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  • Rosa Hibbert-Schooner

The Difference Between Me and Friends Going to Waitangi vs the Government

Rosa Hibbert-Schooner | Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Awa Graduate from Te Puna Wānaka o Ara, Te Tohu Ohoka

They come to talk. To stumble around the philosophies so false they cannot even trace where they come from without our land they stole. Lives built on being better than others, without realizing they still do not understand anything without us. 

We come to connect, to feel the very breeze of the sea our ancestors once knew as one. The legacy they left so far intertwined into our whenua it cannot be undone. We know this to be true. We are loud about that too. 

They see our past and present as mouldable, buyable and sellable. Usable always but never quite doable. They see our tikanga, reo, ahurea as commodities and smile with their clenched teeth through a “mandatory” waiata. Though they are the ones who claim to the cameras watching the next day that we were the ones to make mockery of our customs. 

E noho… the waiata rings 

We understand the future we need and the urgency of this. So close we can smell it but you push it further away. 

They see urgency as a tool to undo everything about us. Wipe us from existence again, they will try. 

They join international alliances to do the same to Iwi taketake across the world. How dare they decide such a thing on this whenua? The same papa that knows what aroha ki te tangata is. The same papa that watched Te Tiriti be dishonored time and time again. She holds the secret that spread as long as her, never ceded, never ceded. Always seed her. 

It never worked the first time. It won’t work now. We turn up, white flags raised, together. Indigenous, tangata whenua, tangata Tiriti alike. Rising like te Rā, consistent, ia rā, ia ra. Our tipuna are watching us as we lay the legacy alongside them. Will our tamariki be smiling when they look back on us? 


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