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Letter to Helen Clark

6 June 2002

Helen Clark
Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings

Tena Koe Helen,

I am currently writing to your notice, and the notice of all Maori members of Parliament,and others with regard to the recent events at Ngawha. This event was dated Tuesday 4th June 2002, and located at the proposed Ngawha prison site, Northland.

We the members of Te Priringa o Nga Kaumatua ki Mangere express our utmost anger and abhorence toward both the ignorance and negligence excercised by your government, toward highly respected members of Te Taumata Kaumatua o Ngapuhi, and other Ngapuhi whanau and supporters (whanaunga),who made a very important and courageous stance against your failure to recognise their inherent role and responsibilities as the kaitiaki and tangata whenua at Ngawha and within the wider boundaries of Ngapuhi.

By failing to acknowledge the will and instructions of Te Taumata Kaumatua o Ngapuhi, and essentially through the aggressive nature and efforts to remove these people from their own homelands (taonga), you have effectively breached the Treaty of Waitangi.

May I remind you, that it was the Treaty of Waitangi that allows your establishment, the permission to exist and govern at all. That matter is absolute. As signatories and participants in establishing the Treaty of Waitangi, the direct descendants of these rangatira have absolute authority and rights to resume our own inherent authority and governance within the regions of Taitokerau, and elsewhere according to the Tikanga and kawa of each tribe. And as such, have paramount authority above the existing constitutional body, to monitor, challenge and negate any legislation, laws, policies and practises delivered within each respective regions, deemed inappropriate and not in accordance with tribal lore.

We Te Piringa o Nga Kaumatua ki Mangere invite you, to respond to this declaration. We also request that your government make a formal apology to all kaumatua, kuia and rangatahi affected by the recent actions of your police force. And make efforts to meet with Ngapuhi, to discuss the matters they have requested of you.

We look forward to your reply.

Noho Ora Mai

Hira Cooper-Hunapo,
Te Piringa o Nga Kaumatua Ki Mangere

No prison for Ngawha


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