February 12, 2024
Age brings lessons on protest wisdom from Nga Tamatoa
The organiser of the Ngā Tamatoa koru lounge at this year’s Waitangi commemoration says the young warriors of the 1970s still have a lot to share with today’s protesters.
Amokura Panoho says giving the dozen or so veterans a space next to the forum tent took away some of the stress of being in a large crowd and meant peole would engage with them in a comfortable setting.
She says as well as being part of the campaign for recgnition of te reo Maori, their presence at Waitangi in the early 1970s was at a time people were unwilling to hear a Maori perspective about the Treaty of Waitangi and the way Maori felt disempowered.
Away from the national stage, they carried a message of mana motuhake back to their communities.
“It’s realy important whe n you are looking at activism that you do it not only with purpose but you look at what you cna do in your own rohe, how you can be active as leader for your whanau, reinforce the imporatance of your identity as Maori,be active in supporting issues at your marae and with your local hapu, which is a very different time from when they had to speak. They had to advocate on behalf of us all,” Ms Panoho says.