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Te Hui Māori o Ōketopa 1944

MasonTirikatene
Maori Home Front Blog Avatar
Lachy Paterson
22 Hereturikōkā, 2020

Mai i te 18 ki te 20 Ōketopa 1944, nui atu i te 400 ngā māngai o ngā iwi o te motu i mine ki roto i te Hōro o Ngāti Pōneke, i Te Whanganui-a-Tara.  Ka hui mai rātou nā te tono a te komiti o ngā mema-pāremata Māori. Ko te mema o te Tai Tonga, ko Eruera T. Tirikātene te upoko o taua komiti, ā, i taua wā ko ia hoki te Mema o te Rūnanga o te Kāwanatanga [cabinet] hei māngai o te iwi Māori.  Engari, he aha te take i tū ai te huinga nui nei, ā, he pēhea te whakapā mai ki te “Hau Kāinga” o te wā pakanga?

Ahakoa he mahi tēnei nā ngā mema Māori, kīhai te Tari Māori [Native Department] i pīrangi kia pōhēhētia nāna te hui i karanga, e kī ana ki tētahi kaitono, “The Conference is not an official gathering but has been convened by the Maori members of Parliament under the Presidency of Hon. E.T.Tirikatene.”[1]

Tua atu i ngā māngai ā-iwi, ka tonoa hoki e Tirikātene te pirimia rātou ko ngā minita o te karauna ko ngā tumuaki o ngā hāhi.  I whakamāramatia ngā kaupapa o te hui ki tāna reta ki te Minita Māori [Native Minister] ki a Rex Mason, e mea ana, ko te huinga nei “will be non-party and non-sectarian”, ā, “has been called in response to repeated and urgent requests from the various Maori tribes throughout New Zealand”.  Ka titiro whakamua te whakaminenga, arā, ki ngā “Lands, Claims, Education, Vocational Training, Health, Housing, Social Security and Rehabilitation, the proposed Maori Councils Bill”. I kīa hoki, “the future role of the Maori War Effort Organisation will undoubtedly loom large in the minds of the representatives”.[2]   

E whā ngā hui i karangatia e ngā mema Māori, engari, ko te hui ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara te hira rawa atu.  I Ōpoutama (e tata ana ki Te Mahia) me Rātana Pā ngā mea tuatahi i te marama o Hānuere, 1944, e 72, e 45 ngā māngai i reira.[3]  I muri i te hui ki Pōneke, ka tū he huinga ki Rotorua i te marama o Hānuere, 1945.

E tika ana ngā tuhinga a ngā mōhio hītori, a Ngatata Love rāua ko Claudia Orange, hei wāhanga te hui nei o 1944 o te tautohe o te Tari Māori me te Maori War Effort Organisation [MWEO].[4]  I roa te whakaaro o te iwi Māori, kāore rātou e tiakina paitia ana e te Tari, nā te mea, i te aro anake te kāwanatanga ki te whenua me te moni, kaua ki ngā painga mō te iwi.  Nā, i nui ake te aroha o te kāwanatanga tuatahi o Reipa (1935-49) ki ngā take Māori i tō ngā kāwanatanga o mua, ā, kua tokomaha haere ā rātou mema Māori. Engari, ki te māharahara o te iwi (me ana mema Māori), kāore ngā tari kāwanatanga i te mahi tahi kia tutuki pai ai ngā take Māori, ā, he Pākehā tonu te nuinga o ngā āpiha o te Tari Māori.[5]

Nā te Pakanga Tuarua, ka whānui kē ngā momo mahi e wātea ana mā ngā kaiārahi Māori.  I whakatūria he komiti e ngā mema e whā rātou ko Rangi Mawhete (he mema ia nō te Kaunihera o Runga) hei whakanui i ngā mahi kimi hōia Māori.  Nā te hiahia ki ngā hōia mō te pakanga, ka whakatūria a Paraire Paikea (ko te mema o te Taitokerau) hei mema o te Rūnanga o te Kāwanatanga i te tau 1940 kia akiakitia aua mahi.[6]  Nā runga i taua tūnga, i te tau 1942 ka tuku ia i tētahi kaupapa “for a nation-wide network, operated and controlled by Maori, which would deal not only with recruiting but with all war-related activities”.[7]  I te marama o Hune 1942, ka whakaaetia e te Rūnanga, ā, ka whānau mai te MWEO i raro i te maru o ngā mema Māori, ā, ko Paikea hei Minita Whakahaere.[8]  [Tirohia te kōrero o mua:  “Ngā Tāngata a Paikea”]

