Topic: Ngāi Te Rangi’s Future Linked to the Battle of Gate

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Ngāi Te Rangi’s Future Linked to the Battle of Gate

The Battle of Gate Pa - Pukehinahina represents an important event in the history of iwi and tauiwi.  We celebrate this occasion as one of our defining moments in time. This event demonstrated innovation, combativeness, resilience and strategic “know how” of our tipuna of yesteryear. It was a battle for which any outside military commentator would have considered a push over for the colonials. History confirms that the reverse was true. So, what then is the purpose of history if we do not learn and apply the same innovative strategies to reverse the odds that presently play havoc with our ability to reach our potential and leave a new legacy in the way that our tipuna achieved at Pukehinahina.

We must use the knowledge of that battle to fight a new campaign for equity and justice, like a modern battle that positions Ngāi Te Rangi with the same pride and honour that occurred at Pukehinahina 150 years ago.

The new trenches of the future will be carved through our landscape to allow our thinkers and game changers to roll out a programme of justice that ensures our people are well housed, free from poverty, are culturally and tikanga rich, motivated by the relevance of a vibrant education, able to participate in the economic wealth of the nation, and moreover, to be part of a country where Te Reo is a normal part of this nation’s everyday language.

Our biggest enemy to achieving these lauded aspirations is often ourselves. We need to rediscover the belief and confidence that drove our tipuna to unearth a new way as they did at Pukehinahina. If it happened then, why can’t it be possible now? Let’s think about this a bit more – let’s visualize that our manuhiri and visitors who pass through our precious harbour as each cruise liner berths will leave knowing that Ngāi Te Rangi is etched in their memory as that extraordinary place and people where they achieved success against the odds, because it was always part of their DNA to do so.

We will need to simply amaze ourselves to be the new soldiers and warriors of change and not be trapped by hardened attitudes and the narrowing of possibilities. With what we know of our history, we can continue to define ourselves as an iwi where our imagination is realised, where together we will explore the stars, re-assert ourselves, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce. With a good conscience as our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, we need to go forth to lead our people and  this place we truly love, knowing we have the blessing of our kuia and koroua to do the work that must be done. The recent signing of the Deed of Settlement by our tribe, helped forge a greater sense of unity and proud amongst our people. It also helped draw a line in the sand with regards to addressing many of the grievances we have had in relation to the Treaty. With the collective negotiations near conclusion, the world is truly our oyster.

Ngaiterangi Education 


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