Topic: From Gate Pa we walk as equals

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Guest editorial writer in the Times today on the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Gate Pa is Mr Turi Te Kani, chairman of the Tauranga Maori Executive Committee. This editorial appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times on Tuesday, 28 April 1964, and is reproduced here with their permission.

Apopo ka eke te kotahi rau tau ote pakanga ote Keeti Pa (Gate Pa) i runga o Puke-Hinahina. E hoki whakamuri a ngawhakaaro kite wa i tuhia ai kite toto whakahere anga tupuna ote Maori raua kote pakeha ki roto i nga hitoria te whawhai rangatira ote motu, note mea i turia e ratou te marae o tumatauenga mo o ratou mana, tuarua ahakoa i te wa i kakoa ai te riri, i roto iona hemanawatanga me nga pokaikahatanga kihai rawa i wareware ia ratou nga akonga ate karaipiture me te whakapono.

A e tika ana hoki, kia tu tahi taua nga iwi e rua ki runga i o ratou takahanga ate rangi apopo kite whakanui kite mihi. Ko nga hua i whanau mai kia tatou o roto i nga pakanga o nehera, ko tenei e hikoi ngatahi nei te Maori me te pakeha, e noho tahi nei i raro ite maru ote ture whirua me te ture tangata.

Ko mutu tonu te mea kei roto tonu ite hinengaro Maori e patai ana, e tika ana ranei kia kore rawa he whake mamatanga ote murunga i ona whenua, kaore ranei?

Ahakoa ra, kia nui a tatou whakamoemiti me nga whakawhetai mo nga painga i puta mai kia tatou o roto o tenei rautau.

Engari kaua tatou hei whakawhirinaki anake ki a potou i homai ai hei kawe ia tatou, engari pikitia nga taumata tiketike, whakamatouria nga kopua hohonu ote wa. Ite tawangawanga te tangata, mahara ki nga korero a o tatou tupuna ite whawhai ote Keeti Pa, "Kia u e te manawa rere."

 

Tomorrow our thoughts travel over the century to the battle of Gate Pa fought on the little knoll then called Pukehinhina. Into the annals of our nation's history that story was written in the bloodstained letters of our Maori and pakeha forebears - the story of a battle renowed for the high ideals and outstanding chivalrous conduct under which it was conducted. During the heat of battle they fought with the courage of true warriors, yet ever remembering through all the trials and tribulations the teachings of Christianity.

It is fitting that, tomorrow, the peoples of both races shall stand as New Zealanders upon what was once the courtyard of Tumatauenga, in homage to the past (and in hopeful tribute to the future). For, today, we share a common heritage, born of the spirit of this battle and of others of its time. Today we walk as equals sharing a common destiny within the shelter of our common christian belief and under the mantle of common law.

It such a belief is not acceptable then that question which disturbs the mind of many a Maori must once again be asked: "Can the unrequited confiscation of his land, because of his share in the aforementioned battle, be justified?"

With that exception we acknowledge appreciation for many advantages that have accrued over the century. Let us all not be complacent nor depend on what our forbears suffered for us.

Rather, let us play a full part in our lifetime as they did in theirs. Let us venture the highest peaks and, if need be, the deepest depths. And, should we falter, let us remember the words of the Maori leader at Gate Pa: "Kia u e te manawa rere - Be firm, oh trembling hearts."

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