Maori solidarity with the Nyoongar people at Matargarup, Perth

2nd call to action

Protest against the planned closure of remote Aboriginal homelands in Australia is growing, especially among New Zealand’s Maori. Maori have shown solidarity with the Nyoongar people at Matargarup, Perth, and Maori television reported growing Maori concern for Aborigines living in their remote and sacred ancestral lands. Maori students have joined online protest against the slated closures. A call has gone out for a second national day of action on Friday the 1st of May.


Maori Television reported: “The protests against the impending closure of up to 150 aboriginal communities in Western Australia have gained momentum online and on the ground. The Tent Embassy with the Nyoongar people on Heirisson Island in Perth is one of the many protests around Australia.

“Māori are being more vocal in their support and…many came along to the tent embassy to support the cause and to bring koha such as food, water, bedding and waiata too. These Māori felt like they needed to be here to support their indigenous cousins.

“The Nyoongar people were desperate for the basic necessities after the third police raid of the camp in two weeks.

“The Western Australian government revealed its plan to close between 100 -150 of the state’s 274 communities late last year because they were no longer viable or sustainable.

“While the Nyoongar people are determined to fight for their people and their land they still need as much help as possible to keep the fire going here at the Tent Embassy.

“Whilst it's a long road ahead for the Nyoongar and Aboriginal people, the burden is shared tonight with their Maori relatives.”

In another report, Maori Television said: “Māori experts in sustainable living and health are concerned over a proposed plan to close more than 100 of Western Australia's remote Indigenous communities.

“Traditional and modern architect Rau Hosking says the Australian government putting its economic view ahead of 40,000 years of historical connection needs to be heavily questioned.

“The battle for Kennedy Hill [a remote community that sits on Blue Chip real estate in the middle of Broome] is one of many across Western Australia.

“Aboriginal elder Roy Wiggans from Kennedy says, "I'm sick and tired of talking to people and fighting, this is my land, it's not white man's land.”

“The Wiggan family says these are the remnants of what once was a thriving Aboriginal community.

“Rodney Wiggan says, “All my old people used to have tents up here and there was just one tree way up on top hill there with this tin shack, it used to be a thriving community but as soon as all this started well it's just."

“Here in New Zealand, Rau Hosking who has long created sustainable off-the-grid housing says a mixture of traditional and modern technology living in remote communities should be viable enough to live in.

“He says, "If people have been living there for 20 and 40,000 years, they've developed such a deep appreciation of that place and how to survive in that place, if you add that traditional knowledge some modern systems then I think you're going to have very good lives in remote communities."

“Leanora is an area that has a long history in Aboriginal displacement and community closure.

“Kado Muir and his people have already been moved around the gold-fields desert to make way for mining.

“Kado Muir of Katumpul says, “At one stage there were easily up to 2-300 people living up here."

“Expert in the field of Māori health, Dr David Jansen says displacing these communities will only cause more problems.

“The Commonwealth will withdraw funding for essential services in June to Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.”

A group of Māori students from Auckland University have expressed concerns about the Western Australian government's decision.

Co-president of Ngā Tauira Māori, Jerry Daniels says, “We want the Australian government to change what they're doing and support those communities or else their culture will die.”

Member of Ngā Tauira Māori, Zoe Jones says, “If they want to move into the big city then so be it, but if they don't, their choices to live in the land they're growing up in should be aided.”

Across the ditch, some Māori families have gathered together to oppose the WA government.

A Maori business manager based in Australia wants more Maori people to support indigenous rights in the light of Federal Government plans to shut down remote Aboriginal communities.  


Speaking on Radio New Zealand, Brent Reihana, of Ngapuhi descent, said Maori needed to show their solidarity with the tangata whenua of Australia. Mr Reihana said he wanted Māori communities to rally together and spread the message on social media that they do not support the Australian government's idea to close down remote indigenous communities."

A facebook movie by the “Digital Dreaming Project” showed a Corroboree [gathering] causing congestion in the Brisbane city centre “uniting for the WA mob”. [Aboriginal people use the word ‘mob’ in a positive way to denote group, tribe, gathering or similar.]

"The Brisbane mob took control of the CBD last night. This is really powerful stuff! So good, it gives me goosebumps! Cars and buses full of commuters were forced to pay attention because we stopped traffic with a corroboree at every major intersection! Our voice is getting bigger, stronger and louder! And we have a message that can't be ignored: We continue to stand united against the forced closures of 150 remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. Because being Aboriginal is NOT a lifestyle choice." More on that gathering here, taglined,
"Brisbane knows how to protest".

announcement of the 1 May second call to action: "We would like to confirm that that 2nd National Call of Action will be held Friday 1st May 2015. Actions will begin at 10am in the Kimberley but there will be other times for other states behind this and we will promote the information specific to the locations when confirmed. Any communities wishing to organise an action on this day, please contact us so that we can support you and provide resources.“




See also




Remote communities aim to give their children better lives


Desert Walker Andrew Harper and the secrets of the Simpson Desert


Aboriginal leaders promote bold blueprint to close the gap


Indigenous elders meet at Port Augusta as federal funding cuts threaten to close remote communities


Faithless deal to extinguish Native Title exposes the betrayal of Native Title compensation


Northern Territory Indigenous community says it was not adequately consulted over fracking permits


Kimberley traditional owners want tighter controls over tourism to protect sacred sites