Harmony in the works

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The Waitangi Weekend sees the opening of Waiheke Community Art Gallery: Te Whare Taonga o Waiheke’s annual Te Tiriti o Waitangi Exhibition on Friday 3 February. The exhibition has been given a placeholder name of Wai-rua-ono-rua, but the true name will be revealed on opening night by Ngāti Wai – Ngāti Paoa Kaumatua, Hori Parata and Te Warihi Hetaraka, who will be travelling from Whangarei with their ope to officially open the exhibition.

This is the sixth year the gallery has hosted a Waitangi Exhibition, with each year having a different focus. The kaupapa for 2023 is the Wai 262 claim, which comes before parliament for review this year, more than 30 years after it was first lodged in 1991 by and on behalf of six iwi; Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungungu and Ngāti Koata.

Also known as the flora and fauna claim, the Wai262 claim is an all-of-government inquiry focusing mainly on the Crown’s existing laws, policies and practices and seeks to uphold rights for Māori around indigenous flora and fauna and other taonga as agreed in Articles 2 & 3 in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

It also concerns the place in contemporary Aotearoa life of core Māori cultural values such as the obligation of iwi and hapū to act as kaitiaki (cultural guardians) towards taonga and flora and fauna, including traditional knowledge, plants and medicines that are significant to iwi or hapū identity. • Emma Hughs

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