Protecting Ihumātao – what’s new since you signed?

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Protecting Ihumātao – what’s happened since you signed?

Welcome to this update on the SOUL campaign to protect land at Ihumātao from development. You have shown your support for the campaign to protect this unique place in New Zealand’s history by joining our virtual occupation
but what’s happening now?

Fletcher has now purchased the land, but is yet to gain consent from Heritage NZ or to begin work on the site.

In the meantime, we are working hard to keep the bulldozers at bay and to Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL!)

Read on for news, events and to find out how you can support us on the ground.
Kaitiaki Village: five months on the whenua!
At the heart of the campaign to protect Ihumātao is the Kaitiaki Village. Living on the whenua and keeping a watchful eye out, our resilient land defenders welcome all who come to learn more.
He mihi nui ki a koutou katoa ngā kaitiaki o te whenua!
One thousand school students walk the unique landscape

Since the beginning of the 2017 school year, more than one thousand young people have visited the Otuataua Stonefields and the Kaitiaki Village. This visitor influx tells us that the story of Ihumātao has awoken an awareness of our nation’s history and the place of Ihumātao in that history.

Around three hundred children visited from Mangere Bridge School as part of a student inquiry into progress vs preservation in which students were encouraged to ask "How can we preserve the past to protect the future?" The school hit the headlines when it kicked off the inquiry by cordoning off its sports field for a “housing development”.

Students also visted from:
Sylvia Park School
Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae
Te Wharekura o Manurewa
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Māngere.
Baradene College
King’s College

Like so many other visitors to the land, the school groups heard the stories of its mana whenua and of the imminent threat to the land from the Fletcher development.

All these visits have been so encouraging to people at Kaitiaki Village. Pania and Bobbi-Jo who hosted many of the groups, summed it up best:

“It was amazing to have them here. They wanted to share the story with their friends and families. Many of them were so emotional.”

“The children wanted to know what they could do to help, how they could spread the campaign.”
Powerful haka by King’s College
in support of Ihumātao
The King’s College kapa haka group blew us away this year at Polyfest with their powerful haka demanding the protection of the whenua at Ihumātao. The haka was written by Lincoln and Whakauekaipāpa Savage. We include an excerpt of the words below with a translation in English.

You can watch the haka in full online at Māori Television. You’ll need to register with their website first.

Ka mau te wehi e te kapa o Kīngi Kāreti!
We welcome back SOUL spokesperson, Pania Newton, who recently returned to Aotearoa after a two month journey to Japan and the South Pacific on the Next Generation Global Leaders Program 2017.

One of eleven young people selected as part of the New Zealand delegation, and among 240 participants invited from 11 countries, Pania was able to share and discuss her campaign experiences other young people, and to take the story of Ihumātao to an international audience.

Pania says the programme helped to develop her intercultural understanding, leadership and management skills – all of which will be put to use in protecting Ihumātao. After arriving back on Aotearoa soil, Pania described feeling humbled, excited and more motivated than ever to protect the unique landscape at Ihumātao.
Heritage NZ / Pouhere Taonga is a key focus of SOUL efforts in the current stage of the campaign as Fletcher is yet to gain approval from them to begin work on the special housing area proposal at Ihumātao known as SHA 62.

Fletcher’s original application for Archeaological Authority to modify the taonga and artefacts on the SHA 62 site was turned down because of inadequate consultation with mana whenua late last year.

We have been busy communicating and working with Heritage NZ on a number of issues relating to SHA 62. Here are a few of the tasks our members have undertaken:

  • Submitting applications for the upgrade of the list status of Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve from Category 2 to Category 1.
  • Applying to list Puketāpapa (SHA 62) as a Category 1 location in order to bring brand new status and acknowledgement to this land.
  • Keeping an eye on whether Fletcher have submitted a new application for Archaeological Authority.
  • Making Official Information Act requests for Fletcher application documents and related materials.
  • Preparing a briefing paper for HNZ staff to be passed on to the Board and Māori Heritage Council, setting out the SOUL position on the Fletcher proposals.

All of these actions are ‘in play’ and we will keep you posted about responses and outcomes as they come to hand.

Show your support for Ihumātao by wearing one of our t-shirts!
Due to popular demand, we have printed more T-shirts and this time the range of sizes goes down to children’s size 6. These are for sale for $20 each from the Kaitiaki Village, Ihumātao Quarry Road. If you can’t get there in person, message our Facebook page to see what stock we have available in your size.
Finally, save the date to hear Dr Vincent O’Malley speak about the Waikato Wars and their far-reaching impact as far north as South Auckland.

Vincent is the author of the recently released book
The Great War for New Zealand.

His talk will be held on the evening of Friday 9 June.
Mangere Bridge School Auditorium
Full details to come

Why am I on this email list?
This list is made up of people who signed the Virtual Occupation to protect Ihumātao and those who have signed up to receive our monthly newsletter.
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Protect Ihumātao · Old Quarry Road · Ihumātao · Māngere, Auckland 2022 · New Zealand

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