I rawe, i whaitake ngā mahi a te MWEO, i whakahaeretia ai te whakuru i ngā tāngata Māori ki roto i te tauā whawhai me ngā ahumahi whakahirahira, me te whakanui hoki i ngā mahi ahuwhenua a te Māori.  Ka maha haere ngā pekanga; e 41 ngā kōmiti o runga i roto i ngā takiwā e 21, ā, e 315 ngā komiti ā-iwi i roto i ngā kāinga Māori.[9]  I te hekenga mai o ngā taitamāhine Māori ki ngā tāone mahi ai, ka whakatūria e te MWEO he āpiha toko-i-te-ora hei tiaki i a rātou.  E ai ki a Orange, “the organisation constituted a vital bridge for many Maori between rural and urban life”.[10]

E ai ki te kaupapa ake a Paikea, kia ono marama noa iho te oranga o te MWEO, engari, nā te pai o āna mahi, e rua ngā whakaroatanga, ā, ka mate ohorere a Paikea i Āperira 1943, ka ora tonu tāna rōpū tae atu ki te mutunga o te pakanga.  Ka tū te Pirimia, a Peter Fraser, hei minitao te MWEO, engari he mahi whakatekoteko noa, ko Tirikātene te tino kaihautū.[11]  E ai ki a Tirikātene me ngā mema Māori, ki te iwi Māori hoki, he pai ake te MWEO i te Tari Māori hei whakatutuki i ngā wawata me ngā hiahia o te iwi Māori, koia rā i whakahaeretia ngā mahi e ngā Māori ake.  I ngā tau whakamutunga o te pakanga, ka mōhio rātou, kua hāponotia te wāriu o ā rātou mahi, ā, me haere tonu aua mahi i te wā o te rangimārie.[12]

Nā ngā mahi papai o te MWEO, i noho tarahae ai te Tari Māori, e whakaaro ana kua kapohia ā rātou ake mahi.  Nā, e ai ki a Love (nāna a Rex Mason i uiui mō tāna tuhinga roa), ko te Minita Māori “had had little contact with Maoris in the community”, ā, “viewed his portfolio in purely administrative terms and seemed unable to accept or understand the special needs Maoris felt necessary for the development of Maori society”.[13]  I te marama o Hānuere 1944 i tohe ai te Tari Māori, me te Tari Pūtea [Treasury], kia whakakorea wawetia te MWEO. Engari, kīhai i taea. Kātahi te Tari ka anga kia hūtia anō ngā Kaunihera Māori o mua i te rua, arā, kia tū anō aua kaunihera ngoikore hei whakautu, hei papare i ngā wawata o te MWEO.  Ka nui te mānukanuka o ngā komiti ā-iwi, puta noa te motu, i taua kaupapa.[14]

I runga i te pīrangi kia mau he rōpū whaitake i muri i te pakanga, e whakahaeretia ana e te iwi Māori, i tonoa ai e ngā mema Māori te hui i te marama o Ōketopa 1944.  E ai ki a Love, “their idea was to provide a show of force regarding the desires of the Maoris and to have a continuing level of independence in their own administration.”[15]  He tini take i kōrerotia e ngā māngai, engari ko te tino take, mā wai e whakahaere ngā mahi kāwanatanga e pā ana ki te iwi Māori i muri i te pakanga.

Nō muri i te pōwhiri me ngā mihi, ka tū te Pirimia, a Peter Fraser, ki te kōrero, ki te whakamānu hoki i te hui.  Ko taua āhua tonu ngā kaupapa o tāna kauhau, arā ko te haere whakamua me te ngākau pai, ko te whakahoahoatanga me te mahi tahi.  Ka whakapuaki hoki ia, hei Pirimia, “he was charged with the duty of parenthood of the Maori people; that he was to a very real extent the guardian, advocate and the father of the Maori race.”[16]  Ahakoa tāna kupu ka āta tirohia arohatia ngā mōtini a te hui, he tino mārama tōna whakaaro:  “The Native Department is to be retained as the medium by which Government assistance is to be given to the Maori people in land settlement and the social organization”.[17]

I pōuri hoki te whakaminenga i te kauhau a te Minita Māori, a Rex Mason.  Ka kī ia “The Native Department has not the idea, sometimes circulated, that it is the land that comes first and the man second. Not at all.” Kātahi ia ka whakarārangi i ngā mahi katoa a te Tari hei painga mō te iwi Māori.  Ahakoa kīhai i meatia e ia, kua puta mai te nuinga o aua mahi hei whakautu i ngā mahi a te MWEO.  I kōrero ia mō te hokinga o ngā Kaunihera Māori, e kī ana, “Where-ever people want it the Maori War Effort organisation can be fitted in.”[18]

