Marama Davidson - General Debate - Honouring Influential Women

Tēnā tātou katoa. Mr Speaker, in my speech, I want to honour influential women. 


MARAMA DAVIDSON (Green): Thank you. E Te Māngai o Te Whare, tēnā koe. Tēnā tātou katoa. Mr Speaker, in my speech, I want to honour influential women. I want to appreciate the work of women in our grassroots communities, pushing for the progressive change that we all need—that Aotearoa has long deserved—and who are trying to fix up the mess and deal with the fallout that has been put upon our communities from years of the previous Government's neglect and abuse, in actual fact.

So I will start and join my whanaunga, Mr Jackson, in honouring Heni Tawhiwhirangi of Ngāti Porou, who was a staunch advocate for the well-being and development of Ngāti Porou whānau, iwi, and hapū—the very agency that our Government should be working to support in our rohe. I am also going to ask this House to honour Shelley the bus driver here in Wellington, who, I was given word, passed away yesterday. Shelley would greet her customers in Te Reo. Shelley would greet her customers and passengers with a smiley face and Te Reo, as part of something that all New Zealanders should feel comfortable and learned and able to be able to do. Shelley is another example of the influential women that this House should be backing, for us to do our part in backing up the incredible work that is happening on the ground.

I want to honour Debbie Munroe in my Manurewa community for the work she does and has done for years, feeding people who are living rough on the streets, looking for the solutions to take them off the streets. I want to honour the women of Parihaka and I announced a couple of weeks ago that I would insert a member's bill into our biscuit tin to create a commemoration day for Parihaka. I want to acknowledge the women and children who this Crown apologised to for the rape and abuse by the violent aggressive act of the Crown in invading a settlement and peaceful community.

I want to honour Paora Crawford Moyle and all of the women who were abused by the State, and that the Greens are proud to call for an inquiry into the Crown State abuse that absolutely included our young sons and our young daughters. I want to honour Waimarie, Qiane, Bobbi-Jo, Pania, and Moana for protecting Ihumātao on the frontline against the development that was again forced and opened up by the previous National Government. They have not given up, and nor should we.

I want to honour the ongoing kaitiaki protection work that mana whenua, wāhine and tāne and all genders have always done, including the Ruanui mammal sanctuary that is wanting to be created by the East Coast and Ngāti Ruanui and other iwi, and that I am proud to be with the Green Party who will support the kaitiaki work that has always led at the grassroots.

I want to honour the women of the Mongrel Mob in Waikato, who I have been keeping an eye on, who are working in their own whānau to prioritise the safety and well-being of their mokopuna and are taking up their own agency to do better from within their own powers and dreams and resources and connecting to community to make sure that their mokopuna will be kept safe, and to look for new pathways to their best community.

Our role in Government is to protect and support the work that these grassroots influential women are doing. Our role is not to continue to create and place barriers in their way. Our role is not to sell off State houses so that they have to pick up the pieces of our people on the street. Our role is to not—and the Greens will stay firm on this—continue to give permits to seismic surveys that damage both the potential of our climate safety and our marine mammal life.

Our role is to support the very women who are at the frontline of these causes. I am proud to be part of six women of our eight member caucus in the Green Party, who understands that the leadership and future of our country absolutely depends on the hands of our women being healthy and strong and supported. Kia ora.

Mr SPEAKER: I call the gallant member Christopher Penk.