Te Pāti Māori focuses on 'decolonising and reindiginising' Aotearoa at Rotorua conference

By Kelvin McDonald
Source / Facebook

Te Pāti Māori has held its 'Matike Mai Matariki' conference in Rotorua today which it described as a "conversation starter" focused on decolonising and reindiginising Aotearoa. 

Pāti president John Tamihere opening the conference this morning said wāhine Māori have proven themselves "incredible" leaders across Māoridom.  

"When you go through our leadership in Māori terms and circles up and down this country, you'll see by the speakers list today, it's all mana wāhine. It's just incredible. We've got to acknowledge that," Tamihere said in an address uploaded to Facebook.

Tamihere said the speakers would test and challenge attendees, "The speakers here today are here to challenge you, not to takahia you."

They will "release our world and our story," he said. "And if they are testing of you, that's a good thing."

On their website, Te Pāti Māori described the speakers as including Dayle Takitimu and Veronica Tawhai, who with Te Matahiapo Safari Hynes and Jason Mareroa, would speak to "Demystifying constitutional transformation and Te Tiriti".

This was to be followed by Tweedie Waititi and Cilla Ruha, who alongside Rob Ruha, Hohepa Thompson and Hohua Mohi, would address issues related to decolonisation and reindiginisation through the arts.

The final session was to be led by Hilda Halkyard-Harawira, Julia Whaipooti, Janell Dymus-Kurei and Pania Newton who would round out the conference by focusing on the decolonising of our workspaces.

A kai tahi is planned for this evening.