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Maori Leader Claiming Sacred Ancestoral Land Nabbed by NZ Gestapo

Posted by te2ataria on May 31, 2008

Iwi group’s bid to claim park fails

The Dominion Post | Saturday, 31 May 2008

A breakaway band of Rangitaane iwi has failed in a bid to claim Palmerston North’s Anzac Park for a marae. [Marae is a sacred place for religious and social purposes: Moderator]

The group of about 20 yesterday marched from The Square to the bush-covered hill reserve on the edge of the Manawatu River.

However, the protest ended when police arrested leader Carwyn Kawana for trespass. The rest of the group dispersed.

Mr Kawana vowed he would be back every day till his bloodlines got the land back.

He said a marae once stood on the land and it was also an old pa site and the “young warriors” wanted a marae to be built again to honour their ancestors.


A carved representation in contemporary style of Te Au-o-te-whenua, an ancestor of the Kawerau-ā-Maki people.

He was arrested after Palmerston North City Council representative Peter Eathorne asked them to leave and then read a trespass notice. [Not the riot act, surely! See Notes below: Moderator]

Mr Eathorne said Anzac Park would be shut to the public this weekend to manage the “issue”.

Last Friday, Mr Kawana’s group erected a carving in The Square but it was removed by the council. [Source]

© Fairfax New Zealand Limited 2007. All the material on this page has the protection of international copyright. All rights reserved. See NewZeelend Fair Use Notice!


Protest at NZ parliament over the New Zealand foreshore and seabed controversy. Image Credit: Armon, via Wikimedia Commons. GNU Free Documentation license V. 1.2 or later.

Notes:
I
wi
form the largest everyday social units in Māori populations. The word iwi means “people” or “folk”; in many contexts it might translate as “tribe” or as “clan.”

In the Māori language, iwi also means “bones”. The Māori author, Keri Hulme, named her best known (1985 Booker Prize) novel The Bone People, a title linked directly to the dual meaning of bone and “tribal people”. Māori may refer to returning home after travelling or living elsewhere as “going back to the bones” — literally to the burial-areas of the ancestors. Many societies might use the analogous concept of “roots”. (Source)

A marae (in New Zealand Māori, Cook Islands Maori, Tahitian) malaʻe (in Tongan), malae (in Samoan and Hawaiian), is a sacred place which served both religious and social purposes in pre-Christian Polynesian societies. In all these languages, the word also means “cleared, free of weeds, trees, etc.” It generally consists of an area of cleared land roughly rectangular (the marae itself), bordered with stones or wooden posts (called au in Tahitian and Cook Islands Māori) perhaps with terraces (paepae) which were used in olden times for ceremonial purposes; and with a central stone ahu or a’u (sometimes as in the Rapanui culture’s ahu on Easter Island “ahu” becomes a synonym for the whole marae complex). (Source)

The Riot Act (1 Geo. 1, c. 5) of 1714 was an act introduced by the Parliament of Great Britain authorising local authorities to declare any group of more than twelve people to be unlawfully assembled, and thus have to disperse or face punitive action. The Act, whose long title was “An act for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies, and for the more speedy and effectual punishing the rioters“, came into force on August 1, 1715, and remained on the statute books until 1973.

If a group of people failed to disperse within twenty minutes of the proclamation, the act provided that the authorities could use force to disperse them. Anyone assisting with the dispersal was specifically indemnified against any legal consequences in the event of any of the crowd being injured or killed. (Source)

Because of the broad authority that the act granted, it was used both for the maintenance of civil order and for political means. A particularly notorious use of the act was the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 in Manchester [15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured.]

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