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  • Writer's pictureBrent Kerehona Pukepuke-Ahitapu

Moka's calls for sovereignty heard in Turkey

The author presented a historical lecture at the New Zealand Embassy in the Turkish capital, Ankara; focusing on the roles and actions of his tupuna (ancestor) Ngapuhi chief Moka Te Kaingamata, who could be viewed by many as New Zealand's first activist. Moka was a signatory to He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Niu Tireni (Declaration of Independence), refused to sign Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and actively campaigned against European rule and land acquisition,

The host was Her Excellency Zoe Coulton-Sinclair, NZ Ambassador to Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Azerbaijan, and the audience included Ambassadors from several nations', who were serving at nearby consulates, embassies, and high commissions. The Australian Ambassador, His Excellency Miles Armitage, was also in attendance, with some of his staff.

The author had planned on gifting a kakahu, or traditionally woven cloak to the New Zealand Embassy (resembling a WW1 headstone from Gallipoli), however, a mishap with the rain caused a measure of damage and the author felt that he was not comfortable gifting it in that condition. The author will weave another kakahu and provide it to the New Zealand Embassy at a later date.

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