“Ka tangi te pū, ka hui te iwi.” When the call goes out the people will gather.
In the past month that call has come from the Kingitanga movement and at every opportunity it has been answered.
From his own Hui last month, then Ratana and now Waitangi.
After days of welcoming manuhiri or guests onto the sacred Treaty Grounds the biggest pōhiri so far was fit for a King – Kingi Tuheitia.
Hundreds made the journey with the King from Tūrangawaewae, and walking on with him were iwi leaders from across the motu.
“He brings it up another level, him attending this year just shows the seriousness of the issues that are in front of us, and his presence just adds to that rangatiratanga of Te reo Māori,” Ngāti Kahungunu Chair Bayden Barber said.
Also walking on with the King was Te Pati Māori, who chose not to be part of the Opposition delegation welcomed on Saturday – upsetting some within Labour and the Greens.
“Three years ago Labour didn’t want us, and it’s more important that we have the 100 percent mandate from our people, and it’s more important that we stand here in unity with those who represent Te ao Māori, and that’s not Labour,” Te Pati Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said.
Kotahitanga or togetherness has been the Kingi’s kaupapa or theme since the new coalition government’s proposals – which many in Te Ao Māori see as anti-Māori.
And some of Māoridom’s strongest voices were speaking in unison today.
“The greatest thing that has happened of late was coming together and I must acknowledge the Kingitanga for bringing our people together right across the motu,” Ngāpuhi Rangatira Hone Sadler said.
“It only took us six years, from 1840 to 1846, to become a minority in our own country and here we have an ACT party that only won eight percent of the votes,” Ngāti Whātua Chair Dame Rangimarie Naida Glavish stressed.
“How more minority can you get than that, to expect to do the damage that it wants to do?” she asked.
Two weeks ago, Kingi Tuheitia laid down a wero to his people – be Māori all day every day.
And that is exactly what they have been doing, although Te Pati Māori barely need an invitation.
As the focus now moves to the Government’s arrival tomorrow, there are calls for respect.
“It’s not lost on us, the pulse and the mood of our people and the country in general, we just ask that people come and express those things that are driving the passion at the moment, but be mindful of the home people,” Far North Area Commander Riki Whiu told Newshub.
Because after all, they are tangata whenua and this is their home.