Māori Party commemorates arrival of the 1975 Māori Land march to Parliament
Today marks the 40th anniversary since 30,000 people crammed on to the Parliament grounds to see the Māori Land March
led by the Late Dame Whina Cooper arrive at Parliament.
The Māori Party Co-leaders Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell say the event helped shape our society.
“Dame Whina was a remarkable leader whose voice still echoes in my ear saying ‘Not one more acre of Māori land will be
taken’. She was able to help unite Māori and Pākehā to march together over land rights. But, she also raised awareness
about the discrimination towards tāngata whenua”, says Marama Fox.
The hikoi arrived at Parliament about a month after leaving Te Hāpua, bringing with them a petition signed by 200 elders
and 60,000 other people.
It called for an end to selling Māori land and the control of 1.2 million hectares of whenua that was in Māori hands.
“This momentous hikoi publicised treaty issues that were impacting on the lives of tāngata whenua and came at a time
when Parliament was just passing legislation leading to the creation of the Waitangi Tribunal”, says Te Ururoa Flavell.
The Māori Party Co-leaders say whenua Māori will always be of paramount importance to tāngata whenua.
They say its connection is fully expressed through the whakatauki, Te toto o te Tangata - he kai. Te oranga o te tangata
- he whenua, which means the lifeblood of a person is derived from food. The livelihood of a people depends on the land.