Stuff, and Ihumatao…

Carmen Parahi

Congratulations to NZ Stuff Media for their courage in taking responsibility for their long history of institutional racism, and making a commitment to change.  This is the first time a major media group has acknowledged its bias, with examples, and taken responsibility for the change that is needed – throughout almost all media and other organisations in Aotearoa.

We pay a special tribute to courageous senior Stuff journalist Carmen Parahi, who with her team researched and wrote about the need for change within Stuff publications and relationships. We also acknowledge new owner of the Stuff empire, Sinead Boucher, who supported her. Two brave women.


As  growing numbers of Pākehā have  been acknowledging during the last 50 years and more, this nation was established on the basis of a binding partnership agreement, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, in 1840, between Māori and the English Crown. This has not been honoured by Pākehā and all our systems are consciously or unconsciously racist as a result. 

Since the early 1970s many Pākehā have been challenged to acknowledge these injustices against Māori and their disastrous consequences, and our understanding and desire to do better has grown, albeit slowly. This excellent article by Dame Anne Salmond, a leading academic and author, explains the background and welcomes the future:


We wonder how long it will be before the NZ Herald makes a similar admission and seeks to change…


In 2014, the Government and Auckland Council designated 32ha next to Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve on the shores of the Manukau Harbour a Special Housing Area, allowing for fast track intensive housing development.  In early 2016 the land (originally confiscated from local Māori and  given to Pākehā settlers) was sold to Fletcher Challenge.  By September of that year members of the community, Māori and Pākehā, began occupying the land to protest Fletcher’s intention to build 480 houses there. 

During 2019 Fletcher announced they would sell the land, and served an eviction notice on the protestors.  Thousands flocked to the site to support the protestors.  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a halt to the development while the parties  worked towards a solution. 

Yesterday, 17 December 2020, after intervention by the Māori King and much hard work and talk by many, the Government announced a deal involving the purchase of the land from Fletcher by the Government, and establishment of a special working group comprising three representatives of Ahi Kaa (occupiers of the land), two of Kingitanga, and two from the Crown.  This group has five years to sort out the future of the land, which must under its present legal designation be used for housing in some way.

Two key leaders in the protest, still living and active there, are Qiane Matata-Sipu and Pania Newton :

Qiane Matata-Sipu and Pania Newton

Here are their comments:

The SOUL (Save Our Unique Landscape) occupiers are rejoicing – this is an important first step to a resolution, they say.  Here is their longer story of the land and its unique features:

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.