Ehara ēnei i ngā momo kōrero e pīrangitia ana e ngā mema Māori, e ngā māngai ā-iwi rānei.  I roto i ngā meneti o te hui he kupu ruarua noa nā ngā māngai e maharatia pea nei ngā kare ā-roto o ā rātou whaikōrero.  Mō ngā take whenua, ko tā Hone Hiki [Hone Heke Rankin?] “Give the Maori the Mana Motuhake. Absolute right to the Maori.” Nā Hēnare Tāwhai “(1) Absolute right of the Maori to decide his own destiny (2) Home Rule for the Maori”. Nō Ngāpuhi rāua.  He aha te tino kauhau a Rangi Mawhete, a te mema Reipa o te Rūnanga o Runga? He mea whakapoto tāna kōrero, ko te matū:

 

Mana Motuhake – 1852 or 1840

Confederation of tribes

Treaty of Waitangi

Native Dept, is the Boss

Not the Maori.”[19] 

 

I ngā kōrero mō te MWEO, ka tautoko ngā māngai kia mau tonu.  Ka kī atu a Hone Heke Rankin “Don’t destroy the War Effort, it is an organisation to keep the Maori united.”  Nā Waka Clarke: “The soul and spirit of the Maori was re-born through M.W.E.”, ā, “Fundamental principle Maori only can interpret the mind of the Maori.” Ko tā Kelly Harris: “Opportunity to have a voice in our own affairs.”  E ai ki a Capt. Love: “M.W.E. has given the Maori the first say in his own affairs.”  Ā, ka mea atu a Capt. Werohia: “Don’t let Party Politics – divide us and destroy us”, ā, “Don’t let the Pakehas separate us.”[20]

Ka kitea te wairua o te hui i roto i te mōtini mō te MWEO.  I runga i “the freedom and privileges vouchsafed upon us” (arā, i ngā tikanga Māori me ngā mana tangata) me “the great work which has been performed, and is still being performed by the Maori War Effort Organisation”, i whakaae ngā māngai kia mau tonu te MWEO, engari kia whakatūturutia ā-turetia, ā, kia tukuna he pūtea tika mō āna mahi.[21] I meatia hoki kia whakatārewatia te Pire Kaunihera Māori o Mason kia mutu te pakanga.

Nā, tērā ētahi atu take i kōrerohia.  He take whenua tō tēnā iwi tō tēnā iwi, ā, ka mōtinitia e te hui kia tū he “competant tribunal” (he āhua rite ki te Rōpū Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi onāianei), he Komihana Roiera pea, ā, kia mahia ngā kerēme kia wawe poto. Ka kōrerohia te kino o ngā tini whare Māori, ā, ka tonoa kia whakapaitia; kia hangaia hoki he wharenoho i roto i ngā tāone, e tata ana ki ngā hōhipera hoki; kia whakanuitia, kia whakapaitia hoki ngā ratonga ā-kura, ā-hauora hoki mō te iwi Māori.  He kupu whakapāha hoki hei mutunga, e kī ana “on account of paper restrictions that this Report has, of necessity, had to be abridged, and in English only.”[22]

Kotahi te whakaaro o ngā māngai ā-iwi mō te tino nuinga o ngā mōtini o te hui. I kaingākautia te MWEO, ā, ka pīrangitia kia pūmau tōna āhua i muri i te pakanga.  Ko te tūmanako hoki, kia tahuri te kāwanatanga ki te whakaea i ngā hiahia ā-hapori o te iwi. 

I kīa e te komiti o te hui e titiro ana ki ngā tikanga me ngā mana, kāore he tāima kia tutuki āna mōtini; tērā pea ka puta mai he raruraru mō ngā ture e pā ana ki te waipiro. Tērā ētahi māngai e tono ana kia whakakorea ngā tikanga o aua ture i kore ai e taea e te Māori te waipiro te kawe ki te kāinga. I tohe rātou he kirirarau [citizens] ngā Māori, nā reira, me ōrite ō rātou mana ki ō ērā atu iwi.

I titiro korotaha ngā hāhi ki tā rātou tono.  Ka tāia e te Waiapu Church Gazette ngā kupu a tētahi Māori (kāore he ingoa), arā, “The Maori is not in all things of age, and should not therefore be declared an adult in all things because of equal ability with the pakeha in some if not most things”, nā reira, kia kaua ngā ture waipiro e whakangāwaritia, kei pāngia mai e “the gravest consequences”.[23]  Ka puta anō te take nei i te hui ki Rotorua, ā, ka pāhitia he mōtini kia whakakorea ngā wāhanga o ngā ture waipiro e pā ana ki te iwi Māori anake.  Ka kaha whakahēngia e Matthew Cowley, e te tumuaki o te Hāhi Mōmona.  I mea ia, ahakoa “the treatment the Maori has received at the hands of the Pakeha during the past one hundred years”, “Is it not rather a perverted sense of values to suggest that the license to consume liquor is the criterion of racial equality without due consideration being given to the relative destructive effects of alcohol on the two races?” Ko tāna tohe, “Abstinence, not licence is the criterion of racial superiority”.[24]

