaza International where the Women
> attending the kawanatanga controlled spectacle are all staying on our
> taxpayers money. The official Apec logo was given an official
> by the Maori Women who laid the logo down at the foyer of the hotel and
> then buried it under whenua bought from the sacred lands of Ngati Toa
> Rangatira. The SIS and others were caught by surprise for despite a
> up Lambton Quay and at least half an hour at the Hotel they didnt
> in time. All we glimpsed was a bunch of goons in police cars with their
> dogs barking. The Maori women were joined in the action by a ropu of Men
> from Whanganui a Tara and our mihi to you for your support and tautoko
> Poropiti ma.
> The afternoon session was facilitated by Annette Sykes and Tere

> The Ageing Icons forum (those over 35) and the Sweet Young Things (
> under 35) meet to develop a series of strategies for Maori generally to
> combat the globalisation agenda. A copy of the outcomes of these
> was delivered to the Conference forum late on Sunday and is presently
> collated and will be available shortly. This will form the basis of
> ongoing hui in Rotorua early in August.
> Sunday was spent in a very volatile series of actions at Tapuwahia Marae
> Porirua. The indigenous women who had been bought by the government
> taken their by members of Womens Affairs and Tradenz for a Marae
> Experience. By the afternoon they certainly had had their fill of true
> Marae drama. While the powhiri was in place speakers for the crown
> to stifle the right of our kaikorero to speak by manipulation of
kawa and
> agreed protocols negotiated with the tangata whenua. This was
> by a misunderstanding of one of the paepae who thought we wanted to
> after the Karakia. Te Ariki he tangata toa he tangata tautoko nga mihi
> aroha ki a koe te kaikorero mo tatou. Te Ariki was grabbed by the
> government stoolie and ex-army trained (present SIS point of contact )
> Robert Te Moana who caused a violent stand off. Tracey Johnson Mereana
> Pittman and Annette Sykes quickly joined the fracas with ongoing
cries of
> betrayal occuring from all present. The incident highlights the
> nature of the Pakeha law and its impact on the most sacred of our
> institutions yet again. This didnt occur on the marae atea but inside
> whare and the wairua of Rongo. It also highlights the fear of the
> government to avoid the truth of the impacts of globalisation to our
> visitors many of whom had no idea about Apec it was just a free trip for
> most of them and the lengths those that work for the Crown agenda
will go
> to to protect their invisible masters.
> The chain of events prompted very passionate outbursts by a number
> with those kupapa who would support a crown agenda to silence the truth
> the effects of Apec being singled out for criticism and exposure by
> The incident was the best way of confronting all with the truth.
> The women who travelled from Taranaki; Kirikiriroa; Hokianga; Tamaki
> Makaurau; Te Arawa; Tuhoe; Ngati Awa; Whanau Apanui; Kahungunu;
> Te Whanganui a Tara; Ngai Tahu he mihi aroha ki a koutou katoa nga
> toa; nga wahine koikoi nga whakaruruhau mo te kaupapa Mana Maori