HANA BUCHANAN

 

Sweet Ride

 

My red Ferrari 

is parked outside

The WCC Archive.

It’s a modern-day waka

hitched to the post 

nearest to 

our

       kāinga.

 

Whero: the colour of my rangatiratanga

Speed: the way I roll

Design: the best

Contours: pleasing to the eye 

and…

The Aerodynamics are ON!

 

‘Hello, reality creators!’

We roll back in time – or was that forwards/sideways/inwards?

The surveying of 

‘The Land 

Known 

As

Te Aro Pah’—

didn’t happen.

‘The reality is … ’

The reality is:

The apportioning 

into 

Rateable

Blocks

     of    L   a   n   d  —

Some town acres, some reserve lands, 

some ready-to-be-reclaimed-as-soon-as-you-die lands 

(It’s the Public Works Act, stupid!).

The blocks for reclamation, the blocks for the Taranaki St extension, 

the blocks ‘assigned’ to Aboriginal Natives in 

the Colony of New Zealand

on the Somethingth Day of the Somethingth Month,

in the Year of 18SomethingSomething…

The blocks ‘assigned’ to ‘Aboriginal Natives’ who

Thereby

Therefore

And Witnesseth herefore by – 

And Fully Absolutely 

Certainly 

And 

Definitely 

Then

 Released all claims

 to seek any compensation, 

   or to end the leases, 

      or to recoup any of the Titles etcetera, etcetera, etcetera

 of the Aforesaidmentioned Blocks…

Never Happened.

 

LOL.

 

In fact, 

We kept our central city lands

Intact.

We retained our Kaitiakitanga, the Mana Whenuatanga—

and we continued to be 

The 

  L  A  N  D  E  D

                        Gentry—

LOL.

 

That is, ‘the high-born noble class

enjoying 

Country Estates

and living off the rental of said 

Lands,

or other activities sourced from 

the Lands 

and the Administration Thereof.’

 

The newcomers were so very hungry 

So absolutely ravenous

for 

The LANDS.

They paid top dollar

for use of

The Lands.

We retained all we needed from 

The Lands—

       our kāinga, cultivation sites, wāhi tapu, ngāhere— 

all kept

Intact.

Other lands—leased out.

 

SWEET RIDE dude!

Just like 

My Bright Red

Ferrari F8 Spider

parked on Barker St

outside the WCC Archives.

 

Postscript
 

Inside the Archive once more—

I note

Using my

 Sharp 

                 Red 

Pencil

in my large gridlined Rate Book:

Some ‘Aboriginal Natives’ were

Rates Defaulters And therefore

The Lands, 

A  l  l    

   The    L   a   n    d    s

 were forfeited. And available.

 

Furthermore, 

We therefore Declareth,

and We Deemeth— 

As is most Truly Witnessedeth— 

On this Very Day of the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-Three 

(and, We predict, for the Foreseeable)

That this is,

Indeed—

A Sweet, Sweet Ride.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hana Buchanan (Taranaki, Te Atiawa, Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika) is a member of Te Aro Pā Poets, living and writing on her tūpuna whenua in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Hana writes to share kōrero and to celebrate and uplift kupu. Toi te kupu!  Toi te toi!