Māori show support for Mauna Kea

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Māori in Aotearoa are showing their support for Kanaka Maoli in Hawai'i who are peacefully occupying their sacred mountain Mauna Kea to halt the construction of a thirty metre telescope.

Spokesperson for the E Tū Stand With Mauna Kea movement, Ninakaye Taane-Tinorau says, “The reason I stand for Mauna Kea is because I believe it's really important that we protect that which is sacred, we defend it from mankind.  The other reason is to honour the relationships that we have, not just the ones that exist in this lifetime between Kanaka Maoli and te iwi Māori but the ones that we can trace back through our tūpuna and through our whakapapa mai rānō.”

A number of Māori are taking to social media to show their support.

Moerangi Tetapuhi says, “The initiative Maunga to Maunga was born out of love for our land, for our waters and sacred places and so it's sharing that struggle and that pain.”

A state of emergency has been declared by Governor David Ige, but the occupation of Mauna Kea remains peaceful.

Tetapuhi says, "It's only right that we support the protectors on Mauna Kea, we must not ignore the power and the spiritual force of sending prayers, sacred rites, haka and songs- and whatever else to spiritually support this movement."

“From karakia in the morning, karakia at night, through to creating a social media movement or doing my part to help raise awareness or raise the consciousness around why it is important that we stand for Mauna Kea”, says Taane-Tinorau.

Kanaka Māoli have long opposed the building of telescopes on their sacred mountain.

Taane-Tinorau says, “I also think that the whānau over there know that this is as much about them as it is about us as a global movement and how we can all be reignited, re-activated by what's going on there to stand for Mauna Kea but to stand for our own sacred sites.”

Tetapuhi says, “This about supporting our relatives in Hawai'i, knowing that we, the indigenous peoples around the world are still being oppressed by foreign governments.”

No matter what transpires, the world is watching Mauna Kea.