Reflection given at 2016 Te Ranga

This morning I was privileged to be part of the commemoration events at Te Ranga. You can see some photos of the event here. Te Ranga was the site of the second battle in the Tauranga Campaign of the New Zealand Land Wars. It was a short and bloody battle that cost a significant number of lives, especially among ngā iwi o Tauranga Moana. I was asked to give a short reflection, which was a great honour. Here are my notes.

“Ki te matekai tou hoariri, whangainga; ki te matewai, whakainumia”:
Tihei mauri ora

I am aware as I stand here that I am a descendant of one of those who stood at Gate Pā as a British soldier
he had left Tauranga Moana by the time of this battle
the story of my family, my whanaunga is linked with this story
that while he did not received land here when he retired
many of those he stood with and who fought did
their new lives were built on confiscated land
and the economic, social and spiritual loss of ngā iwi of Tauranga Moana.
And I mourn that.

I also stand here as a Pakeha New Zealander
as such I am a recipient of what has been called white privilege.
people like me  - white and mostly male
have sat on the decision making tables in the events that led up to the events we commemorate today
and ever since
I and my pakeha brothers and sisters reaped the reward of that.
It is not easy to dislodge us from these tables
In recent weeks there has been a lot about abuse Mayor New Plymouth – Andrew Judd has suffered
because he tried to make room at that table for a Maori voice
last year there was similar move for such a ward in our city council
got no traction
I suspect they took into account what was happeing in New Plymouth
Lived here in Tauranga Moana for 23 years
in that time I think there has been one Maori on Council- back in early 1990’s.
turns out we pakeha tend vote for people like us
we don’t like sharing places at the table
I am personally baffled that significant part of our community
that plays such significant role culturally, economically
still has no voice at our decision making table.
Yes they have an advisory voice, but not where the decisions are made. And that is not good enough.
The problem is that we pakeha have so little knowledge or experience of te Ao Maori
We pakeha have little contact with Marae all that happens there
We struggle to understand how Maori see world
And so we have no idea how our decisions will affect Maori – we just assume that Maori are like us and that the effects will be the same.
The health, education, employment and justice statistics show that this is simply not true.
I look for a day when we won’t need Maori ward
Maori will be at the table because we Pakeha want their voice at the table
That day is not yet
Last week Mayor Judd led a hikoi of peace to Parihaka to help create space for the conversation that needs to happen about past and way forward in future
I wonder what role events like today can play creating those same conversations here.

Lastly stand as Anglican Priest
Minita in te Haahi Mihinare
Vicar of whare Karakia o Hori Tapu on hill of Pukehinahina – Gate Pā
aware of our conflicted role in events we remember.
At times we have not done well
we got lost in maintaining the power of British empire
other times deeply conflicted as to how to respond – Brown was here
other times come close getting it right
            have been some who courageously spoken out for justice and peace
            Henry Williams and Octavius Hadfield were two
            who lost their incomes over their vocal opposition to these land wars
often in this land it has been Maori who have reminded us of how to be the people we were called to be
people like Henare Wiremu Taratoa – named after Henry williams
            who worked with Hadfield in Otaki before returning home
            so reluctantly taking up arms in face British aggression in coming here in January 1864.
Taratoa was the scribe who wrote letters for another man of great faith
Rawiri Puhirake
who finished rules that limited the killing with passage from Pauls letter to Romans
like to read slightly bigger section

Romans 12:9-21Maori Bible (MAORI)
Ko te aroha, hei te mea tinihangakore. Kia whakarihariha ki te kino; kia u ki te pai.
10 Ka aroha ki nga teina, kia tino pono te aroha tetahi ki tetahi; ka whakahonore, kia nui ta tetahi i tetahi.
11 Kia uaua, kaua e mangere; kia toko tonu ake te wairua; me te mahi ano ki te Ariki;
12 Kia hari i runga i te tumanako; kia manawanui ki te whakapawera; kia u ki te inoi;
13 Whakawhiwhia te hunga tapu ina rawakore; kia mau ki te atawhai manuhiri.
14 Manaakitia te hunga e tukino ana i a koutou: manaakitia, kaua e kanga.
15 Kia hari tahi me te hunga hari, kia tangi tahi me te hunga tangi.
16 Kia kotahi te whakaaro o koutou tetahi ki tetahi. Kaua e whakakake te whakaaro, engari me whakaiti ki nga mea papaku. Kei mea ake koutou he mohio koutou.
17 Kaua e utua ta tetahi kino ki te kino. Whakaaroa ko nga mea e pai ana ki mua i te aroaro o nga tangata katoa.
18 Ki te taea, whakapaua ta koutou kia mau te rongo ki nga tangata katoa.
19 Aua e rapu utu mo koutou, e oku hoa aroha, engari whakaatea atu i te riri: kua oti hoki te tuhituhi, Maku te rapu utu; maku te hoatu utu, e ai ta te Ariki.
20 Na, ki te matekai tou hoariri, whangainga; ki te matewai, whakainumia: ki te penei hoki tau mahi, ka purangatia e koe he waro kapura ki tona matenga.
21 Kei hinga koe i te kino, engari kia hinga te kino i tou pai.

Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. 10 Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. 11 Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. 12 Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. 13 Take care of God’s needy people and welcome strangers into your home.
14 Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. 15 When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. 16 Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.[a] 17 Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, 18 and do your best to live at peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says,
“I am the one to take revenge
    and pay them back.”
20 The Scriptures also say,
“If your enemies are hungry,
    give them something to eat.
And if they are thirsty,
give them something
    to drink.
This will be the same
as piling burning coals
    on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.

We need to keep these words in mind as we look to the future.
Us as Pakeha need to stop trying to protect what is ours and with the same compassion and foresight shown by Paul, but Taratoa and Puhirake build our futures together
We need to find places for the conversations to grow, kanohi ki te kanohi.
We see here today what happens when the talk stops.
While we are not physically fighting, the raruraru continues.
We need to find ways for the korero so that together ngā iwi Maori and ngā iwi Pakeha and Tau Iwi can build a future for all in Tauranga Moana where all may flourish.

A final prayer by Ven Hone Kaa
God most holy,
renew in us the longing for your peace
and the will to work for it
May we be your messengers of peace!

Take wing o messengers of peace
Carry the words to the multitudes
Sow it in wisdom
Sow it in truth
And may the love of God
Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of Life
Be the feathered cloak that enfolds us all

E rere e nga Karere a Te Rangimarie
Kawea te kupu ki te tini ki te mano
Ruia i runga te whakaaro nui
Ruia i runga te Whakaaro pono
Waiho ko te Aroha te Atua, Matua, Tama, Wairua Tapu
Hei Kakahukiwi mou,
Aianei a ake tonu atu. Amine


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