Comments from our new Senior Policy Advisor - Māori, Chris Webber
Waitangi Day 2022 is the first one our organisation can celebrate having embraced Te Tiriti with a constitutional 50 percent Māori partnership on our executive council. With Nari Faiers Co-President (Māori) and a good muster of Māori talent we've achieved both a milestone in capacity and options for progressing the next phase of our journey. This includes myself, taking a leave of absence from executive council to fulfil a pressing need for Māori policy work on contract - backfilled by other Caucus representation.
This leads me to our Kapiti Island hapu slogan in the title - Haere He Awatea, it really does feel like a 'new day dawning' and I wish to acknowledge our members for taking us there. My great great grandfather and Māori MP Wiremu Parata, took the 1877 'Treaty Nullity' case to court after his grandfather Te Rangihiroa had signed Te Tiriti at Kapiti 4 June 1840. With the colonial system fixed on The Treaty being 'a nullity', generations of loss persisted through to today - with large parts of our available capacity still absorbed into putting things right. Like public health, it is going to take the collective efforts of all to achieve the vision and possibilities provided by Te Tiriti.
Nō reira e hoa mā, we are in times of transition within and without - and with change comes opportunity to keep navigating to the chosen destination. Ko te tūmanako ko te pae ora mō tataou katoa - let's fix the vision of equitable wellbeing for all in our minds and imagine us all happily there together and what path and set of 'tangas' (wairuatanga, whanaungatanga, ūkaipōtanga my top three) were required for it to work for Māori, leaving no-one behind. To me, this is Te Tiriti in action. Mauri ora!