Stand up Aōtearoa

Run it straightHone Harawira has sent out the Rubeun Taipari organised protest march schedule on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) signing by twelve nation heads, set for Sky City on 4th February in Tamaki, Auckland.

The openly public schedule also announces at the conclusion of TPPA march in Auckland all involved are invited to travel to Waitangi and Te Tii  Marae.

Here the people will once more take the John Key led National government to task over the TPPA signing without a referendum or consultation with all the people of Aōtearoa.

The easily accessed and heralded anti-TPPA protest plans for Auckland and Waitangi are in contrast to what the government would have us believe. Two days ago the government sent police to visit known anti-TPPA activist Scout Barbour-Evans in Dunedin to ask what they had planned for the upcoming TPPA protests. A simple Google search on relevant websites gives TPPA protest plans the length and breath of Aōtearoa.

Ngāti Whātua ki Orākei this week publicly announced that as part of their opposition to the signing of TPPA they would refuse to traditionally welcome any of the expected TPPA heads into Auckland.

And who could blame them as although their claim with the crown is settled, Ngāti Whātua Orākei know first hand what trauma visiting dignitaries  can create.

 In 1951 in preparation for a visit of Queen Elizabeth II the New Zealand government wrongfully evicted them and burnt down their homes as it was claimed their village was an eyesore and would not be suitable for the Queen to see as she drove past their pā in Okahu Bay.

Joe  recalls the eviction in 1951 from their home vividly when as an eight year old boy, he and his Dad were in the orchards above the village and saw clouds of smoke coming from their village. They ran back, only to discover all of the village being burnt down by men with flame-throwers and his younger siblings with his mum and elders weeping with what few possessions they had managed to carry out of their homes, at their feet.

In 1977 as a family man and leader of the peaceful 506 day occupation of resistance to the crown proposal to build housing developments on the same land Joe Hawke also remembers the day when the Muldoon led National government sent tanks and soldiers to evict him and his extended family again.

People who stand up for what they believe in against the status quo pay a price and for Joe Hawke and Ngāti Whātua Orākei who now live and are returning to live on their ancestral land in 2015 – it was worth it.

This week saw two very different native filmmaking teams who stood up and self-financed films.

Tangata whenua woman director, Tere Harrison from Te Whānau-a-Apanui is Writer/Director/Producer of the short film “Run it Straight.” A plea on behalf of West Papua people it attests that West Papua people are being subjugated to murder, torture for the sake of gold that is on their lands.

Harrison creates a visual mash up, liberally using dashes of stylised poetry sequences, poly swagg-esque elements, short drama, rugby league sports teams camaraderie to highlight the plight of West Papua.

Along the way, she confronts Māori prejudices against ‘FOB’s’ (Fresh off the boat people) and ‘Islanders’ as ‘other’ and also challenges the notion that rugby league players and politics will never mix.

Harrison blends in real life cameos from West Papua leaders and includes Māori leaders Dr Maria Bargh, Hone Harawira, Glenis Phillip Babara and many more. Yes, tragically, the harsh reality of the torture of West Papua people although handled sensitively is still shocking to see here.

“Run it straight” had its cast and crew screening at Te Upoko o te Ika Māori radio station and will be making its way into the world very shortly.

In the words of wāhine toa director Tere Harrison This short film Run It Straight was inspired by a protest I saw by the Hunters Rugby League Club Wellington who marched to the Indonesian Embassy to call for the freedom of West Papua…….It’s time to learn the story about the people of West Papua, it’s time to Run It Straight for West Papua.”

Last night I attended an advertised by Facebook one-off only screening at Queensgate, Lower Hutt of “3 Wise Cousins” a full length feature film written, directed and co-produced by Samoan director, SQS aka Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa .

Stallone and his team launched the feature in December 2015 at a one -off screening in the Civic theatre in Auckland saying they were going to try and screen the film during the school holidays and they managed to do just that and had screenings in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland with one catch – you had to be in the know!

A heart-felt comedy with a moral it was shot mainly on location in Samoa, it follows the trials of love-struck unemployed, play station playing Adam (Neil Amituanai)  from Auckland, adult but still living at home only spoilt child.

Adam invites himself to Samoa and into the lives of his two cousins Moses (Vito Vito) and Tavita (Fesuai Viliamu) and begs them to teach him ‘How to be a real Island guy’ in order to win the affections of a neighbourhood girl (Gloria Blake) whom he has never met but fancies and bus stalked.

His two cousins good-naturedly agree and set out to help their love luckless cousin become a real Samoan. All three get more out of the experience than they all bargain for.

I was lucky to get the ‘3 Wise Cousins’ ticket as they were nearly full and arrived to find a second screening had been put on due to demand. It was a packed house and I did not see one palagi (Pākeha – white) person in the audience.

The average audience age was around twelve years old and they all seemed to be out with their parents and older teenage siblings. A predominately Samoan speaking audience, the theatre laughed and cheered at all the Samoan language and culture jokes. At the end many stayed in their seats afterwards excitedly talking about what they had seen.

Director Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa ” I think people will definitely leave with a bit more wisdom, I think this film will be quite eye opening for a lot of people. They’ll find that amongst the laughter there’s just a lot more, I guess perspective. They’ll definitely walk away with perspective”

 

Sources

Ngāti Whātua Orakei

Waitangi Tribunal

Free West Papua Aōtearoa

Free West Papua Campaign

Peace Movement Aōtearoa

Stuff – TPPA Visits

Run it Straight 

Three Wise cousins

http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/MatikeMaiAotearoaReport.pdf

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