June 4, 2023

‘Really sad’: Rising racism and white supremacy forcing changes to basic Māori tikanga – iwi leaders

Watch: Iwi leaders say racism and white supremacy are on the rise in this country and forcing changes to basic Māori tikanga

Iwi leaders say racism and white supremacy are on the rise in this country and forcing changes to basic Māori tikanga.

It comes as the Human Rights Commission calls on the Government to commit to a process that would help eliminate racism.

Waitangi is the place where a founding document of this country was signed – the Treaty of Waitangi, a document of a partnership. But 180 years later Māori don’t feel equal.

“The second looks…ohh what is she saying there,” one person told Newshub.

“Same typical colonial oppression,” another said.

A third said, “I’ve seen people judge them by their colour.”

In recent months right-wing extremists have targeted Māori gatherings, forcing a change in protocol or tikanga.

“It was really sad when we received advice that perhaps it wasn’t safe a symposium a wānanga,” National Iwi Leader’s chair Professor Margaret Mutu said.

Usual tikanga would have seen an open door policy at an event but now participants must register to enter.

“Research tells us that this is driven by a small number, very well-resourced, out of the United States and absolutely determined to shut down indigenous people throughout the world,” Prof Mutu said,

A new report from the Human Rights Commission outlined concerns about the impacts of colonisation, racism and white supremacy. It’s called Maranga Mai and it calls on the Government to recommit to the Treaty by recognising political control of Māori affairs by Māori.

It also called for the Government to set up a three-year Truth, Reconciliation and Justice Commission to examine past injustices.

It will be an independent body to put constitutional reform into action and have a full-time Indigenous Rights Commissioner.

“It’s an important conversation to have as it’s for our future generations,” Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon told Newshub.

Minister of Justice Kiritapu Allan said she appreciates the work undertaken by the Commission.

“Nobody wants to live in a country where racism underpins the way that policy is made in Aotearoa. We as a Government are committed to that,” Minister Allan said.

That’s because no one wants to see yet another generation weighed down by racism.

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