'Not one more acre'
The Māori Land March 40 years on
Runs from 14 September – 4 December | 10am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday | Level one
The 1975 Māori Land March, which travelled the length of the North Island, triggered a seismic shift in political consciousness about land, culture and identity – challenging Māori as well as Pākehā. It provided inspiration and support for subsequent struggles for the return of land, including the Raglan golf course in Whāingaroa and Bastion Point in Auckland. The exhibition title borrows from the marchers’ demand that not one more acre of Māori land be alienated.
Photographs by Christian Heinegg. L-R: Māori Land March in Hamilton, 24 September 1975, with Moka Puru, Tame Iti, and Whina Cooper (35mm-87527-2-F); Marchers crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, 23 September 1975 (35mm-87517-36-F); Hone Tuwhare during a rest stop for lunch in Northland, September 1975 (35mm-87503-7-F).
Four decades on, the historian Tiopira McDowell argues the march has become one of the most powerful and symbolic moments of modern New Zealand history, contributing to the moulding and reshaping of Māori and Pākehā culture, identity and race relations in the later decades of the 20th century.
The Alexander Turnbull Library holds Christian Heinegg’s photo essay of the march – more than 300 images, exhibited here for the first time.
Among those featured in Christian’s photos is Vivian Hutchinson, who suggested the idea of the march to Whina Cooper. This exhibition draws on Vivian’s papers at the Turnbull relating to Te Roopu o te Matakite (‘those with foresight’) – the group behind the march – and the papers of Whina Cooper’s biographer, Michael King.
At the 2004 foreshore and seabed hīkoi, a new generation of marchers carried the famous photo of Whina Cooper and her granddaughter Irene – a powerful statement of the enduring significance of the Land March.
Whānau from Panguru at the Foreshore and Seabed Hīkoi, Parliament grounds, Wellington, 5 May 2004. From left: Brother Brian Stanaway, Werehiko Hauiti (wearing beanie), Addonia Peita, Kamira Campbell (holding picture), Jah Peita (holding picture), Christina Te Wake, (wearing red tie) and Michael Jo Pomare (holding picture). Hinerangi Puru – Whina Cooper’s daughter – is standing behind the framed picture. Photographer: Dylan Owen. Ref: PADL-000075.
Further online resources
We're tracking the marcher's progress as they travel south to Wellington, posting images from the march, exactly forty years later to the day. You can follow along using the hashtag #landmarch1975.
A collection of material relating to Te Roopu o Te Matakite and the Māori Land March, including photographs, video clips, poetry, newspaper articles and brochures. The photographs are by Christian Heinegg and other photographers, newspaper articles are from City News, brochures by Vivian Hutchinson, poems by Hone Tuwhare, newspaper articles from the New Zealand Herald by Stephanie Gray plus various other newspaper clippings and photographs / video clips from documentaries about Whina Cooper and the Land March. There's also a related YouTube channel.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the Land March, Archives New Zealand has created an album on Flickr to highlight key documents that relate to the event. These include correspondence related to the planning that went on behind the scenes, a booklet issued by Te Rōpū O Te Matakite explaining why the Land March took place, the petition with 60,000 signatures presented by Dame Whina Cooper to Prime Minister Bill Rowling, and images of the Land March approaching Wellington City.
A copy of the 1975 documentary from director Geoff Steven, shot by Leon Narbey, sound by Phil Dodson, that includes interviews with many of those on the march, featuring Eva Rickard, Tama Poata and Whina Cooper, and stirring evidence of Cooper’s oratory skills.
To commemorate the anniversary of the Land March the VUW Library is playing a slideshow of 25 ways to find out more about the Land March (including the Turnbull Gallery exhibition!) on big screens in the Library, with QR codes to help the students find items online so they can click the links.
You can find further information about the march on Te Ara and NZhistory.net.nz. The Wellington Museum is featuring an installation by Mary McFarlane, in memory of Dame Whina Cooper, called Hīkoi Iti.
Law firm Buddle Findlay has created a Māori law student scholarship to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Māori Land March. The scholarship will involve the payment of tuition fees for a third or fourth year Māori law student, who will also be welcomed into the Buddle Findlay summer clerk programme at the end of each year.