What does Waitangi Day mean to us? “Beautiful People” celebrating our culture on this Beautiful Day and celebrating what it is to be Maori. For myself, (Ryan Monga) ‘The Treaty of Waitangi’ is a contract between two parties, the indigenous people & owners of ‘the land of the long white cloud’ Aotearoa (which is also the rightful name for New Zealand) and, the governing representation of the Crown of England, governing on behalf of both parties.
With much propaganda aimed against the Maori people for many years before, we are now, finally starting to taste the fruits of our labour and sacrifice, fighting for our true status in our own country, and in the partnership that was struck up many years ago by our Tupuna. (Ancestors) On the New Zealand code of arms shield, (found in a N.Z. passport) you will find a representative of the crown of England holding a flag, standing with a Maori chief holding a taiaha (weapon of war). So to me, this shows evidence of the partnership that the country should be represented by the 2 parties and with the 2 flags, the N.Z. flag and the Maori (Tino Rangatiratanga) flag. Why this Maori flag? Because this flag was the one that lead the struggle marches in the early days and there was also blood spilt on this flag. So, I think we owe it to those before us who lead the way to achieve what we have today. A day where we can celebrate our voice and our say! We are working on having one of the two flags on the Auckland Habour Bridge as being this Maori flag. It’s only fair. Australia has recognized the Aborigine flag. Maori too, need to be officially recognized by the honouring of the ‘Treaty of Waitangi’. (The Contract). all good!
Now, About the gig. What made that gig for me was the look on the people’s faces as they reminisced and sung along with each classic Herbs song that was performed. Back in the day, Herbs were one of our voices making that awareness of the wrongs being done in our part of the world such as, the French nuclear tests happening in the Pacific, and also the Maori rights issues in our own country. Back then, the band was look upon by some as being radical, but now that much time has past and history has been written on those issues, we all, do, have a lot to celebrate.