On Saturday, Wellingtonians gathered for an action on Cuba Mall to support two important Māori land struggles at Ihumātao (Auckland) and at Murukaikuru (Shelly Bay, Wellington) and to push for political solutions. Mau Whenua member David Tawhai-Bodsworth told the crowd that they will never give up on their struggle for land at Murukaikuru Shelly Bay. Mau Whenua are Taranaki Whānui who believe in kaitiakitanga and holding onto the land at Shelly Bay.
“Peace Action Wellington and Pōneke Solidarity Alliance have come out on the streets to stand with Tangata Whenua in Wellington who are fighting to save their land ,” said Valerie Morse spokesperson for Peace Action Wellington.
“It was great to see Wellington show up and sign the letter to Mayor Andy Foster asking that the Council refuse the sale of a critical piece of land that would enable this unjust land theft to continue. There is a Council vote on the land sale in October and we call on the Council to do the right thing,” said Morse.
“There is growing unease amongst Wellingtonians about the Shelly Bay deal given that the majority of iwi members voted against the land sale, and that thousands more were unable to vote. Frankly this is a dodgy deal,” said Morse
“As part of the action today, a statue of William Wakefield was pelted with water balloons and demolished. We were drawing the links between Wellington’s original land theft by the New Zealand Company and this contemporary land deal with The Wellington Company owned by Ian Cassells.”
“Today we were also drawing links with the struggle at Ihumātao which remains unresolved.”
“We believe that there can be no unity or future for Aotearoa while these festering injustices remain. Ignoring history and papering over past wrongs is not the way to build a solidly peaceful and democratic country – instead it is piling hate and further deprivation on Māori who have sought a genuine partnership based on Te Tiriti for 180 years.”
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