Matiu Rata

Biography

Matiu Rata

Matiu Rata, of Ngāti Kuri, was born at Te Hāpua in the far north, in 1934. As a young man he was a leader of the Rātana youth movement, and he later became a seaman and trade union official. In 1963 he was elected as Labour MP for the Northern Māori seat.

He was a stern and committed critic of National's Māori policies during the 1960s. He was Minister of Lands and Minister of Māori Affairs in the third Labour government (1972–1975), and played a key role in drafting the Māori Affairs Amendment Act 1974. This major change in Māori land policy undid National's 1967 Amendment Act, which had been extremely unpopular among Māori. Rata focussed on Māori retaining their land and using it for their own benefit. Rata was also instrumental in establishing the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975.

In 1979 Rata became dissatisfied with Labour's Māori policies. After being dropped as chairman of the Labour caucus committee on Maori Affairs, he resigned from the party. He then formed his own party, Mana Motuhake (Maori self-determination), and contested the Northern Māori seat several times. Rata led the far north (Muriwhenua) tribes in presenting their Treaty of Waitangi claims to the Waitangi Tribunal in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These ground-breaking claims led to a settlement of Māori fishing claims in 1992. Rata died in a car accident in 1997. 

Matiu Rata

Nō te tau 1934 ka whānau mai a Matiu Rata ki Te Hāpua i Te Hiku o te Ika a Māui. Ko Te Aupōuri tōna iwi. I ngā rā o tana ohinga he kaiārahi a ia mō te wāhanga rangatahi o te hāhi Rātana. Nō muri ka kuhu a Rata hei heremana, hei āpiha ūniana hoki. I te tau 1963 ka uru ia ki te Pāremata hei Mema mō te tūru o Te Tai Tokerau.

I te tekau tau atu i 1960 kāore i ārikarika te haehae a Rata i ngā kaupapa here a Nāhinara e pā ana ki te Māori. Ka matika te kāwanatanga Reipa tuatoru (1972-1975) ka tohungia a Rata hei Minita mō ngā Whenua, hei Minita mō ngā Take Māori. He wāhi nui tōna i te tuhinga o te Ture Whakatikatika mō ngā Take Māori o te tau 1974. Nā tēnei ture me ōna kaupapa here whenua Māori hou i unu te Ture Whakatikatika i ngā Take Māori o te tau 1967 i kawa rā te iwi Māori. Ka hāngai te titiro a Rata ki te pupuri a te Māori ki ōna whenua hei painga mō rātou. He wāhi nui anō hoki tō Rata i te whakatūnga o Te Rōpū Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi i te tau 1975.

Ka tae ki te tau 1979 kua kore a Matiu Rata e pai ki ngā kaupapa here a Reipa. Tāpiri atu, kāore i tautokona tana noho hei heamana o te komiti a Reipa mō ngā take Māori. Ka rihaina ia, ka whakatū i tōna ake rōpū tōrangapū, ko Mana Motuhake. Whakataetae ai a Rata mō te tūru Māori o Te Tai Tokerau, nāna hoki ngā kerēme a Muriwhenua i whakatakoto ki mua i Te Rōpū Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi i te paunga o te tekau tau atu i 1980 me te tōmuatanga o te tekau tau atu i 1990. Nā tēnei i wawae te huarahi e whakataungia ai ngā kerēme a te Māori mō ngā rawa hao ika i te tau 1992. Ka aituā, ka mate a Matiu Rata i tētahi tukinga waka i te tau 1997.

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tahi nepia

Posted: 31 May 2018

Had the pleasure of meeting Matiu a true gentleman very knowledgeable and a very good speaker who could challenge any learned english speaker his passion was his people and his maramatanga a true leader of the Tai Tokerau.