Te Pāti Māori to visit Queensland to strengthen ties with Māori in Australia

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi, and Mema Paremata mō Tāmaki-Makaurau, Takutai Tarsh Kemp, will travel to the Gold Coast to strengthen ties with Māori in Australia next week (15-21 April).

The visit, in the lead-up to the 9th Australian National Kapa haka Festival, will be an opportunity for both MPs and the Party to build on connections with whānau Māori in Australia as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The programme includes engagements with performing kapa haka, their whānau and communities. MP's will also be the masters of ceremony at the kapa haka event which determines which groups from Australia qualify for Te Matatini 2025.

The programme will also include a meeting with independent indigenous Senator for Victoria, Lidia Thorpe, on Thursday, April 18.

“There are over 180 thousand Māori who are living in Australia according to the last census. It is important that we build connections with them and their whānau, as part of our role to represent their interests,” said Rawiri Waititi.

“Our visit will focus on creating awareness of the issues grappling our people in Aotearoa, what their specific aspirations and challenges are and why it is important that they enrol and participate in elections.

"I also want to create some awareness around our indigenous responsibilities when living abroad. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the oldest indigenous culture on this planet.

“As manuhiri to this sacred whenua, it is important that Māori understand their responsibilities as manuhiri but also their accountability to the whenua and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples of Australia.

“We are really looking forward to creating ties with indigenous counterparts including Senator Thorpe who shares very similar values and approaches to the representation of indigenous Australians, as we do in Aotearoa.” Said co-leader, Rawiri Waititi.

The pōhiri for the Kapa Haka Festival will take place on Friday (19 April 2024), with the competition starting Saturday (20 April 2024).