Tēnā tātou katoa,
I am thrilled that some of the tukutuku panels that were created for the UN Headquarters in New York now grace the walls in our parliamentary complex.
Published: Wednesday, 22 April 2015 | Rāapa, 22 Paengawhāwhā, 2015
These are the final panels to be installed from a journey that was started back in 2010 when my predecessor Hon Dr Pita Sharples visited the UN to sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Pita saw the opportunity to adorn the wall of rimu gifted from Aotearoa in 1952 with tukutuku panels.
The panels are hugely significant in that their genesis began at the time when the New Zealand Government committed itself to upholding the UNDRIP. While few people fully understand the importance of this, it has strengthened the recognition of our unique rights as tangata whenua.
The installation journey for these tukutuku started in November 2014, when more than forty tukutuku panels went to New York where they are now housed in the United Nations Headquarters permanently. These panels are a powerful statement to the world about Aotearoa; who we are; and the land that shaped us. The weavers told me that the tukutuku panels are in the prime location where royalty, world leaders and dignitaries enter the UN headquarters.
Back here in Aotearoa, four tukutuku panels now adorn the office walls. They take pride of place at the entrance into our tari. We are all immensely proud to see the completion of this vision.
E kore e mutu aku mihi ki ngā kairāranga, ki a Minita Sharples, ki ngā kaimahi o ngā tari, nā koutou i whakatinana tēnei wawata.