In 1943, Sir Apirana Ngata wrote:
Nō te 1943 (Tahi mano iwa rau whā tekau mā ono), i tuhi a Tā Apirana Ngata
“We will lose some of our most promising young leaders . . . but we will gain the respect of our Pākehā brothers and the future of our race as a component and respected part of the New Zealand people will be less precarious.”
Kua ngaro kē ētahi. Engari ka riro mai te kōtua o ngā Pākehā, ā, mō ngā tau e haere ake nei ka kore e pērā rawa te pāhekeheke o te noho o te iwi Māori hei wāhanga manaakitia o Aotearoa.
Sir Apirana reasoned, that the loss of his nephews and other Māori would be the ultimate price to pay for equality of citizenship. His passion and desire for equality is what set him aside as one of the great New Zealand leaders of our time. His insightfulness to commit our people to a war and his rationale for doing so should be a reminder of the place that he hoped that the Māori people, his people, my people, our people should have in our society. Such were the principles that led to the birth of the Māori Battalion in WWII.
I whakamārama a Tā Apirana, Ko te matenga o tāna irāmutu me ētahi atu Māori te utu nui mō te Mana taurite. Ko tana ngākau whiwhita, me tana hōkaka ki te mana taurite i whakatāiri ake ia he Kahurangi mō tātou. Ko tana māramatanga kia tuku ngā toa Māori ki te pakanga, ā, ko āna whakamārama ka tutuki rā anō ka maumaharatia e tātou taua taumata i tūmanakotia e ia mō tōnā iwi, tōku iwi, tō tātou iwi ki tēnei porihanga. Koia pū ngā mātāpono i huataki ai Te Hokowhitu a Tūmatauenga ki Te Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao.
Today we face a modern day war. New Zealander’s have had to surrender their rights of civil liberties many of which that we have taken for granted. They have had their rights to a democracy curtailed and they live week to week under a regime of Marshall Law.
I tēnei rā, ka whakarae tātou i tētahi pakanga hōu. Kua whakahaurarotia e tātou o Aotearoa tō tātou mana herekore, te nuinga kāore i whakaaro nuitia e tātou. Kua tauporotia te mōtika ki tētahi manapori, ka noho wiki ki te wiki ki raro i ēnei ture aupēhi.
Māori leadership has rallied under the umbrella of the Whanau Ora movement .Defending their communities against the New Zealand invasion of Covid-19, just as our people rallied under The Māori War Effort Organisation in WWII.
Kua whakarauika mai ētahi Tumu Māori i raro i te whakamarumaru o te Whānau Ora. Ka whakangungua ō rātou hāpori i te urutomo o te Mate urutā ki Aotearoa. Pērā rawa ki te wā i whakakotahi ai te iwi Māori i raro i te Rōpū Whakahaere i ngā Māori ki Te Pakanga Tuarua o te ao.
Covid-19, simply put is an invasion of Papatūānuku – our Mother Earth.
Ko te whakamārama waingohia mō te Mate Urutā he mate e urutomo nei i a Papatūānuku.
We have used the same system and calls to shore up our 2020 defence.
Kua whakatauhia e mātou he pūnaha ōrite kia turuki ai te waonga 2020 (rua mano rua tekau).
Nearly seven out of 10 Maori live a precarious existence, reliant on welfare payments or being the working poor. These circumstances pose significant risks. The problem is compounded when we know that our people have a disposition to respiratory illnesses the first signs of this predisposition were noticed soon after Cook landed on our shores in 1769.
Tata ki te 7 i te 10 Māori ka noho mōrearea, e hirinaki ana ki ngā pūtea o Hiranga Tangata, me te hunga whai mahi e noho pōhara tonu ana. He mate nui ka puta i ēnei āhuatanga. Ko ngā mate nui ka puta, i a tātou e mōhio ana te ngākau kawa ki ngā mate romohā, ko ngā tohu tuatahi o ngā mate nei i kitea muri tata i te taunga mai o Kuki ki ō tātou whenua i te tau 1769 (Kotahi mano whitu rau ono tekau mā iwa).
The threat of a new virus with unknown attributes and with no cure is a severe threat to our community.
Ko te kapatau o tēnei mate urutā hou, kāore he auaha, kāore he rongoā, he mate nui ki ō tātou hāpori.
In a normal New Zealand winter, Māori elders over 65 succumbed to various strains of influenza by a margin of 3 to 1.
