Whose Place is This?

To my shame I’ve recently discovered there is a hot debate going on regarding the Tenths Trust plans to build a wharewaka on the waterfront. 

The Tenths Trust has had a real battle to get resource consent for the project.

I think this is a positive, long overdue, initiative for Wellington.

Currently, it seems to me ,that for visitors and many residents the connection to mana whenua  is, if anything, intellectual rather than actual. The Marae within Te Papa (a museum) is possibly the site of most interaction with tikanga Maori for many. 

I believe buildings tell us much about a place and who holds power there. 

I first thought about these issues when visiting a friend’s family homestead and graveyard. It was the first time I’d considered how these historical markers (of which current buildings will be our future markers) only tell the history of the rich. My family who has worked the land without much ownership have no, or very few, markers of our existence or history in this land.

For all we talk about the Treaty being the founding document of this country  our landscape is disproportionately Pakeha.

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