Tuesday night. Mt Eden, Auckland. Maungawhau, Tamaki Makaurau. There’s a Stop Co-Governance meeting being held by Julian Batchelor.
Aotearoa Liberation League book the time slot after him so they can debunk the misinformation that he’s peddling as he whips up fear around co-governance.
I’m so in. I’m going. Who cares that it’s right after a Festival, and a four-hour round trip in the car. This is important.
And I’ve been following Pere Huriwai-Seger and Samah Huriwai-Seger, the husband and wife team behind the Aotearoa Liberation League for months now. It’s a great opportunity to meet them in person.
Monday, the Council decides to cancel the bookings due to fears about safety. Julian calls them corrupt. Pere says he understands their position, and the Aotearoa Liberation League decides to go ahead with a celebratory gathering at Potters Park.
I drive up from Thames with a friend well-versed in the protest movement – he’s been on the frontlines at Ihumātao and the marina on Putiki Bay at Waiheke.
The video below shares my reflections on that meeting, and the many issues swirling around it, including co-governance.
My call out to you – particularly my Pākehā followers, friends and colleagues – is that you stand up, speak up, and show up. Show your support for our Māori brothers and sisters. Don’t let people use concerns around co-governance as an excuse for inciting racism.
This is our fight too – maybe more our fight because it’s our Pākehā brothers and sisters that need to be lovingly called in.
Follow Aotearoa Liberation League. Educate yourself on the Stop Co-governance Tour. Go to the meeting in your town and see for yourself what is being said. Brush up on your history of Te Tiriti before you head in. And pay attention to the underlying energy and sentiment of the meeting.
Here’s to uniting in love, for love, with love – including for those that don’t get it, yet.
This is even more important right now because we’re in an election year and we have politicians that I have concerns about. (See this article on David Seymour after I attended one of his meetings).
The Stop Co-Governance Tour is hitting scores of towns. It’s hitting a nerve because people are concerned about what co-governance means and the impact it might have on them.
See this letter from an Iwi Chair expressing concerns about the Tour. http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/5/414631
There’s a lot of fear, and Julian is a master of tapping into that and using it to generate action.
I am all for open, frank, explorative discussion on partnership, co-governance, and Māori sovereignty. But when those conversations are happening with unconscious bias or unexamined racism polluting the waters, we’re in trouble.
Colonisation is not a thing of the historical past. It’s still happening. And whilst there might have been some legislative amends made for some of the harm caused by colonialization – like the setting up of the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975, and the settlements that eventuated –
no one in government has ever said ‘We’re so sorry, we completely fucked you over in our own quest for power.’ This was incorrect. The Crown has issued apologies with Treaty Settlements – see here for an example of an apology offered to Ngati Maniapoto.
Ok, I’m paraphrasing, but that is what happened. Read Ranginui Walker’s book Struggle Without End. Review the list of legislation that disempowered, disenfranchised, and destroyed Māori culture, lands and way of life. Review the statistics that reveal the impact of the trauma of colonisation.
Co-governance doesn’t scare me. My experience of Te Ao Māori is an approach that cares for and loves ALL people, and the environment. That excites me.
Even whilst I acknowledge why people like Julian feel so threatened by it – threatened enough to marshal his forces, build a website and socials, go on tour, and incite people into racist violence.
Me, I’m going to move from love. I showed up last night not because I felt threatened, but because I feel love for Te Ao Māori and my Māori brothers and sisters. And that’s the place I’m going to keep moving from on this – love, or aroha.
“In Maori, aroha encompasses the breath of life and the creative force of the spirit, and it assumes that the universe is abundant and that there are more opportunities than people. It seeks and draws out the best in people, it rejects greed, aggression and ignorance and instead encourages actions that are generous.”Little Miracles Trust
And this is my prayer – that the Stop Co-governance Tour inspires people of all creeds and colours, races and spaces, to stand up in aroha.
That Julian inspires us to radiate aroha across the motu.
That we will look back one day and go, thank you Julian, for being the spark that brought us all back together again in love.
And that maybe, just maybe, Julian too wakes up out of fear, and into love.