Tauranga Moana light fire to symbolise ahi kā, tribal authority
Protesters from Tauranga Moana iwi lit a fire yesterday.
The fire was lit at a site near Katikati, the borderline between Tauranga and Hauraki peoples.
It was a symbolic gesture to affirm their mana whenua, tribal authority, in Tauranga which they say is under threat from the imminent Hauraki Collective treaty settlement.
Meremaihi Aloua of Ngāi Te Rangi says local iwi are wanting to ensure their rights to their lands.
"Kei roto kē i te manawa, i te whatu manawa o te tira nei. E tika ana hei tohu tērā o te ahi kā."
She also adds that what happened early yesterday morning, was Tauranga Moana's way to send a message to Hauraki.
"Ko te tūmanako ka aro katoa mai ko ētahi o ngā iwi o Hauraki kua whakapā mai me te kī mai e tautokohia ana te whakaaro Māori kia noho tahi. Nō reira kua whakakotahi mai ētahi o ngā iwi o Hauraki ki tēnei kaupapa."
Because Hauraki Collective did not want to meet to discuss overlapping treaty claims, Aloua says Tauranga have decided it's time to look at other ways of protesting, instead of protesting in peace.
"He maha pea ngā kupu hei whakahua i ngā kare ā-roto, engari, ko te tino kia hiahia tahi o ngā iwi e toru kia puritia to mātou mana whenua, mana moana. Koinā te karanga o te kaupapa ka ū tonu i raro i tērā kaupapa."
Paul Majurey of Hauraki said on Marae, Tauranga iwi is actually divided on this issue and but Hauraki iwi maintains it's following the same process other iwi have been using for decades.
The people who disagree say they will not bow down until this is sorted.