Descendants of Te Ikaroa-Rawhiti aboard Te Matau a Māui. Image/ Raihania Tipoki Facebook page
The Ngāti Kahungunu owned waka hourua, Te Matau a Māui, has left the shores of Napier to confront the world's largest seismic survey ship, the Amazon Warrior, and is expected to intercept the vessel today.
Aboard Te Matau a Māui are descendants of Te Ikaroa-Rāwhiti whanau and hapū who will deliver messages to the Amazon Warrior opposing their work in tribal waters. 80 hapū and iwi along Te Tairāwhiti have endorsed a message to the surveyors Statoil and Chevron, demanding they leave Ikaroa-Rāwhiti waters immediately.
Spokesperson for Te Matau a Māui, Raihania Tipoki says, "We have warned the Amazon Warrior numerous times to stop what they’re doing and leave our waters, they have not listened. So, it is now time to do this our way, kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face”
Also aboard the waka is delegation member Tina Ngata.
“The many breaches the Amazon Warrior, the New Zealand Government, the Norwegian Governments and oil companies Statoil and Cheveron have inflicted on the rights of our peoples and these waters are criminal. That is why we are here today. We will not allow this abusive activity to occur without resistance,” she adds.
Te Matau a Māui is taking non-violent direct action to bear down on the Amazon Warrior who are seismic blasting in Te Ikaroa-Rāwhiti waters in search of oil off the Hawkes Bay coastline and will converge with Greenpeace’s vessel, Taitu to confront the Amazon Warrior.
“Te Matau a Māui, the people of Te Ikaroa-Rāwhiti will not standby and allow “The Beast” and its’ masters to violate our waters without direct intervention and the assertion of our rights as secured through generations of occupation of this coastline and ocean.
The New Zealand Government continues to open our waters to international interests at the cost to our lands and peoples and we cannot allow this to continue," Tipoki says.
The public was asked to help Te Matau a Māui sail to the Amazon Warrior by way of a givealittle page which raised over $5,800.
“Operating a double-hulled voyaging canoe, while low impact on the environment has a high financial cost and we are thankful to the many who have shown support and enabled this sailing,” says Tipoki
On the 13th January 2017, captain of Te Matau a Māui, Reuben Tīpoki joined a Greenpeace flotilla to confront the Amazon Warrior. “I made it very clear on behalf of my people that they were not welcome in our waters and they were to leave immediately. They did not heed our call, my people have now said, “tukua” sail.
On the 3rd March 2017, traditional Māori waka Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti captained by renowned navigator, Jack Thatcher also delivered a message to the Amazon Warrior on behalf of his peoples of Ikaroa Rāwhiti demanding (The Amazon Warrior) “stop your work and depart immediately.”