On Friday 25 May, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei will mark the 40th anniversary of the stand at Bastion Point.
After 506 days of occupation, protesters faced off with members of the police, armed forces and the government over plans to build luxury housing on Ngāti Whātua ancestral land at Takaparawhau - Bastion Point, resulting in 222 arrests.
The stand at Bastion Point led to the first successful retrospective claim hearing at the Waitangi Tribunal.
It is a move that Joe Hawke, leader of the 1977 protest, has never regretted. "I went onto the Point, not to invite an arrest, but to arrest a wrong, and 40 years on, all of Ngāti Whātua are benefiting from that stand", he says.
Marama Royal, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust Board Chair, says the ceremony at the Marae will be open to the public, all interested parties and especially those who played a part in the Bastion Point struggle.
"We hope to bring together those that were arrested, representatives of the Crown, the police, as well as many prominent Māori, Pākeha and Pacific Islanders who played a role in supporting the Bastion Point occupation. For Ngāti Whātua Orākei, it will be a re-dedication of our ties to the land in Tāmaki-Makaurau, a positive message of our successes and our place in Auckland today," she says.
Events planned for the 25th May include:
- 6am Dawn Ceremony held at the Joannee Hawke Memorial, Bastion Point
- 10am Commemoration event at Orākei Marae, followed by hākari at 1pm
- 6pm 40th Anniversary Concert at the Tuning Fork, Spark Arena including performers linked to the Bastion Point occupation.
Further commemoration events will take place over the month of May,