Ōrākei relish talks with PM during Waitangi visit

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei look forward to discussing issues of importance directly with the Prime Minister Bill English when he visits Ōrākei marae for Waitangi celebrations.  Spokesperson Taiaha Hawke says it’s an opportunity for them to discuss their concerns directly with him ahead of this year’s election.

The Prime Minister will host his Waitangi breakfast at Ōrākei marae and Tamaki's outstanding land claims are on the iwi agenda for discussion.

Taiaha Hawke (Cultural Advisor) says, “A peace pact has been signed between us and Ngāti Paoa, therefore, yes there is an obligation for the government to help and support Māori, however, there are times when the government should allow tribes to work through their treaty claims.”

Multi business interests within the city will also be on the agenda.

Hawke says, “If the government wants to look at business opportunities with tribes outside of Auckland, they should talk to us first. We have strong commercial interests here. The government, ourselves and other tribes should work together.”

It's the first time a New Zealand Prime Minister has hosted the Waitangi breakfast at the marae, and youth will sit and talk amongst the dignatories.

Mark-James Royal, Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei, Te Arawa says, “I just recently moved back from Australia with my young whānau, to open my own business. One of the main things I would like to see is a bit more support with young Māori business owners.”

Hariruia Hunia, Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei, Ngāti Awa says, “I think education is an important issue, we should learn Māori history.”

The Prime Ministers breakfast will take place in Te Puru o Tamaki dining room.  The locals will present their matters of importance, before he gives his Waitangi address.  Then he will head down to celebrations at Okahumatamomoe.