A Tauranga representative is looking to put straight some of the misconceptions about Treaty of Waitangi settlements at a public forum at Baycourt tonight.
Tommy ‘Kapai’ Wilson believes a lot of angst over the treaty is caused by half-truths about the treaty he will facilitate a hui chaired by Graeme Elvin from 7pm tonight.
A haka performed at the historic Treaty of Waitangi settlement signing between the crown and Ngati Ranginui in Pyes Pa last week.
The meeting is open to anyone with an interest in cultural redress, treaty claims or New Zealand history with other speakers including Antione Coffin, Ngati Ranginui, Charlie Tawhaio, Ngai Te Rangi and Awanui Black, Ngati Pukenga.
“We’re providing a platform for people to ask questions about the treaty settlement process, where the money is going and who is going to benefit,” says Tommy.
“There are always some grey areas, so we’re providing an opportunity for people to come along and hear representatives of each of the three Tauranga iwi and council representatives.
“It is part of what we want to look at in how we can heal rifts between Maori and the Church,” says Tommy.
“It is a continuation of the work we carry out on the anniversary of the battles at Gate Pa and Pyes Pa. We come to together to get an understanding of each other and to overcome the problems that arise when the Bible and the barrel clash.”
In 1864 imperial troops arrived at Gate Pa and took control of the recently completed mission institute building.
Reverend A N Brown was apparently torn between loyalty to the Maori people and his natural bonds with his fellow countrymen.
A gate in the southern boundary fence of the mission land allowed travellers access to a traditional Maori track down the Te Papa Peninsula.
A pa was built near this gate, and the ensuing battle which took place on 21 April 1864, has become known as the battle of Gate Pa.
The reverend was required to bury Maori converts, as well as the English, including all but one of the officers who had dined with him at the mission house on the eve of the battle.
Soldier settlers were given land previously occupied by Maori. The mission land was surrounded by land confiscated by the Government. Maori were forced to abandon ancestral land, and inevitably the work of the mission declined.
Tonight’s forum is being run by Te Kohinga in conjunction with Tauranga City Council.