Iwi leaders from across the motu condemn violence of anti-mandate protesters at Parliament

Iwi leaders across the motu have, for the first time, condemned the violent actions of anti-mandate protesters.

They claim protesters are misusing and abusing tikanga, and they want it to stop. 

Taranaki iwi were united on Wellington's Pipitea Marae, laying down not a challenge but a cloak of peace - and it comes with a firm, clear message.

"We want the abuse of our whenua, our moana, our people, of our building, of our marae, of our sacred sites to stop," says Taranaki Whānui chair Kara Puketapu-Dentice.

It's the first time the iwi - who hold mana whenua status in the capital - have carried out such a ceremony, which serves as a form of rāhui that covers all of Wellington, including Parliament grounds.

"We're not asking you to leave, everyone has a right to protect, but we're asking you to show some respect to our whenua, our moana - especially the people who live in Wellington," says Pipitea Marae chair Kura Moeahu.

Monday morning's scenes were a far cry from what occurred on the marae last week, when protestors tried to trespass tangata whenua, along with the police and Māori wardens. 

"That moment when the whanau came into our whare through the back door threw us - it was a flagrant undermining of our tikanga," says Puketapu-Dentice.

Another aspect of tikanga being flouted by protestors is the reciprocity of koha. Mana whenua say they've not been contacted by any of the protest organisers, nor have they received any koha to occupy their whenua.

The protest group used trespass notices similar to that seen given at the Auckland Domain on Saturday night by a wahine claiming to be mana whenua, even though the iwi weren’t sure.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s Ngārimu Blair says “We don't know really who they are, they haven't really come here and they haven’t come here and engaged with haukāinga” (the local people of the land).

The land at Auckland Domain is where Pukekawa, an ancient pā site was situated, but the land now belongs to Auckland Council who will be dealing with any issues arising at the Domain. 

About 40 protestors are occupying part of the domain with only a handful of māori descent. However, declined an on-camera interview but one of the organiser’s have said they have reached out to the 19 iwi here in Auckland and plan on occupying the land here until more reinforcements arrive back from the protest in Wellington.

Former MP Marama Fox who spoke to Newhub is vaccinated and is anti-mandate and has been at the Parliament protests. She agrees some of the behaviour towards mana whenua hasn't been ideal and she wants to bring both sides together.

“This is not a māori protest, but māori are affected by mandates, people have been disenfranchised” says Marama Fox.

Taranaki Iwi says the rāhui will remain place until there is a peaceful resolution found upon the Parliament grounds.