Land occupants protesting at the Ihumātao settlement in Auckland say a recent trespass notice for them to move off the historical site is a repeat of what sparked off the Waikato land wars.
So descendants of Ihumātao have hit the road on a hīkoi to Mangatawhiri to continue raising awareness of their fight to save the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve from being used for Auckland’s Special Housing scheme.
The hīkoi coincides with the time Waikato was issued a notice in 1863 to move off their lands, which sparked the Waikato land wars. The hīkoi also traces the path ancestors of Ihumātao took when forced from their lands.
Spokesperson for the hīkoi, Pania Newton, spoke to Kawe Kōrero Reporters. She says, “Even though this happened to us in 1863, it is still happening today like the housing development issue at Ihumātao.”
She says, “Fletcher Construction is building homes, however the local residents can't afford to pay for the increased rates, so it's a form of confiscation and a way to force out the local community.”
Ihumātao descendants and their friends set up camp at the Otuataua Stonefields in November last year.
Newton says they hope to make the hīkoi a public event next year, so anyone can partake and learn about the history of the Waikato raupatu.