Honouring Te Tiriti important for Pacific Peoples in Aotearoa

Acknowledging Waitangi Day is important for the Fale Pasifika team based in Northland, the home of where New Zealand’s founding document was signed.

Co-Chairman of Fale Pasifika – who are one of Pasifika Futures national partners – Johnny Kumitau, says the Whānau Ora health provider in Te Tai Tokerau supports more than 26,000 Pacific individuals living in Northland, and the population is growing each year.

The Niuean leader says it is important for his organisation to acknowledge the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed in 1840 between representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs. Despite the fact the Pacific community is not a signing partner, Kumitau says the day is one of reflection for the Pacific community and their mutual respect for tangatā whenua.

“Today is about unity, bringing everyone together and acknowledging the history of Aotearoa. More and more Pasifika families are moving to the Northland area, so it’s important for us to build these tight bonds of mutual respect.”

Each year during the celebrations at Waitangi, Kumitau is involved as a performer in a Cook Island group, alongside kapa haka cultural performances.  He says this inclusion and participation is exhilarating.

“It’s further recognition that there is a large Pacific community living here in Te Tai Tokerau and we want to make an effort to acknowledge and celebrate this day.”

#pmafamily

Date: Friday 05 February 2020