I grew up in Waimarama at a time when the Marae was the very hub of not only our Maori community but the whole community. In that time I saw the gradual coming apart of our people and their way of life.
Other treaty breaches in Waimarama will be mentioned briefly as they have been covered more extensively by other claimants or are part of a wider generic claim.
There is no need to talk about the Land Alienation Laws and their purpose. Individualisation of title away from Tribal ownership resulted in wholesale land loss: this has been the cornerstone of every Treaty of Waitangi Claim throughout the country.
Just after the start of the First World War, the government introduced The Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act of 1915. This resulted in the acquisition of large tracts of land from private owners and this would be used for soldier resettlement at the end of the war.
From our home on the hill at Waimarama I came to appreciate that the Waingongoro River was not always benign. I experienced three major floods firstly in 1959 again in 1974 and more recently in 2011.
We spent many happy hours playing in the Waingongoro River. Poking along the banks; chasing the water rats, filling our billy can with fresh water crayfish, catching cockabullies, poling for tuna or just swimming and lazing in the sun at Marnies Creek: our favourite water hole.
Waimarama is named for a spring, Te Puna Waimarama. It is told that such was the quality of the water in this spring that it could mirror and reflect all that came over the horizon, be it friend or foe.
(Extract taken from a presentation made by Robert Mac Donald to the WHARE KORERO, Herataunga/Tamatea Treaty of Waitangi Claims at EIT on Saturday 8th June 2013)
TE TAKE A HE TOA TAKITINI KI TE KĀWANATANGA KI TE AUTE KURA, KI ŌMĀHU MARAE
This address was presented by Dr Timoti Karetu at the WHARE KORERO, He Toa Takitini, Heretaunga/Tamatea, Treaty of Waitangi Claim Hearings at EIT on Saturday 8th June 2013