Over 300 Tūhoe whānau have arrived to Parliament today to listen to the second and third reading of Te Pire Kia Unuhia te Hara Kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana, the Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill.
Whānau have travelled from across the country to attend this significant event. The wait for this day has been more than 100 years in the making for Te Iwi Iharaira me Ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu.
Spokesperson for Ngā Toenga o Ngā Tamariki a Iharaira me Ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust, Nika Rua, says it is a day that will be well remembered.
“This has been a long time coming, it has been a journey that spans over a century to have the name of Rua Kēnana cleared, so it is an emotional day for us to be present as it is one step closer to becoming law,” says Nika Rua.
“During our journey down to Pōneke, we listened to waiata and stories about the impact that the invasion of 1916 at Maungapōhatu had on our people. Women were raped, some of our future leaders were killed and of course, our tipuna was imprisoned and convicted of a crime he didn’t do.
“If I refer to one of the compositions of Mihikitekapua in her waiata ‘Te roa o te whenua’ i tīkina ai e ngā Iharaira tēnei waiata a Mihikitekapua hei whakaara i te wairua o ngā pēhitanga taumaha o ngā ture tinihanga a te karauna ki runga i te tinana, hinengaro, wairua, o te tipuna nei a te Rua me tana iwi Iharaira.
So, us being here is part of the vision that he had and is part of our aspirations to ensure we get justice for these wrongs.”
Ngā Toenga o ngā Iharaira me ngā Uri o Maungapōhatu Charitable Trust will host the Crown on Saturday 21 December 2019 at Maungapōhatu Marae as the Royal Assent is given to the bill for the first time in the history of legislation.
More to come.