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Matike Mai Constitutional Convention Leading National Discussion For Change


Dr Moana Jackson’s keynote for Matike Mai
Constitutional Convention, 3rd February 2021 stated that
this was a hui that is part of a long history of
constitutionalism and for Māori living in a colonised state
to continue to reclaim mana motuhake and
rangatiratanga.”

Dr Jackson, (Ngati Kahungunu,
Ngati Porou) a constitutional expert, acknowledged the
convention as a mark in history and that, “as Māori we
struggle in the reality of not being able to make our own
decisions. In reclaiming Te Tiriti o Waitangi and giving
effect to our tipuna who signed Te Tiriti, we continue to
focus on the right to self determination and strengthening
the ability for us to live as whānau and
hapu
”.

This convention builds on recommendations
from Report
of Matike Mai Aotearoa – the Independent Working Group on
Constitutional Transformation
2016. The terms of
reference given to Matike Mai Aotearoa were:

To
develop and implement a model for an inclusive Constitution
for Aotearoa based on tikanga and kawa, He Whakaputanga o te
Rangatiratanga o Niu Tireni of 1835, Te Tiriti o Waitangi of
1840, and other indigenous human rights instruments which
enjoy a wide degree of international
recognition.

Originally scheduled to take place in
Waitangi, due to community covid-19 concerns, the convention
was moved online and had more than 120 participants from
across the country.

Professor Margaret Mutu (Ngati
Kahu) noted that our current constitutional arrangements
have prevented us as a nation from addressing injustices,
inequities, denial of rights, land confiscations and racism
resulting from Doctrine of Discovery and colonisation in
Aotearoa. Professor Mutu said, “Constitutional
transformation requires to reinstate the balance between
mana Māori motuhake (Māori ‘sovereignty’) and British
kāwanatanga agreed to in the signing of Te Tiriti o
Waitangi in 1840.”

Dr Claire Charters restated
the importance of He Puapua, the National Plan of Action on
the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples, to help
us realise constitutional transformation. He Puapua has just
been released under the Official Information Act, after
being submitted to Ministers in November 2019.

Janell
Dymus-Kurei (Whakatohea) presented on rangatahi and
rangatira activities implementing Matike Mai since 2016 and
concluded with whakaaro from Mereana Pitman (Ngati
Kahungunu), “My greatest aspiration is that my mokopuna
will laugh at how feeble my dreams
were.”

National Iwi Chairs have been leading a
project Aotearoa 2020 Vision to help us as a nation create
the vision that will underpin our constitutional future. Te
Huia Bill Hamilton (Ngati Kahungunu, Nga Rauru, Ngati
Raukawa) assured participants that, “We will continue
to work together, with communities, organisations and the
government over 2021 and into the future to realise the
visions of our
tipuna.”

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