chapter  10
22 Pages

Tame Iti at the Confiscation Line

Contesting the Consensus Politics of the Treaty of Waitangi in Aotearoa New Zealand
WithPenelope Edmonds

This chapter considers Maori public performance and re-enactment that truly tests these cultural codes and conflicting accounts of authority in the context of a postcolonial settler statecraft which works towards a national politics of consensus and reconciliation through the aegis of the re-enlivened Treaty of Waitangi. The Maori activist Tame Iti performatively invoked in his political re-enactment was the contested history of Te Urewera. Iti's people of Te Urewera country lost their lands to the settler state in the massive land confiscations at the eastern Bay of Plenty, part of the East Cape War. At the 1940 treaty celebrations, through the privileged and recursive performance of the arrival of waka and European ships, Maori were rendered as first settlers and Europeans second settlers in which Tame Iti's dramatic and carefully choreographed political performance of Tuhoe experience at the confiscation line at Ruatoki in January 2005 challenged the neat consensus politics and unexamined self-presence of the contemporary New Zealand settler state.