*Hoki Whenua Mai comes from the whakatauākī "i riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai" (as land was taken then land should be given back) of Marae Edwards, Ngāti Hikairo
Aotearoa can be a place where active kaitiakitanga led by tangata whenua guides our relationship to taiao, ensuring our tūpuna whenua, awa, and maunga are cared for. A place where Te Tiriti o Waitangi is honoured in full, the injustices caused by colonisation can be redressed, and our people and taiao can be healed as we head into the future.
But colonisation - including governmental policies of land dispossession - has resulted in most land in Aotearoa being alienated from tangata whenua. This legacy along with continued detachment from whenua constitute the most significant factors in why Māori experience so many disproportionately negative outcomes on their own whenua today.
With the 50th anniversary of the Waitangi Tribunal approaching in 2025, it is time to look beyond the surface of the wrongs inflicted by colonisation through land dispossession, and consider what proper restitution for tangata whenua looks like in Aotearoa.
We suggest a few ways to achieve this:
- Conducting an inquiry into the full extent of the dispossession of whenua.
- Revisiting Settlements to ensure adequacy of redress.
- Additional redress at the level of hapū, whānau, Māori collectives, outside the Treaty Settlement process.
- Enabling the return of whenua not owned by the Crown.
The Green Party knows that the Crown needs to address the real problem and return land to tangata whenua – me hoki whenua mai. We want to hear from Māori about returning whenua.
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