Dissatisfaction with aspects of the New Zealand Government performance, despite the inclusion of the Maori Party, led to a decision to stage a hikoi (march) early in 2011. For explanation of hikoi, see "On again" below, 3rd paragraph.
However, the Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011 led to a decision to cancel the hikoi. The following message was released for maximum dissemination:
Subject: Cancel Hikoi 2011
Kia ora tatou
Due to the Earth Quake in Te Waiponamu (Otautahi) the Hikoi ki Poneke has been cancelled. Hui (meeting) at Te Hiku branch yesterday with our kaumatuao (elders) o Te Hiku and Ngati Kahu* present had made a decision to cancel hikoi. Also all our hikoi co-ordinators throughout the country got together to hui also and they decided to cancel hikoi as well.
So this was the people decision and this is the people kaupapa (theme),
- Nga mihi
- John Popata jnr
- Maori Iwi(tribe)of Northland.
Press release, 12 March, from Rueben@Ahipara tepaatu at gmail.com:
HIKOI TAKUTAIMOANA 2011 IS ON! (Takutai:shore, moana:ocean)
A dawn karakia (prayer) by kaumatua (elders) of Te Hiku o Te Ika and Muriwhenua at Te Rerenga Wairua on Monday the 14th of March will bless the start for the Hikoi Takutaimoana 2011. Our kaumatua have given support to the need to instigate a public action, after a letter they wrote to the Prime Minister and country leaders was disregarded. The letter asked for the readings of the Marine and Coastal Bill to cease while the Otautahi earthquakes were being dealt with. A time to allow for the grieving families to mourn was asked for, but ignored. On Tuesday the 8th of March, the 2nd Reading of the Bill was accepted. This left our kaumatuano choice but to order the relaunch of the Hikoi immediately.
The organisers and supporters of this Hikoi are committed to defending the rights of their relationship to the takutaimoana that provides sustenance for their families as well as spiritual sustenance through their culture and history . In 2004, fourty thousand people marched to Parliament in opposition of the infamous Foreshore and Seabed Act. 7 years later The Marine and Coastal Bill is the proposed answer to replace that Act. This is supposed to be a satisfatory conclusion to the whole process. But it is not even close to being a satisfactory replacement according to the latest polls. Almost 90% of maori who were surveyed, said that the Marine and Coastal Bill was not much better than the Foreshore and Seabed Act. Many Iwi authorities and organisations also oppose the Bill being accepted until further time has been given to the public to have more consultation about the implications that this Bill will have on the future generations of people of this country.
The purpose of the hikoi is to provide an opportunity for whanau (family) and hapu (sub-tribes) to physically show their opposition to the Marine and Coastal Bill. It is also a time for maori to strategise about how the takutai moana can remain in hapu ownership. Many groups and forums have participated in finding a solution to this problem including political parties and Iwi leader Forums. Maori have been reduced to entering negotiations with the government and putting forward submissions on the ownership of the takutai moana. This has publicly lulled our united stance at fully opposing the confiscation of our Seabed and foreshore. After all the efforts by maori to state their case in a democratic fashion, it is disappointment in the governments efforts to rush the Marine and Coastal Bill through, that has forced whanau (family) and hapu (sub-tribes) to stand up again and physically journey to Wellington (Whanga-nui) to question this government directly about their reasons for pushing this Bill through quickly, while the country is still in a state of mourning from natural disasters that have recently afflicted this country.
We must again stand up and demonstrate our disgust in this confiscation by legislation and challenge the government to withdraw the Bill. We must again unite in our opposition of this theft of our taonga (possession), and hikoi to Parliament to express the strong voice of tangata whenua. (people (of the) land).
We will be moving quickly throughout the North Island and do not want to put pressure on our many marae who have generously offered to host us. We are asking whanau (family) travelling to be as self sufficient as possible. We need to be fully focused on our kaupapa (theme) and will celebrate a hakari (party) when we actually keep our takutai! (seashore)
We will be passing through many hapu (sub-tribe) territories and are looking forward to strategising and sharing korero (news). Because of the financial hardship on many of our people, and the short time we have had to organise this Hikoi due to the proposed bill date, we do not expect this Hikoi to be as large as the 2004 one.
We will arrive at Parliament on Tuesday the 22nd of March 2011 in time to oppose the final reading of the Coastal Marine bill that if passed will remove our rights forever as tangata whenua. (people of the land)
However we have a strong message and staunch support. The message is to the government who make decisions on our behalf that for right or for wrong, they must listen to the people of this country. They must uphold the democratic rights that are the cornerstone of the legal system of this country.
The Hikoi is still about the takutaimoana, even though there are so many important issues happening in Aotearoa and indeed the entire Pacific Rim, but they all eventually relate to the takutaimoana and the way that it is being managed.
The Hikoi is not for Maori exclusively, but for all whanau that oppose injustice and support fairness and rights for tangata whenua.
Throughout the next 8 days, whanau and supporters from throughout the country are invited to join the march, in their town and ctiy that the Hikoi will pass through.
There will be no toleration for drugs, alcohol or ulterior motives in this Hikoi.
We ask that all people joining us maintain the dignity of our tupuna by being on their best behaviour and looking after one another, as safety of our elders and our families is paramount.
- Monday 14th March - Te Rerenga wairua to Kawakawa
- Tuesday 15th March - Kawakawa to Auckland
- Wednesday 16th March - Hikoi through Auckland
- Thursday 17th March - Auckland to Tauranga
- Friday 18th March - Te Puke - Rotorua
- Saturday 19th March - Taupo to Hastings
- Sunday 20th March - Palmerston North to Otaki
- Monday 21st March - Otaki to Wellington
- Tuesday 22nd March - Parliament House, Wellington
Rueben Taipari media contact for Hikoi 027 200 1840 ahiparaonline at gmail.com