Tōrangapū: Peeni Henare
Joining Te Karere from the Waitangi treaty grounds is Labour Minister and Waitangi National Trust Board member, was Peeni Henare. Here is a transcript of when he was interviewed by Scotty Morrison.
Scotty: Clearly good vibes at Waitangi this year, but surely you realise your government must deliver to Māori to retain that support and goodwill?
Peeni: Yes that's correct. We have all seen the good vibes that are at Waitangi, but we must not think that the work is done. What we want to do in the years ahead is to uplift Māori kaupapa, not just kaupapa of Ngāpuhi and Northland. There's much work ahead of us. But for now, I will say Waitangi was a success.
Scotty: Your colleague Andrew Little says Ngāpuhi settlement by 2020, but your Kuia Titiwhai Harawira doubts that -how realistic, how challenging is that 2020 settlement goal?
Peeni: That's the core of my upbringing. Some of my generation and I really want to get these claims sorted for Ngāpuhi. So I will say we have come too far to give up now. If the minister believes we can get this sorted within the next few years, then I support and believe him. And we will work to make it happen.
Scotty: We've seen iwi like Tainui, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Whātua who have really prospered as a result of treaty settlements -how important is such redress for the future of Ngāpuhi?
Peeni: Yes, that's correct. But let's not build houses on sand. Our plan is to fortify the foundation such as genealogy and building relationships within Ngāpuhi and from there we will stand strong and firm.
Scotty: You’re also a member of the Waitangi National Trust, the body that administers the treaty grounds, what are the plans for the future?
Peeni: One big plan that's ahead of us is to create a museum as a memorial place for our soldiers in the 28th Māori Battalion and Māori soldiers who went to WWI and WWII. And to educate everybody on the place behind me which was where the soldiers left NZ and where Apirana Ngata made his the price of citizenship speech. So we of this area support building a place to honour and remember them. There are also plenty of other things ahead of us; one is working with Te Tii Marae so that it doesn't lay forgotten.
Scotty: We only have a short amount of time left Peeni, but I would like to acknowledge you. It seems your efforts to help the PM learn Māori is really paying off. And she's passionate about uplifting and using our language in all that she does.
Peeni: Yes that true. She's a brave woman and an educated woman. She has all the capability to speak Māori. She's also aware of our ancient custom when it comes to the placenta, which is to bury it back into the earth where it came from.