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'Kotahi te ture mō ngā iwi e rua'
Ko te orokahanga mai o te noho tahitanga a tātou te Māori me te ture Pākehā kai tō tātou māramatanga ki te tikanga me te kawa, me kī pēnei ahau, nō mua mai o te taenga o te hunga tāmī ki Aotearoa nei.
E whakapono tūturu a Te Maiora Rurehe kua tūhia ki te rangi māna te iwi e arahina i te ara kōpikopiko o te ture Pākehā. I tīnihangatia ai tātou te Māori e te iwi tāmī, ka haria mai ngā ture o tō rātou ao ki kōnei ka rāwekengia te ture, ka whakahuringia te ture kia pai ai ki tō rātou hiahia – ā , kai te rangona tonutia ngā tinihangatanga e tātou te Māori.
Tērā tētehi pepeha i pepehangia e Te Matua Tangata, Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, "ka kuhu au i te ture, hei matua mō te pani".
Nō te Paraire o Mei te kotahi tekau mā toru ko hori ka kuhu atu a Te Maiora Michael Phillip Rurehe ki te pae o te ture. E rua tekau mā toru ōna tau. He ara nui i takahia e ia e rima o ngā tau e noho tauira ture ana tāpirihia he kotahi tekau mā toru o ngā wiki e ako ana mo te whakamātautau mō te pae ture.
"He ahakoa kua tomongia te whare o te ture kai te haere tonu ngā wānanga, he whakapakari me te aro mātua ki ngā tiwhikete e whai mana ai tātou ki ngā kaupapa motuhake".
Kua whai tūnga a Te Maiora ki te kaumpene Annette Sykes & Co tētehi kāinga ture tūturu nei. Kua mārō tōnā hamuti. He uri nō Ngāti Makino me Ngāti Pikiao e tino mātau nei ki ngā pēhitanga me ngā taumahatanga ka pā ki a ngai tātou te Māori. "Nā tana mahi i te taraipunara o Waitangi e noho tata nā ia ki ngā tangata kua haukurungia e te Karauna".
"Hai āwhinatanga kia mārama kehokeho ai te tangata me pēwhea te takahi te ara ki te ora, me mōhiohio te tangata ki ngā hītoria o te hunga kaupēhipēhi. Ko wai hoki ēnei tangata i mua noa atu o te taenga mai o te hunga tāmī, whaihoki me pēwhea te amo i a rātou ki te pae o te oranga", hai tā Te Maioha. He timatatanga noa māna tēnei hōnore nui. "Kia whai tūnga-ā-ture te tangata ki te kooti, me mana te ekenga o te tangata ki te pae ture, nō reira kia whai waha ai te hunga tāmi, me takahi ai tēnei huarahi e te tangata".
Ko te whainga paku nei kia horomia e ia ngā mātauranga ā ngā mātanga, "ko te pae tawhiti ki a whakaarangia e ahau taku ake kamupene, rānei e noho paepae taurite nei ahau ki te mana motuhake - tērā pea ka unungia tōku pōtae roia.
"Ko te kauawhiawhi me te manaaki tangata e raru nei, koia te karanga matua ki ahau". Ko ngā kōrero tuku iho a ngā tūpuna kai te hoi taringa o Te Maiora e oioi ana.
"E hoa mā, ko te whakataukī, te tongikura, ngā kupu whakaari koinā te ara o te ture e ai ki a tātou te Māori, Anei ētehi - "Kia mau ki te ture, te whakapono me te aroha, hei aha te aha"." Ka kuhu au i te ture hei matua mō te pani", "Mā te ture anō te ture e āki", "Kotahi te ture mō ngā iwi e rua".
I whānau a Te Maiora i Rotorua engari i pakekengia i Minginui, kātahi ka haere rātou ki te pā taunaha o Te Whakarewarewa ki te riu o Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wāhiao.
"Ko te kapa haka tētehi āhuatanga nui ki ahau, nā reira haere ai ahau ki ngā huinga o Te Whakarewarewa, engari ka kaha hoki ai ahau ki te kohu ki taku iwi ki a Ngāti Whare otīā ki a ngai Tūhoe". Ko te mana motuhake, ko te reo Māori me te whakapapa ngā pou o tōna manawa. Ko tona matapopore nui kia tuwhera katoa o mātou ngākau ki te moemoeā o Moana Jackson, ko tāna kia noho whare herehere-kore katoa nei a Aotearoa i mua o te tau e rua mano e wha tekau – me whakapono nei tātou ki tō tātou mana motuhake."
"Ki taku titiro ko te mahi a te roia he whakamāmā i te reo ture, kia mātau ai te hunga kūware ki te ao o te ture, nā reira anō taku whakapono ko taku whānau me te hunga ka pirangatia te ture te hunga ka whai mana i te kaupapa".
Ko te pepeha a ngā kaumātua e mea nei, ko taku toa he toa takitini, he ahakoa te tini o ngā tangata nānā ahau i poipoi kia whai wāhi atu ai taku whakamanahau ki a Aunty Lauren James.
