Iwi Claim Endeavour Replica Voyage Organisers Failed to Consult Them

By Bronson Perich

Ngāti Kahu chief executive Anahera Herbert-Graves stated the Ministry did not contact the iwi about adding Mangonui to the voyage list which will start in Gisborne this October.

"They never approached Ngāti Kahu. They were approached by a local tauiwi organisation and were invited to come into our rohe. I don't think it occurred to them to contact Ngāti Kahu.

"About four or five months ago we saw the programme come out. They were going to land in Mangonui, inside Tokerau, and we put it back to the mana whenua hapū. The three hapū were very strong in their opposition, they said no way Jose. I was instructed to let the ministry know, which I did."

The Ministry then removed Mangonui from the destination list.

This is the second blunder from the Ministry as their website failed to secure the confidential information of 302 people who applied for the Tuia 250 Voyage Trainee Programme.

Neither the Minster for Culture and Heritage PM Jacinda Ardern or her chief executive Bernadette Cavanagh have commented on this blunder, instead delegating the role to deputy executive Tamsin Evans. 

She stated that Mangonui was earmarked as a destination for the voyage because it was the home of Master Navigator and Tarai Waka Sir Hector Busby.

She said the ministry thought it had sufficient iwi support, following talks with a single iwi representative.

"I think the ministry engaged with a small community organisation, called the Doubtless Bay Promotions Trust, on which there was somebody in an iwi liaison role.

"It was felt sufficient that through the promotions trust we had a wider engagement with the community, which included someone we believed was liaising with iwi".

She was aware of the potential polarising of this event, but she was optimistic that most New Zealanders would embrace the event.

"We always knew that Tuia would cause some mixed responses. We fully appreciate the mamae and the hurt that exists very strongly still in some communities. Our job is to open the books, let's look at all the history, and let's start to talk about this.

"What I hope people will see through the voyage is a visual spectacle and an experience that captures our dual heritage but makes us think about our shared future”.

Herbert-Graves said Cook never actually landed in the Ngāti Kahu rohe.

"Cook never came into our rohe, he sailed by, and apparently cast his eye to the port and said, 'oh, that's Doubtless Bay.' It's a fiction for him to 're-visit' us because he never came.

"He was a barbarian. Wherever he went, like most people of the time of imperial expansion, there were murders, there were abductions, there were rapes, and just a lot of bad outcomes for the indigenous people.

"He didn't discover anything down here, and we object to Tuia 250 using euphemisms like 'encounters' and 'meetings' to disguise what were actually invasions".

In response to the proposed itinerary Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Māhaki and Ngāi Tāmanuhiri released a press statement stating that they will not be participating in any welcome ceremonies of the Endeavour Replica, encouraging the descendants of the colonists to do that instead.

Amohaere Houkamau, Tūranga Iwi and Ngāti Oneone Collective Coordinator had asserted that local iwi would focus their efforts on welcoming our relations from Te Moana Nui a Kiwa on the 5 October.

Te Ao news has not been able to confirm the existence of a Doubtless Bay Promotions Trust, and could not confirm the identity of the iwi spokesperson with whom the Ministry consulted.