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Celebration for Dame Nganeko Minihinnick
Dame Ngāneko Minhinnick, Waiuku, supported by Hon Dr Pita Sharples, received the Insignia of a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and conservation. www.gg.govt.nz

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It’s a big day for Ngati Te Ata, with its whaea, Nganeko Minhinnick, being made a Dame of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

She will receive the tohu from the Governor General, Sir Gerry Mataparae, at Government House In Auckland before going on to a celebration at Tahuna Marae near Waiuku.

Dame Nganeko’s fight to protect what Ngati Te Ata valued led her to a lifetime of activism, including leading the Manukau Claim before the Waitangi Tribunal, protesting against mining at Maioro, serving on the Auckland Regional Council, and representing Maori in United Nations forums.

She says it started when she was 11, when her elders sent her to Auckland to do research at the Maori Land Court.

"Our area, we had 44,000 acres confiscated, and that hasn’t been addressed by the Crown. They understood that all of their lands had been taken, but the Tahuna Marae was part of a crown grant that had been given back. Were there other crown grants? They didn’t know. What happened to the land they had given for a school and a church? Where are those lands? How come Pakeha were living on it? So I was asked to go and research all of that stuff,"

Dame Nganeko says.

 

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