Tenei he mihi aroha ki nga Tangata Whenua-Ahi Kaa ki Taupo nui a Tia.
How do we protect Waahi Tapu?
I am part of a collective of whanau situated around the rohe of Ngati
Tuwharetoa who have been occupying and opposing a development on a
Waahi tapu site known as Otuparae. 2 years ago as well as 2 months ago
skeletal remains from our burial grounds were dug up from contractors
building Parawera Development. Our whanau had been through all the
legal avenues to try to stop it,apart from high court which would cost
thousands. We protested and occupied and have been arressted and
removed of our land and still went back and are still continuing to
occupy. And now the contractors are back to keep developing.
Without using physical violence we are at a wait and pray stage. Our other
whanau have been upholding Mana Whenua by occupying Wharewaka.
Both of our occupations were raided by police in Taupo 2 weeks ago.
11 whanau were arressted from Otuparae. The oldest a Kuia the youngest
a 2mth old baby. 2 were arressted from Wharewaka.
Our Kuia from Otuparae laid down a Karanga envoking Tupuna to be there
as she was being arressted. As we were being held back at the gate by
3 rows of police men having to watch the representative for the
developers and the police raid our Noho they made 2 of our kaumatua
carry stack full of chairs down the driveway without assisstance from
Senjo Security, who were hired by the developers to secure their
buildings,police or the developers representative.
But we haven't given up.
11 July 2007 appearing in Taupo District Court are those who were
arrested from their ancestaral lands just as in the days of our
Tupuna. Haere Mai.
It still exsists the pen and paper turmoil that has corrupted us into
a system of land-grabing descecrators who cares not for the Tangata
Whenua-Ahi Kaa ancestoral and human rights. But cares more for bread
and butter on their table at the expense of hanging the Maori.
How do we protect Waahi Tapu without getting violent?
This question I leave open for reply to........
Kia ora, I am one such wahine taking a proactive stance against the blatant desecration of our tupuna. There comes a time when we must say enough is enough, how much longer should we endure or even allow such acts to go unnoticed. Our lands are taonga handed down for our safe keeping and inturn we then leave the land intact for our mokopuna to enjoy. Allowing these lands to pass into the hands of those who do not possess the same affinity( where land becomes a commodity to be bought and sold at a whim or for personal gain and wealth ) to land as some of us do is acting irresponsibly. Subsequently allowing the land to pass into the hands of gated communities like Rangatira Point or Pauanui makes the alienation so much more painful.To add further fuel to the argument , places like waahi tapu can not be contained to a insignificant 10 by 10 metre area. The underlying facts about waahi tapu, are evident , waahi tapu radiates in area rather than localising inwards. The criteria or definitions of Waahi tapu are scrutinised against and accorrding to western philospies, leaving our own tikanga and kawa ideals and beliefs seemingly insignificant.Waahi tapu are place not recorded by early settlers for fear of desecration/ or grave robbing evident by the taking of mokomokai during the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the scientific study of archeaology lends a helping hand in legitimising further unwanted tampering of the dead. When will this ghoulish behaviour cease. It seems not until the iron fist strikes.
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