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This is what colonisation in 2019 looks like - FIRST Union

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

There’s a dispute going on in the heart of Auckland over some of New Zealand’s oldest and most precious archaeological land.

A national day of action organised by Save Our Unique Land (SOUL) has taken place this morning in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington over the site at Ihumātao.

SOUL is urgently seeking Government and Auckland Council intervention, to either buy the Ihumātao land from Fletcher Building or mandate a process that will enable all affected parties to come up with an outcome everyone can live with.

Kaumatua of FIRST Union and Maori Vice President of The Council of Trade Unions (CTU), Syd Keepa, says the land is far too valuable to be developed.

"It’s a sacred area, these burial sites are some of the oldest and most precious sites we have."

He says historical wrongs need to be corrected.

"Who would want to work or live on land that has this much historical conflict? It was confiscated land and its people have been living near ever since. If I could, I’d confiscate the land back off Fletchers."

Mr Keepa says he’s disappointed in the lack of Government intervention thus far.

"The Coalition Government and the Council need to get involved here and facilitate a resolution so we can lift this land from its troubled past. Their silence is condoning colonisation in 2019. The land must be given back to its tangata whenua, it holds so much history and so, so much mana for them."

He adds, "Just because it hasn’t been valued as it should before, doesn’t mean it’s okay to not realise it’s value now".

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