Pania Newton – When is enough, enough?

Pania Newton is fighting for her whenua and her whānau. At 28, the Auckland University law graduate is the youngest of six cousins from Ihumātao village, Auckland, leading an effort to protect the whenua they grew up on.

Their group, SOUL — Save Our Unique Landscape — is working to prevent a proposed 480-house development that risks bulldozing over a unique piece of New Zealand’s history.

Ihumātao is one of the first places Māori settled in Aotearoa, and the first settlement site in Tāmaki Makaurau.

The Conversations crew met with Pania at Kaitiaki Village, where mana whenua have been occupying Ihumātao land for over two years. She talks about the SOUL kaupapa, what drives her, and who inspires her.

For more information, see also Wena Harawira’s 2015 piece on the formation of SOUL and why the Fletcher housing development is just one more in a long line of injustices faced by the people of Ihumātao.

Conversations was made with the support of NZ On Air.


© E-Tangata, 2019

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