There were stunning scenes at Waitangi this morning as Tāme Iti led a hīkoi to Waitangi.
Hundreds of people were watching on as the hīkoi went from from Te Tii Marae on to the Upper Treaty Grounds, to Te Whare Rūnanga, in Waitangi.
Up to 300 people dressed in white and carrying white flags chanted, “the Treaty is a Fraud, honour the Treaty” as they made their way across the bridge and through the treaty grounds.
The hīkoi is a piece of performative art.
Ambient sounds are being played over speakers and the ope — the large group — held back as Iti walked to the front of Te Whare Rūnanga to place a white shawl.
Members and representatives of Ngā Tama Toa followed onto the marae to be welcomed.
Iti was welcomed onto Te Whare Rūnanga by Labour MP Peeni Henare, on behalf of the haukāinga (local people), and listened to a whaikōrero from Ngāpuhi rangatira Hone Sadler.
Iti gifted a sculpture to Waitangi and Ngāpuhi.
‘Not just a response to dumbass government policies’
Iti told Breakfast the hīkoi was “amazing” and a “memory lane” for him.
He said it was about giving people the opportunity to “take away the anxiety for people” to engage with Waitangi.
“Even our own people, our own people that know who they are but are not quite involved with anything,” Iti added.
“We just have to be shifting our thinking… I think we all shift in some shape or form.
“It’s an opportunity, not just as a response to dumbass government policies – that’s OK, I don’t really care about that – but more and more care for us, for Aotearoa.”