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Māori Land March - October 13 1975, Parliament, Wellington | by Archives New Zealand
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Māori Land March - October 13 1975, Parliament, Wellington

On 13 October 1975, a hikoi of 5,000 marchers arrived at Parliament to protest the ongoing alienation of Māori land. Organised by Māori land rights group Te Rōpū O Te Matakite and led by Dame Whina Cooper, the hikoi had departed from Te Hapua, Northland, on 14 September, and arrived in Wellington after marching 1,100 kms throughout the North Island.

 

Te Rōpū O Te Matakite regarded the land march as ‘a climax to over a hundred and fifty years of frustration and anger over the continuing alienation of their lands’. Upon their arrival at Parliament they presented a petition signed by 60,000 people from around New Zealand to Prime Minister Bill Rowling. The petition called for an end to monocultural land laws which excluded Māori cultural values, and asked for the ability to establish legitimate communal ownership of land within iwi.

 

The hikoi represented a watershed moment in the burgeoning Māori cultural renaissance of the 1970s. It brought unprecedented levels of public attention to the issue of alienation of Māori land, and established a method of protest that was repeatedly reused in the following decades.

 

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Land March, Archives New Zealand has created an album on Flickr to highlight key documents within our holdings that relate to the event. These include the petition with 60,000 signatures presented by Dame Whina Cooper to Prime Minister Bill Rowling, images of the Land March approaching Wellington City and correspondence related to the planning that went on behind the scenes to support the march taking place.

 

This image is from the Public Works Department showing the Land March group entering the grounds of Parliament.

 

Title: Groups - Maori Land March

Archives New Zealand Reference: ABKK 24414 W4358 Box 539

archway.archives.govt.nz/ViewFullItem.do?code=23459250

 

For updates on our On This Day series and news from Archives New Zealand, follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ArchivesNZ

 

Material from Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

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Uploaded on September 7, 2015