Ihumātao land protectors "energised" by Kīngitanga visit

By Te Ao - Māori News
Ngāti Tahinga Wilson, Qiane Matata-Sipu and Pania Newton from Makaurau Marae. Photo/File.

Land protectors at Ihumātao say they are "energised" by today's visit by Kīngi Tuheitia and Waikato-Tainui.

“Our whānau are energised and encouraged by the visit today. We’re very hopeful and inspired and motivated that we are going to undertake a process now whereby we can sit with Waikato-Tainui and our Kīngitanga, as well as our marae Pukaki and Makaurau, to begin to find a resolution for Ihumātao,” says spokesperson Pania Newton.  

Newton was speaking at a media standup at Ihumātao this afternoon, along with Ngāti Tahinga Wilson and Qiane Matata-Sipu from Makaurau Marae.

"What the Kīngitanga and what Waikato-Tainui demonstrated today was a brave and bold position of leadership. They’ve come and they’ve said that they want to hear from the people and to see the people and that’s the kind of leadership that we, that I hope that we would follow in the future,” she says.

The group says that the Kīngitanga and Waikato-Tainui are beginning a tikanga process that will hopefully be respectful of all concerned.

“We would come to the table in good faith and with respect for one another and that we are willingly and openly coming to the table to find a resolution for the whenua and the people of Ihumātao who will be most impacted by this development,” says Newton.

“For us, we support a tikanga process and are very honoured and proud and privileged that the Kīngitanga and Waikato-Tainui are willing to start that process for us which supports our mana motuhake and our tino rangatiratanga and upholds the values that the Kīngitanga was established on.”

WATCH the full interview below.