Kuia reflects on Bastion Point occupation 40 years on
This week marks the 40 year anniversary of the Bastion Point occupation.
Kathy Lumber is a Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei kuia who faced the huge dilemma of standing in protest with her people or going to work to feed the whānau. She was 30 at the time of the occupation.
“It was a very sad time it did divide a lot of our families. Every chance we got when we weren't at work we were there - somebody had to buy the kai and pay the rent.”
It's said that the ordeal divided the tribe at the time, but in recent years they're much more united. Lumber says a lot of information has been left out of the records.
“I always say look you don’t hear about the Pākehā who helped us that means a lot to me - they brought koha, I saw Tim Shadbolt bring a big truck of wood - all those kinds of things.”
She acknowledges the likes of Joe Hawke, as she believes if it weren't for the occupation the iwi would not have the assets it has today.
“I'm proud to be Ngāti Whātua, the focus is on Bastion Point without it we would've had anything.”