Maori Tribes and New Zealand Gov. Settle Land Disp
Like other Indigenous people of the globe, the Maori have been struggling to regain their traditional tribal lands, forests and fisheries lost during the 18th century European invasion. It’s been a long journey for these traditional Indigenous people and now the New Zealand Government and the Tribes came to terms.
Prime Minister Helen Clark told a tearful crowd, many dressed in tribal regalia;
“It is a historic journey we are on. We came into politics to address injustice and seek reconciliation. Thank you for walking that road with us on this historic day. ”
And with that speech over a hundred years of struggle came to an end. The Treelord Agreement was ratified and 430,000 acres of prime real-estate was returned to the Maori People, a far cry from the apology with no compensation the Australian Government gave the Aborigines last year I might add.
In question was the Treaty of Waitagi signed in 1840 securing tracts of land for the Maori people. Like the treaties signed in the Americas by Natives and Europeans they were not honoured, until now. Truly, this is a landmark decision the world over should take into consideration as corporations rape indigenous people world wide in their quest for natural resources and the corporate bottom line.
The New Zealand government has shown that conquering people can right the wrongs of generations past if they only try. The dignity of the Maori people has been honoured and now they can move forward as a proud people and become economically solvent as a nation within a nation. Once the poorest people in the nation and struggling with all the social issues that plague the Natives of the America such as health care, education, unemployment and equality, the Maori now have what was rightfully theirs.
With regard to the youth of the Maori people, Maori Chief Tumu te Heu Heu said;
“This is our legacy to them”
Quite a contrast to Burma’s ethnic cleansing of tribal people and the wholesale disregard of treaties in the United States of America and Canada eh. Fact is, it’s a contrast to the treatment of Indigenous people in the world as a whole. Why is it so hard to honour treaties and allow tribal people to retain their culture anyway? Money is not everything.
Your Devil’s AdvocateBuffalohair