I awhinangia a Te Maiora e tana mākau me ōna mātua hoki. "Nōku te māringinui he kāinga reo Māori, he kāinga tikanga tō mātou kāinga, ae, kāore rawa au i rata ki ēnei tūāhuatanga i te timatanga, nā wai rā ka waea haere , ā, titiro nei ki taku kaha inaianei".
Tētehi whakakitenga anō tāna, kia eke ai tātou a Ngai Te Arawa ki te mana motuhaketanga me wānanga tahi tātou i ngā kaupapa nui whakahirahira, e noho taupatu nei tātou i tō tātou korenga ki te kōrero tahi ki te whakamōhio ngā rangatira o te rohe, hapū mai, iwi mai.
"Tērā tētehi kaupapa kai te wānangangia inākuanei; ae rānei tātou o Ngai Te Arawa e kaha nei ki te hāmene ngā hara ka puta ake i tō tātou rohe ake. E mea nei ahau, ae! Engari mā te turuki rānō i te popi nui tātou e rangatira ai tēnei whakaaro". Hai kōrero whakakapinga māna, mā te hunga taiohi. "Ki te whai koe i te ara o te ture – me manawanui."
— Na Raimona Inia i whakamaoritia tenei purongo.
Māori involvement with the law stems back to our deep understanding of tikanga and kawa – well before the arrival of colonialists.
That's why Te Maiora Rurehe believes it is his destiny to guide and help whanau negotiate their way through the law.
The colonisers brought their system of law which was used, miscontrued and manipulated to try and deceive Māori; the effects of which we still see today.
"An infamous quote by Te Matua Tangata, Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, says "Ka kuhu au i te ture, hei matua mō te pani" – I seek refuge in the law for it is the parent of the oppressed.
"I stand in a legacy of those who have become oppressed due to a misuse of the law."
Te Maiora Michael Philip Rurehe, 23, was admitted to the Bar on Friday, May 13.
That was the culmination of five years of legal studies and 13 weeks of study for the bar.
"The training however continues after admittance with more professional development training and earning certificates that allow us to be certified to do certain things within specialised practice areas."
Te Maiora currently works for Annette Sykes & Co – a law firm Annette Sykes established. The uri of Ngati Makino-Ngati Pikiao is a long time activist and has witnessed first hand the injustices that our people have suffered.
"Through her work in the Waitangi Tribunal, she works closely with those who have suffered as a result of wrongdoings by the Crown.
"This requires a look into the history of Māori peoples, who they were prior to colonisation and potential ways to reach their ways of being with recognition to the development that has occurred since," says Te Maiora.
For him, admittance to the bar is only the start of his legal career.
"To have 'legal audience' within the Court one must have been admitted to the bar. Therefore, to advocate for those who have entered into the 'system', you need to have been admitted to the bar.
His short term aim is to get training and experience under the belt.
"Long term goal is either have my own law firm or to be living in accordance with Mana motuhake – which may not mean being a lawyer.
"My long-term goal is to be able to help all whānau who ask me for assistance."
For Te Maiora, the words left by our ancestors have had a profound effect, leading him into his present path.
"The left beautiful whakataukī, tongikura, kupu whakaari which point to the role that the law plays in the lives of our people.
"Kia mau ki te ture, te whakapono me te aroha, hei aha te aha"
"Ka kuhu au i te ture hei matua mō te pani. Mā te ture anō te ture e āki. Kotahi te ture mō ngā iwi e rua"
Te Maiora was born at Rotorua but raised mainly at Minginui and eventually among Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao at Whakarewarewa.
"I am an active kapa haka performer and often attend kaupapa being held within the village of Whaka.
"I also attend regular wānanga of my people of Ngāti Whare and Tūhoe."
Te Maiora has a keen interest in mana motuhake, te reo and whakapapa.
He would like to see us "realise the dream of Moana Jackson that by 2040 we will have a prison-free Aotearoa. We must realise and believe in the power of our mana motuhake."
"I understand lawyers to be translators of the legal system for those who do not have an understanding. I therefore believe that my whānau and all those who require access to the law are those who benefit from the kaupapa."
Te Maiora says he has many people who supported him along his journey, especially his
Aunty Lauren James who encouraged him to become a lawyer.
Support has also come from his partner and parents.
"I have been fortunate to be brought by parents who are steeped in tikanga and te reo Māori. Intially, I was resistant to these practices but their insistence meant that my involvement in such practices made me stand out in my applications."
Te Maiora believes that to realise mana motuhake in Te Arawa we must learn to engage one another on important kaupapa. There has been a disjunction amongst the iwi because of our inability to engage all key people, hapū and iwi on important kaupapa.
"A kaupapa that has recently arised is justiciability; do we, as Te Arawa, have the ability to deal with crime that has committed within our tribal territories. I personally think we can, but we must first overcome tall poppy syndrome."
His advice for rangatahi?
"Ki te whai koe i te ara o te ture – me manawanui."