Topics: Land, Politics

Battle continues 40 years after Bastion protests

By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

40 years ago today, hundreds of people took a stand against the Crown's plans to create a housing subdivision at Bastion Point. Today many of the protesters who were involved marked a day of reflection.

“They paved the pathway for us to re-empowering our people of Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei,” says tribal poutaki, Taiaha Hawke.

“The honour belongs to them. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be where we are, so there is sadness but we're settled in our hearts”.

However 40 years on, the tribe are benefiting from their stance.

“We have settled our land claim. We've built a business arm to grow the economic wealth for our people.  We've built 80 new homes,” says Hawke.

“Our families are returning to continue the work of their ancestors.  Our language has returned, it has been resurrected again within us”.

40 years ago the tribe along with supporters ended 506 days of occupation at Takaparawhau Bastion Point against government plans to build luxury housing on the land.

But the tribe is still disputing the government over cross-claim settlements.

“We want the government to keep its promises within our land settlement,” says Hawke. “We didn't sign it to allow other tribes to take our rights”.

“During that time Māori were being arrested, under legislation, by the government who were furious by their actions,” says Mabel Wharekawa-Burt of Tauranga Moana, Ngāi Te Rangi.

“And that sort of thing is still going on today”.

Now the tribe is calling on Treaty Minister Andrew Little to withdraw other cross-claim settlements in Auckland.