GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Ihumatao – Have we not learned anything?


Have we not learned anything? Heritage is important.

Identity is important to mental wellbeing . Take those things away then individuals can become a risk to themselves and others.

These young people are calling on the Prime Minister to stop a large private development taking over their ancestral lands.

Please watch this short video by them.

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I will be supporting their open letter by emailing the Prime Minister at I hope you will consider doing the same.

Kia Kaha whenua of Ihumatao


Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. The 1863 Raupatu revisited on Akarana, Tamaki Makaurau all over again. Mowree’s get to fuck! Beyond the Mangatawhiri border or cede your allegiance to a foreign bunch of settlers. Autographed by Gov.GG.

  2. Well put DennyPaoa.

    The plaintiff cry from Fletchers that their purchase of the land at Ihumatao is legal and supported by the Kaumatua is a hollow cry and will get no traction as long as everyone realises, as I am sure they they do, that the land at Ihumatao was illegally confiscated – read stolen – in the first place by the then colonialist white government in 1865.

    The crippling effects of colonisation continue and what happened back in 1865 and now at Ihumatao is a classic illustration of this. The current Labour-led government cannot and should not ignore this. They do so at their own peril.

    I totally agree with Bryan Bruce. If you take away a person’s sense of identity including what belongs to them, which is what has happened here to Maori at Ihumatao, then what do they have left? The answer is nothing other than what we see has happened for so long – the insidious and disproportionate level of dysfunction and over-representation of Maori in prisons, in negative health and education statistics and by having an over-bearing Oranga Tamariki snatching Maori babies away from their mothers without any sense or desire to work with them, to name just a few things. And not forgetting being unjustly evicted from their state homes by HNZ. Now we have Fletchers stepping in and taking up the mantle of the colonial and corporate bully-boy.

    For Fletchers to say they are building “social housing” for Maori on Ihumatao land is a fallacy and an insult to Maori. In other words, what they are saying is that Maori need the white-conservative establishment to support them and provide for them. This from a company who can’t even run its own business properly.

    Then, Fletchers goes on to say that it intends to return some of the land to Maori. Well again, how insulting is that? Plus it begs the question, why buy it all up in the first place. Time for you to go from Ihumatao Fletchers. Sort out your own business and stop conducting yourself as the ruthless and disrespectful corporate bully-boy that you clearly display yourself as. Show some respect for Maori including the young Maori and stop trying to justify your actions by claiming that Kaumatua and Maori leaders support you. They may well do so but from what I can see, they do not have the mandate of Maori generally.

    The young Maori at Ihumatao and around the country can see what is happening, yet again, and are valiantly doing something about it. I applaud them and I applaud them for standing up for what is theirs and also standing up to their elders who cannot see what they have let happen to their people.

    So yes DannyPaoa, well put. Blunt and to the point.

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