15 May 2018

Angry Kaumātua confronts Little: ‘You are taking us to war’

1:21 pm on 15 May 2018

About 600 people marched to Parliament in protest this morning demanding that the Crown recognise Māori tikanga in the treaty settlement process.

Iwi leaders from the Far North, Auckland and Tauranga were greeted by Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little and other Māori MPs.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little was speaking about the treaty process and the importance of communication when he was challenged by a kaumātua from Tauranga Moana.

The man yelled he would not listen to "bullshit".

"I'm not going to stand here and take this shit. No, no, no!"

The man yelled at Mr Little: "You are taking us to war."

He then moved closer to the minster and said in te reo Māori: "Na Tauranga Moana tēnei whenua" [this land belongs to Tauranga Moana].

He said Mr Little was wrong saying the land belonged to Hauraki.

A kuia did a karanga to try and ease the tension.

Labour MP Willie Jackson stepped forward during the confrontation to stand beside Mr Little.

As the kaumātua concluded his challenge, his supporters put their arms around his shoulders and guided him away.

The protest follows the first day of a Supreme Court case involving central Auckland hapū Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei and the Crown on an overlapping treaty claim issue.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei chair Ngarimu Blair said the Crown was blocking the hapū from arguing the case in court, and failing to recognise tikanga Māori in common law.

He said other iwi were currently facing the same issues with overlapping treaty claims and it must stop.

The two-day Supreme Court case will conclude at the end of the day.

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