Why Is Bastion Point Significant To New Zealand? History Essay

4807 words - 20 pages

Bastion Point
ACHIEVEMENT STANDARD 91230
Jessica Hinton | Assessment | 5 Credits
INTRODUCTION
Bastion Point is an area of valuable land that was originally owned by the tribe Ngati Whatua. It is located near the center of Auckland, it’s part of the Orakei reserve that was set aside for Ngati Whatua. The land became a symbol of Maori land struggles in the 1970’s and 1980’s. the causes of the occupation of Bastion Point is the Treaty of Waitangi, land grievances, the assimilation and integration of the Maori people and the land march of 1975. The consequences of the occupation at Bastion Point is the settlement of 1978, the 1987 Waitangi Tribunal Orakei Report, the government actions – the Orakei Act of 1991 and the Maori people remembering their roots. The occupation of Bastion Point did have a significant impact on New Zealanders and New Zealand’s Society.
OVERVIEW/BACKGROUND
Traditional tribal lands had both spiritual and economic value to the Maori. By the 1960’s even though most of the Maori people lived in urban areas, their traditional lands were important to them as turangawaewae, a place that they would be able to return to and an essential part of their heritage. By the year 1975 only 3 million acres of traditional Maori land remained in the Maori people’s hands. Most of this was owned by absentee owners and the title was fragmented with small blocks of land sometimes even having hundreds of owners. Which were all descended from one of the original owners who had gained the title from the Maori Land Court (Originally name the Native Land Court).
The Maori Land Court was set up in 1865, this was with the intention of getting rid of the communal ownership of the Maori land so that it could be more simply sold. The Maori Land Court placed title for land in the hands of up to ten owners, which were usually chiefs of tribes. These chiefs were then free to sell their land without even discussing with the rest of their tribe. The Court had the planned outcome, the land sales continued to rise at a steady rate. By the year 1911, only 10% of New Zealand’s 66 million acres remained in the Maori people’s hands.
Maori who owned shares in the tribal lands found that their holdings were too little to provide a living. Many of them moved up to cities so that they could support themselves and their families also. The 1960s and 70s saw Maori groups turn their heads to the retention (continued possession), development and in some cases, the returning of Maori land.
CAUSE ONE - THE TREATY OF WAITANGI
The Treaty of Waitangi is a cause of the occupation at Bastion Point because some Maori chiefs and the British government signed an agreement at the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. In the second article in the translation of the Maori text, it states that “The Crown guaranteed the Maori the full chieftainship (rangatiratanga) of their lands, villages and treasured possessions (taonga).” Compared to the English text, “In return Maori were guaranteed possession of...

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