Ko te momo ki Aotearoa i te Takurua, Tokotoru ki te tahi te taitapa kaumātua, kuia pakeke atu i te 65 (ono tekau mā rima) ka auheke i ngā urutā rewharewha.
Māori have a saying;
Mauiui te tangata, mauiui te whenua. Mauiui te whenua, mauiui te tangata.
If the people are unwell, the land and our environment will be unwell. If the land and our environment are unwell, the people must be unwell.
We are acutely aware of the significant difficulties defending against Covid-19 coming into winter.
E matua mōhio ana mātou ki ngā raru nui ki te whakawawao i tēnei mate urutā i tēnei hōtoke.
We must be disciplined. We must be organised. We must stand together. Most of all we must be resourced to defend ourselves over winter against an invader that has made landfall.
Me tū Pakari tātou. Me rite tātou. Me tū kotahi tātou. Ko te mea nui me whai taputapu e tātou ki te tiaki i a tātou anō kia kaupare atu tēnei hoariri kua pae mai nei.
We recall nine weeks ago celebrating Waitangi at Waititi at our west Auckland marae with 40,000 of our Kiwi brothers and sisters.
Ka hoki ngā mahara iwa wiki ki muri, whakanui ai a Waitangi ki Waititi ki tō tātou Marae ki Te Uru o Tāmaki me ō tātou whānau whānui 40,000 ( Whā tekau mano neke atu)
Who would have thought, nine weeks ago that if I got up on the stage at that great festival that honours the foundation of our nation and told everyone they would be banned from going to work, banned from going to the gym, banned from sending their kids to school or university, banned from fishing and boating, banned from participating in large gatherings, banned from visiting their loved ones in hospital and banned from pining for whānau who had passed away because of a nation-wide lockdown.
Nā wai i whakaaro 9 wiki ki muri. Tū ana au ki te whatārangi ki taua hui ahurei taioreore e whakanui ana i te tūāpapa o tō tātou motu, kātahi ka kōreri atu ki te whakaminenga, “Ka rāhuitia tātou te haere ki te mahi, ka rāhuitia te haere ki te whare whakapakari tinana, ka rāhuitia ngā tamariki te tuku atu ki te kura/ whare wānanga rānei, ka rāhuitia te hī ika me te eke poti, kua rāhuitia ngā huihuinga nui, kua rāhuitia te hāpai ō tātou whānau ki te hohipera, kua rāhuitia ngā auē me ngā tangi mōteatea ki te marae ki ngā whānau kua wheturangitia nā tēnei rāhui ā-motu.
Māori leaders up and down the country supported the Government’s leadership over the lockdown. We agreed to be united in our war effort against Covid-19, as had our predecessors, and our Whānau Ora organisations throughout New Zealand kept their structure, stood together as one, fronted their people and delivered what they could face to face ,whilst others – many others – moored in the safe harbour of self-isolation.
I whakaāe ngā rangatira puta noa i te motu ki ngā whakahaerenga Kāwanatanga o tēnei rāhui. I whakaāe mātou ki tēnei pakanga ki te mate urutā, pērā rawa ki ō tātou tūpuna. I puritia tonutia e tō tātou Tōpūtanga o Whānau Ora puta noa i te motu ki ngā whakatakotoranga, i tū kotahi, i tū ki te aro o te iwi ki te manaaki, kia āhei ētahi atu ki te noho haumaru ki tēnei noho mohoao.
These Iwi/Maori collectives host some of the most innovative health, welfare and education administrations in the county. They have shifted their total operations to firstly defend against covid and secondly to front foot a very difficult recovery.
Ka manaakitia e ēnei iwi, kāhui Māori ētahi o ngā auahatanga nui o ngā Kaiwhakahaere Hauora, toko i te ora me te Mātauranga puta noa i te motu. Kua neke ō rātou whakahaerenga katoa. Tuatahi mai, kia parea atu te mate urutā, tuarua kia whakatinana i te whakamāuitanga pierenuku ka haere.
Our people willingly broke their bubbles knowing that they were all there was between Covid-19 breaking out in their vulnerable communities and ensured that we kept distribution support lines into large communities of deprivation.
I puta atu ō mātou kaimahi i ō rātou mirumiru haumaru i runga i te mōhio ko rātou te ara e kaupare nei i te putanga whānui o te Mate urutā ki ngā hāpori paraheahea, kātahi ka whakatūturu i te tuaringa tautoko ki ngā hāpori nui o te rawakore.
