Episode 91: Martin Awa Clarke Langdon, Rebecca Hobbs, Qiane Matata-Sipu

Detail, Maungataketake(2020) Rebecca Hobbs and Martin Awa Clarke Langdon

"What's good for Māori is good for everyone" - Qiane Matata-Sipu

How do Māori and Pākeha relate to, and value whenua? What are their differing values and how do they intersect? What is the connection between generosity and Tino Rangitiratanga? In this conversation artists Martin Awa Clarke Langdon (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Whāwhākia, Ngāti Hikairo, Kāi Tahu), Rebecca Hobbs and Qiane Matata-Sipu (Te Wai-o-hua, Waikato-Tainui) discuss art, activism and mutual wellbeing for Māori and Tauiwi.

The conversation takes place in the context of recent disputes over Ihumātao, a North Island site currently the subject of dispute between land developers and mana whenua.

Watch Martin, Rebecca and Qiane's collaborative video work Maungataketake (2020) on CIRCUIT here or see it on Masons Screen in Wellington until 3 November.

00:00: Introduction and mihi from Rebecca Hobbs (RH)

1:00: Whakawhanaungatanga - Martin Awa Clarke Langdon (ML) talks about his iwi connections, where he grew up and his relationship to place

2:20 RH: discusses her connection to place as Tauiwi (non-Māori) and her connection to this korero 

3:22 Qiane Matata Sipu (QMS): talks about her wider whakapapa and upbringing at Ihumātao. She is a founding member of Save Our Unique Landscape campaign (S.O.U.L). She discusses her career background

5:25 ML: introduces key kaupapa; whenua, sustainability and place 

6:15 QMS: shares her thoughts on whenua, uncovering the layers of what whenua means by breaking down the kupu (word). She also explains the many purakau that relate to this kaupapa and how they are link into identity

9:00 RH: talks about how she became aware of the volcanoes at Ihumātao and how she was introduced to QMS and the S.O.U.L campaign. ML discusses Pākeha relationship to land and their ability to traverse many spaces 

12:00 ML to RH: discusses the concept that whenua to Māori is whanau, and the difficulty of communicating this to Pākeha. Describes how Māori are self reflective in how they move through space and relate to space, in contrast to many Pākeha value systems  

14:00 ML to QMS:  How different people build relationships towards Ihumātao. QMS says that when you come to this whenua "you feel the wairua...even those who are atheists"

18:46 RH: uses the fences on Ihumātao to illustrate Māori and Pākeha relationships toward the land. She explains how Pākeha have a divorced relationship toward land and when you start to look at whenua as ancestor the destruction is so obvious. QMS explains the cultural devastation wrought by mining Maungataketake "we've literally cut into the flesh of Papatūānuku"

20.34 RH: explains the need for systemic change, ML goes on to talk about how generous the iwi of Ihumātao are in welcoming Tauiwi and creating a supportive environment

23:00 QMS: What is Tino Rangatiratanga in practice? It isn’t just a flag or a fight, it's being generous. What does activism look like?

25:00 QMS and ML: Moving beyond Decolonisation (which places the coloniser at the centre) to centralising Indigenisation. Locating Māori at the center will naturally lead to decolonisation

27:49 RH: Being in service to others, and how the act of listening is important. As Tauiwi you need to listen to the jobs you’re asked to do and not the jobs you want to do. Being "a good accomplice" to the kaupapa through listening 

32:00 QMS: What does Hauora (well-being) look like for us? How do we unpack the relationship we have with Tauiwi? What does hauora look like for them? Whare tapa wha: taha hinengaro, taha wairua, taha tinana and taha whanau. It is not our job as Māori to educate Tauiwi because we still need to heal from intergenerational trauma

38:00 QMS: “Mauri is the rope that holds your wairua to your tinana” (Scotty Morrison) Do we have the ability to restore the mauri of our moana? No, but we do have the ability to create an environment for the moana to restore its own mauri

40:00 ML to QMS:  Mauri is not transaction? It is not yours to give. What are our obligations as Māori, and what's optional? How does that create an imbalance? 

44:00 ML and QMS: - What Pākeha systems need to be shifted? Because they keep failing Māori, Māori do not fit into these white systems and we shouldn’t be made to fit. "What's good for Māori is good for everyone" - QMS

46:00 RH to QMS: The only future is an indigenous future, but everyone is indigenous to somewhere. Maybe if Pākeha traced their whakapapa back they would find how their ancestors used to care for the land. You need to figure this out so that you can figure out who you are and where you're from. 

49:40: How can this work cultivate more conversations at both a macro and micro level? This is the tipping moment for what will either propel us forward or set us back

50:30: Wrap up of kaupapa and closing karakia 

52:25: End  

To learn more about these artists and Ihumātao:
S.O.U.L - Save Our Unique Landscape
Nukuwomen
Rebecca Ann Hobbs on CIRCUIT
Martin Awa Clarke Langdon on CIRCUIT