Kua hoki mai ano : Ngā Tamatoa is back!
Some of the original pioneers of Treaty activism and Māori advocacy, Ngā Tamatoa (young warriors), in an extraordinary move, are set to attend Waitangi in force all together after 53 years.
They will facilitate and share whakaaro and topical panel discussion at 5pm tomorrow at the Forum Tent.
Kōrero will traverse half a century of recent history, delving into the implications of this experience alongside the critical issues currently facing Mãori communities today.
In 1971, Ngā Tamatoa gathered at Waitangi to honour the Treaty with a ground-breaking presence and their resolute activism has gone on to shape significant change over the last 50 years at the Treaty grounds and across Aotearoa.
They stood up for land rights, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the historic petition campaigning for te reo Māori to be taught in schools.
Ngā Tamatoa are now elders – kuia and koroua – offering a seasoned, and wise perspective, because they were young adults at that first 19711 Waitangi protest to uphold the Treaty.
They were advancing indigenous rights for a better future, enshrining Maōri language, culture and land. In this panel, they will talk about now being seen as legacy thought leaders and champions for Māori rights and culture.
Volunteers, whānau and supporters have set up a marquee for these veteran activists on site. Here they will unwind from the bustling Waitangi Day activities, talk to curious visitors, conduct hui (meetings), engage with the media, and host esteemed guests.
Within this marquee, the group will prepare for the formalities, including a deeply significant pōwhiri scheduled at Tau Rangatira [next door to Te Tii Marae] at today 1.30pm.
Many members of Ngā Tamatoa will also support Tame Iti’s art program as an expression of their commitment to contemporary Māori creative practice.
This collaboration reflects the group’s multifaceted approach to fostering Māori heritage.