Toitū Te Tiriti organiser happy with the thousands who turned out - and has more days planned

Toitū Te Tiriti Photo: NZME

Eru Kapa-Kingi - one of the organisers of the May 30 national day of activation - says by his calculations up to 100k people took part in the carkoi and hikoi around New Zealand - and more activations days of protest are planned.

Kapa-Kingi said at short notice Māori were able to organise across 40 locations to “scorch the truth across social media: by my reckoning, over 100,000 turned up on that day. With just three days’ notice, those thousands responded to the call of Toitū Te Tiriti, and they responded in the name of making good decisions for our mokopuna.

“I can not be specific of when next but we are an agile people and will always ask our whānau to support our kaupapa,” Kapa-Kingi said.

“And we will always work with police to ensure what we are doing is carried out legally and safely - so watch this space.”

He said media tried to play down the event.

“There were reports of a couple of thousand here and there,” Kapa-Kingi said. “But there were enough Māori revolutionaries with cameras at the more than 40 locations.”

Carkoi heading down SH16 in Auckland on the National Day of Activation protests in New Zealand on May 30. Photo / Michael Craig NZME

He said picking Budget Day May 30 to take to the streets was also no coincidence.

“With the release of statistics revealing the population of te iwi Māori in Aotearoa has reached nearly one million, so much for the 19th-century theory from Pākehā that they would merely ‘smooth the pillow of a dying race’. Te iwi Māori is clearly growing, both in number and political strength, and we are not going anywhere.”

Police said the hikoi and carkoi were well behaved.

“The participants have been well-behaved overall and there have been no incidents of note reported,” Police Assistant Commissioner Mike Johnson said.

“Elsewhere around the country groups of varying sizes have completed their planned hīkoi and protest gatherings.”

Eru Kapa-Kingi

Kapa-Kingi said while Māori were out in big numbers, they were joined by many other ethnicities, including a large number of Pākehā.

“The number of Pākehā who showed up to support us is proof there are those who also want to transform and belong to something greater than themselves. Ka mihi rā,” he said.

“Some Pākehā do remain fearful of what Māori liberation might mean for them, so I think it’s important to reiterate that the realisation of rangatiratanga will never create Pākehā oppression.”

Eru Kapa-Kingi is the son of Te Tai Tokerau MP Mariameno Kapa-Kingi.

Joseph Los’e is an award winning journalist and joined NZME in 2022 as Kaupapa Māori Editor. Los’e was a chief reporter, news director at the Sunday News newspaper covering crime, justice and sport. He was also editor of the NZ Truth and prior to joining NZME worked for urban Māori organisation Whānau Waipareira.

- NZ Herald