Hei whakaotinga, ka taea te kī, i tautokona e ngā māngai ā-iwi (ahakoa ō rātou ake taha tōrangapū) te tono a ngā mema Māori kia mau tonu i te iwi Māori te mana e pā ana ki ā rātou ake mahi.  Engari, kīhai tō rātou wawata i puawai mai.  Ahakoa ka riro he paku mana i ngā komiti ā-iwi (he mea whakature e te Maori Social and Economic Advancement Act 1945), i raro pū ngā kāinga Māori i te Minita Māori me tōna tari.[25]  E ai ki a Love, “the Government effectively destroyed the incentive and initiative of a large measure of self-determination which had been the motivating factor behind the Tribal Committees during the time of the Maori War Effort Organisation.”[26] 

He tauira anō te hui o Ōketopa 1944 o ngā tini wā o te hītori o te Māori me te Karauna i kore ai te kāwanatanga e tautoko i ngā hiahia me ngā tūmanako o ngā iwi Māori.  Ko wai ka mōhio ki te ara i haerea ai a Ngāi Māori, mehemea kua puritia e te kāwanatanga ngā mahi whaihua o te MWEO hei hāpai i te iwi Māori i muri i te pakanga.  

Whakaahua: S P Andrew Ltd, “Head and shoulders portrait of Henry Greathead Rex Mason”. Ref: PAColl-4415-05. /records/22911897; S P Andrew Ltd,  “Eruera Tihema Te Aika Tirikatene”. Ref: PAColl-5547-078. /records/22917675.  Alexander Turnbull Library, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa. 

 

[1] Reta, Under-Secretary, Native Affairs ki te Secretary, Crippled Children’s Society, 16 Ōketopa 1944.  Ref: 19/1/35, MA1 Box 378, Archives New Zealand.

[2] Reta, E.T. Tirikātene ki a H.G.R. Mason, 11 Ōketopa 1944.  Ref: 19/1/35, MA1 Box 378, Archives New Zealand.

[3] “Maori Conferences”, Gisborne Herald, 3 Pēpuere 1944, wh.4.

[4] Ngatata Love, “Policies of Frustration: The Growth of Maori Politics; The Ratana/Labour Era”, PhD (Political Science, Victoria), 1977, wh.378-384; Claudia J. Orange, “A Kind of Equality: Labour and the Maori People 1935-1949, MA (History, Auckland), 1977, wh.146; Claudia Orange, “An Exercise in Maori Autonomy: The Rise and Demise of the Maori War Effort Organisation”, New Zealand Journal of History, 21, 1 (1987): 165. 

[5] Orange, “An Exercise”, wh.156-7; G.V. Butterworth and H.R. Young, Maori Affairs: Nga Take Maori, Wellington: Iwi Transition Agency, GP Books, 1990, wh.79.

[6] Orange, “An Exercise”, wh.158.

[7] Orange, “An Exercise”, wh.158.

[8] Orange, “An Exercise”, wh.159.

[9] Love, wh.357-8

[10] Orange, “An Exercise”, wh.161.

[11] Orange, “An Exercise”, wh.161-2.

[12] Orange, “A Kind of Equality”, wh.145.

[13] Love, wh.388.

[14] Orange, “An Exercise”, wh.163, 167; Love, wh.378.

[15] Love, wh. 381.

[16] “Maori Leaders Acclaim Prime Minister”, Standard, 26 Ōketopa 1944. Ref: 19/1/35, MA1 Box 378, Archives New Zealand.

[17] Kei roto i Kelly Harris, “Maori Conference”, Te Karere, Tīhema 1944, wh.310.

[18] Kauhau a H.G.R. Mason, Minita Māori, 20 Ōketopa 1944.  Ref: 19/1/35, MA1 Box 378, Archives New Zealand.

[19] Meneti o te Hui Māori, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 18 Ōketopa 1944. Ref: 19/1/35, MA1 Box 378, Archives New Zealand.

[20] Ibid, 19 October 1944.

[21] Ripoata o te Hui Māori, i te Hōro o Ngāti Pōneke, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 18-20 Ōketopa 1944. Ref: 19/1/35, MA1 Box 378, Archives New Zealand.

[22] Ibid.

[23] “Licensing Law Equality”, Waiapu Church Gazette, 1 Tīhema 1944, wh.18.

[24] Matthew Cowley, “The President’s Page”, Te Karere, Mei 1945, wh.109, 111.

[25] Butterworth & Young, wh.87-88; Love, wh.396-401; Orange. “An Exercise”, wh.167-168.

[26] Love, wh.400.

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