Engagement with Mana Whenua around the historic Mokoia Pa site in Panmure

This Pa Site is a very very significant and important
Pa Site for Ngati Paoa historically. The invasion of Ngapuhi into Auckland; the moving of our people back into Hauraki,
back into Waikato and following that coming back to this particular area. And for many generations our people have carried that hurt
because of what happened here. We hold onto the mauri, to the life essence,
to the essence of our people and their mana and their integrity… …because we understand, we understand the history,
and how do we navigate that in the here and now and into the future. The AMETI project has been an important step for Auckland Transport… …in recognising the historical links that iwi had to
particularly the Mokoia Pa Site… …and a critical gateway to improving the relationship between
Auckland Transport and Mana Whenua. Mana Whenua are the people of the land who originate from this place
Tamaki and in case of AMETI Panmure, Mokoia Moi Nina. And it’s really important that AT as a large infrastructure provider
that we establish a relationship based on key principals. The document that the relationship is founded on is the Treaty of Waitangi
which we have picked up as Auckland Transport in 2010… …and made it real for our engineers, our planners. Having that relationship is paramount to us creating a successful outcome. So that’s really the foundation document, the Treaty, and everything
that flows from that in 2018 is what that relationship is all about. Ngati Paoa have been involved
for a very long time on the AMETI project. We understand the importance and the relevance of opening this corridor up
for safe transport for commuters from East into Auckland. But also to open up this place as an area of cultural importance. We understand that a lot of people don’t know the story of Mokoia Pa,
Moi Nina Pa, all up the estuary there’s a lot of story. We’re coming up with a design that will tell the story and a place for the now,
to display that and to show that with our fellow Aucklanders. So there is a hundred and thirty odd thousand people who
live out in the AMETI region or in East Auckland… ….who currently don’t really have access to high quality public transport. So AMETI will provide them with a link into what we call the strategic public transport network. But aside from that, it’s also about giving people choice to use other modes as well. So we’re providing high quality cycle and walking paths, and we’re
also making some improvements to general traffic such as… …the Reeves Road Flyover and some intersection
improvements throughout the corridor. When we invest in this kind of infrastructure we would hope
to see a sort of wider economic benefits for the community… …and general uplift in the development potential
around town centers and such like. Projects such as the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative or AMETI
have the obvious benefits of saving journey time, reducing congestion… …but transport projects such as AMETI also enable great outcomes
for the community in terms of productivity, building a sense of place… …and lifting the cultural and social values that are important to the community. The stories we have around
the area, you know the vivid pictures
left to us by the travelers,
the Gaynard’s, the Marsden’s,… …they described our ancestors down to really fine details so that our master carvers
were able to depict these ancestors according to the information provided. It’s a real legacy for us, it’s kept us in touch with our history,
kept us in touch with the area. The AMETI project has given us an opportunity to repatriate our people
back to that area, to commemorate what has happened and to celebrate
what will happen in the future. We’re looking to strengthen our connections with the people form the North,
Mokoia is a place where we can keep returning to and
settle the spirits amongst the people. Part of our story and that all of our generations to come get to know this story that it
will be normalised and it won’t be seen as, so much as, sacred and tapu. No longer are the stories of Mana Whenua
hidden, they’ll be, you know, in your face. It’ll be just like coming home, and I think that’s quite emotional for me. More than just being a transport project which
delivers better services for Auckland,… …the AMETI project in particular the area around Mokoia Pa
will be a place where there is real sense of cultural values
and it will be a place where people like to be. This particular place is going to be a place of reconciliation,
where we can call up our cousins of the North… …and say hey, come and commemorate. We think about our ancestors, shoulder to shoulder, hand to hand,
we move forward and we move forward together.

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