My red Ferrari
is parked outside
The WCC Archive.
It’s a modern-day waka
hitched to the post
Whero: the colour of my rangatiratanga
Speed: the way I roll
Design: the best
Contours: pleasing to the eye
The Aerodynamics are ON!
‘Hello, reality creators!’
We roll back in time – or was that forwards/sideways/inwards?
The surveying of
Te Aro Pah’—
‘The reality is … ’
The reality is:
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
And Witnesseth herefore by –
And Fully Absolutely
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…
We kept our central city lands
We retained our Kaitiakitanga, the Mana Whenuatanga—
and we continued to be
L A N D E D
That is, ‘the high-born noble class
and living off the rental of said
or other activities sourced from
and the Administration Thereof.’
The newcomers were so very hungry
So absolutely ravenous
They paid top dollar
for use of
We retained all we needed from
our kāinga, cultivation sites, wāhi tapu, ngāhere—
Other lands—leased out.
SWEET RIDE dude!
My Bright Red
Ferrari F8 Spider
parked on Barker St
outside the WCC Archives.
Inside the Archive once more—
in my large gridlined Rate Book:
Some ‘Aboriginal Natives’ were
Rates Defaulters And therefore
A l l
The L a n d s
were forfeited. And available.
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,
A Sweet, Sweet Ride.
Listen to Hana Buchanan read ‘Sweet Ride’
Listen to Hana Buchanan read ‘Post-script’
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!