February 21, 2022
Media Release: Wellington occupation a public health risk and cultural affront
Wellington occupation a public health risk and cultural affront
Members of Taranaki Whānui in Wellington are appalled at the desecration of their whenua and moana, with reports of protestors putting sewerage into the stormwater drains around Parliament and polluting the harbour.
“As ahi kaa, we have a sacred role as kaitiaki (guardians) of our ancestral lands at Pipitea Pā as well as our moana (ocean), and this behaviour is both culturally offensive and a public health risk.”
Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust Chair Kara Puketapu-Dentice urged political leaders to work on resolving the ongoing occupation that has caused serious disruption and harm to local businesses and residents.
“Our own people have been affected by the occupation, including threats against our kuia and kaumatua and vandalism of our offices and buildings in the city.”
Mr Puketapu-Dentice says the tribe is still hopeful of a peaceful resolution and supports the efforts of everyone who has been working to maintain the peace.
“We need to keep our eye on the future when we will soon be able to move freely and without fear of the sickness that covid brings.
“Until then, we need to hang tough and respect our whenua, our moana and each other.”
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