Sunday, January 31, 2010

Asians Supporting Tino Rangatiratanga at Waitangi

Sat 6 Feb
Waitangi Treaty Grounds

On 6th February 2010, a group of Asian activists will stand under the banner ‘Asians Supporting Tino Rangatiratanga’ to commemorate Waitangi Day on Treaty Grounds.

What's that all about? Asians don’t have anything to do with all that stuff. That’s a Maori and Pakeha thing isn’t it?

The Treaty of Waitangi 1840 is considered the founding document of New Zealand as a nation. Despite this, it continues to be of heated debate exclusively between Maori and Pakeha peoples.

As tauiwi (non-Maori/non-tangata whenua) living in Aotearoa, we recognise the past and present injustices against Maori/tangata whenua peoples.

We also recognise the benefits from British/Pakeha colonialism and theft, that we instantly have access to, whether we have been here 5 generations, or arrived two minutes ago. They are the privileges and benefits of living in a wealthy colonised nation. The "freedoms" that come from colonisation, the "opportunities", the "standards of living", exist, and are available to new migrants, old settlers and their descendents because of the wealth and opportunities created and maintained by colonisation.

We know that as Asians living in Aotearoa, racism exists everywhere. Racism not only works to disadvantage ethnic minorities and tangata whenua, but it also works to divide us through negative racial stereotypes.

We choose to seek paths of justice that do not simply partake in further injustices against Maori/tangata whenua.

We choose to look at social justice and our responsibilities, not solely from a /Western/Pakeha perspective, but from ancestral perspectives where our elders have experienced colonisation, imperialism, and perpetuated these injustices also, which continue to have impacts on sections of the Asian population.

We do this so we don't have to hand on legacies of grievance and injustice to our children and grandchildren, as has been handed to us as tauiwi settlers, migrants and citizens.

These are the reasons we are supporting tino rangatiratanga.

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