June 15, 2016
Pakeha in vanguard of peace hikoi
With car horns beeping in support about peace walk led by mayor Andrew Judd, they made their way through New Plymouth today heading for Oakura, the first stop on a three-day hikoi to Parihaka, the birthplace of the passive resistance movement.
On an overcast but mild morning a crowd of about 300 gathered outside the New Plymouth council chambers.
The crowd was an even mix of Maori and Pakeha who were in good spirits as they listened to mayor Andrew Judd’s speech about how the hikoi was about Pakeha beginning to have a meaningful conversation about Maori and Pakeha relationships based on the Treaty of Waitangi, and about how Pakeha New Zealanders need to embrace the Maori world and Maori tikanga and values.
Karakia was conducted by the Archbishop of New Zealand, Phillip Richardson, before the group marched a few kilometres to St Mary’s Church which served as a sanctuary for colonial settlers and British military during the New Zealand Land Wars.
The hikoi proceeded up New Plymouth’s main street, eventually arriving at Spotswood College where they were greeted with a rousing haka powhiri from students.
They were cheered along the way by young Pakeha children and teachers from Spotswood Primary School with banners and placards of support.
Radio Waatea reporter Kura Ratapu says what hit home to her was it was a Pakeha-driven initiative, Pakeha are firmly in control while Maori participants are there to support.
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