Treaty Sound Post

Hirini Melbourne

Waitangi te Tiriti,
he mea hanga e tauiwi
hei whāriki tikanga
mō te tangata whenua,
hei hoko mana kāwanatanga
me te mana noho whenua,
ka mau mai tonu ko te rangatiratanga,
ka mau mai tonu ko te rangatiratanga.

Waitangi te Tiriti
he mea hanga i neherā,
he mea whiti e te rā,
he mea ua e te ua,
he mea kai e te ngāngara,
he mea tahu e te ahi –
ko ngā kupu mārama tonu,
ko te wairua e kore e ngaro,
ko te wairua e kore e ngaro.

Waitangi te Tiriti,
he taonga tuku iho
hei paihere tikanga,
hei whakaaraara manako,
hei patu i te ringa hao o te ture,
hei whakapai i ngā nawetanga
o Ranginui, o Papatuānuku,
o ngā iwi katoa o Aotearoa.

Waitangi te Tiriti,
he tiriki ...
te tiriti.

'Waitangi te Tiriti'  © Hirini Melbourne 1991, from Toiapiapi, published by Shearwater Associates Ltd. Reproduced courtesy of the Melbourne family and the publisher.

 

Translation:

The Waitangi Treaty

The Waitangi Treaty –
devised by strangers
to lay down a new mat for the people
of the land:
in exchange for your right to make
laws
and to live upon the land
let us keep our independence.

The Waitangi Treaty –
set down in times long past,
faded by the sun,
soaked by the rain,
chewed by vermin,
scorched by fire:
the words remain clear,
the spirit remains intact.

The Waitangi Treaty –
a bequest from the past
to set in place principles,
to raise hopes,
to curb the grasping hand of the law,
to redress the grievances
of Rangi, of Papatūānuku,
of all the tribes of Aotearoa.

Waitangi the treaty –
trick – or treaty?

'Waitangi te Tiriti'  © Hirini Melbourne 1991, from Toiapiapi, published by Shearwater Associates Ltd. Reproduced courtesy of the Melbourne family and the publisher.

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