Rangatahi stepping up for Ihumātao

By D'Angelo Martin
Puawai Hudson says "there's a generation rising". Photo/File.

Rangatahi have been inspired by the peaceful protest at Ihumātao and are keen to show their support.  Our reporter D'Angelo Martin spoke to a few young people today who have come from near and far to tautoko the kaupapa.

Rush Wepiha came from Tauranga to show his support for the protest.

"Some of us have kind of seen how our kaumātua are tied down because of kawa because of certain things that have happened so, therefore, they are like, 'yeah, we may not be able to go there, but you fellas go, this is your pakanga'. It's run by rangatahi and a lot of rangatahi are here," he says. 

Wepiha says rangatahi are prepared to make a stand against the injustice they are seeing.

"My nieces and nephews, they came up seeing a lot of injustice and not with our whenua, but with everything. Now, the veil has been lifted and they've seen how things really are and we want to fight." 

Puawai Hudson was also at Ihumātao today and says rangatahi are well equipped for the challenge.

"Even though there's a lot of conflict and debate on whose side to stand on, mo te whenua te take. It's that simple for us taiohi mā. A lot of us have received criticism, but you think we are reo capable, we are tikanga capable and there's a generation rising".

The future of te ao Māori is looking bright with the younger generation up for the challenge.