Is Tino Rangatiratanga just a concept?

Feb. 12, 2019, 8:57 a.m.

Tino Rangatiratanga or in english terms “absolute sovereignty” is a statement that goes hand in hand with the celebrations of Waitangi day as we continue to work within the complexities of the Treaty of Waitangi.

For a lot of Ngāpuhi descendants it is an ideal woven into the fabric of everyday life guiding decisions especially in areas involving crown relationships.  

Under article two of the Treaty of Waitangi Māori were guaranteed 'exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands and estates, forests, fisheries and other properties'.  Today only 6% of New Zealand land is Māori owned and with this loss the concept of rangatiratanga has destroyed the ability of hapū and iwi to provide for the wellbeing of its people.

For many Māori the ideals of Tino Rangatiratanga are not only foreign but difficult to execute in their lives especially those living below the poverty line where the simple basics of life override political concepts.

As Ngapuhi push to move forward with treaty settlement the ability for māori to excercise absolute sovereignty is a recurrent bargaining factor but is this an intangible concept?  Te Hiku Media asks the people, does Tino Rangatiratanga really matter? Should we just get on with it?


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