We as a Nation signed up for the lockdown. Why did we all sign up? Was it because we were consumed by the messages of the time? The fear and horrific consequences they could beset us? Was it a display of patriotism or was it because we made a decision to abide based on what we were being told?
I whakatū ō tātou ringa ki tēnei rāhui. He aha tātou i whakaāe ai? I mōtī tātou i ngā pānui o te wā? Nā te mataku, nā te whakawehi ki ngā mate ka puta? Nā te ngākau tapatahi o te motu? Nā tā tātou whakaāe rānei ki ngā pānui i puta mai?
At this time on the eve of what we hope will be the cessation of lockdown, we are left with many questions that remain unanswered.
Ko tēnei te pō e tūmanako nei tātou kia mutu ai tēnei rāhui, Ka waiho ngā pātai nui ki a tātou e noho huakore tonu ana.
Did we have a national pandemic defence plan?
He rautaki ā-motu tō tātou ki te kaupare atu i tēnei mate urutā?
Did we have the ability to police our borders?
I taea rānei tātou te tohu apiha ki ō tātou aukati.
Could we lock them down?
Kua āhei tātou te mauhere i a rātou?
Did we have the PPE equipment to keep our Essential Service Persons safe?
He kākahu haumaru tō ngā kaimahi kei te mura o te ahi?
Did we have enough testing or tracing capacity to assert anything other than a lockdown approach?
He nui ō tātou raukaha whakamātau, raukaha whakataki anō hoki ki te whai i tētahi huarahi atu i te rāhui nei?
The lockdown has worked and is a tribute to the discipline of every New Zealander. But for our nationwide discipline, the lockdown would not have worked. Never before in my lifetime have I seen so many give up so much. I think it is patriotism that has delivered us to the place we are today. That’s what makes me proud to be a Māori a New Zealander.
Kua ora tātou i tēnei rāhui nā te pakari o tātou ki Aotearoa. Mei kore ake tō tātou tū pakari, kua puta huakore tēnei rāhui. Kua kore rawa au e kite i tēnei āhua ki te tuku herekorenga nui. Ki a au nei ko te aroha nui ki tō tātou kāinga i pēnei ai. Koia pū te take e poho kererū ana au ki te mea atu He Māori ahau, nō Aotearoa ahau.
We agree with a measured and sequenced unwinding of the lockdown phase. We cannot afford to squander the gift that the people of this great nation have delivered.
Ka whakaāe mātou ki te inenga me te whakaraupapa i ngā whakaputanga o tēnei rāhui. Kaua tātou e tuku noa i tēnei tāonga kua tākohatia e ngā iwi o tēnei whenua rangatira.
In the finest traditions of our people, we will always remember those that have gone on before us and sacrificed so much in Anzac traditions.
I raro i te marumaru o ngā tikanga o tō tātou iwi, ka maumaharatia rātou mā kua mene atu ki te pō, ā, i whakahere ki te kaupapa whakaharahara o ANZAC.
To echo the words of Sir Apirana Ngata, we have stood up and defended our communities in our country in our most dire moments.
Ka pāoroorotia ngā kupu a Tā Apirana Ngata, Kua tū pakari tātou, kua wawaotia ō tātou hāpori ki tō tātou Whenua taurikura i tēnei wā taumaha.
We have done what we have at this time to again request the respect of our Pakeha brothers
Kua mahia tonutia ngā mahi o te wā me te ui anō kia whakautea tātou e ō tātou whānau Pākehā
We have done so to prove the value of our people. The value of our kaupapa. We have done so to prove that we have the right to self-management, the right to self-development.
Kua tutuki anō ngā mahi kia whakamanatia tō tātou iwi Māori, Te Mana nui o tēnei kaupapa anō hoki. Kua tutuki ēnei mahi kia mōhio whānuitia tō mātou mana ki te whakahaere i a mātou anō, me te mana ki tō mātou ake hiringa.
180 years on the plight of our Māori people remains the same. This is our time to take control of the destiny of our people because we have proven we can.
180 (Kotahi rau waru tekau) ngā tau kua hipa, e noho tauwehe tonu ana te iwi Māori. Kua tae te wā kia whakatinanahia te mana motuhake o te iwi, nā ngā hua nui kua puta i a tātou.