People often say, "Why don't you just join with so and so? You're all doing the same thing aren't you? You all want the same thing?"
To clear a few things up it would be beneficial for others to better understand some of our experiences and what we have come to learn and most importantly why we are not the same at all, but very different.
I liken the comparison of the lobby groups and campaigns to political parties. Everyone says they want to do what's best for the country and for it's people but their core beliefs, how they operate and on what foundations they build can make a vast difference in their approaches.
We can confidently state without meaning to sound superficial that our roopu/group, Iwi n Aus are set apart for a number of reasons.
We are the only group that have held demonstrations, rallies and protests.
We are engaged with other human rights activist groups and movements.
We cover many other issues that are indirectly associated with our plight in order to promote education and awareness. We are merely a part of the wider picture eg. Asylum Seekers, First Nations People, NT Intervention Program, Welfare Rights, Anti-Poverty, Political issues, Centrelink, Superannuation, Immigration Policies.
Although we use social media daily we are transparent and accessible by the general public. There's no concern of who is operating behind the scenes.
We all have high stakes in these laws and are affected deeply one way or another.
We all work at ground zero with many of our people affected by the laws and we understand the depth of despair and frustrations faced.
We seek to stand beside others regardless of creed, colour, ethnicity and background.
We are inclusive and aim to be culturally sensitive in all our practices.
We respect our unique Kiwi identity and our Maori culture of which we have endeavoured to ensure our practices uphold tikanga/protocols showing honour and respect to the teachings of our elders and tupuna/ancestors.
As a team we are unified and share a deep conviction that keeps us going through thick and thin researching, communicating, writing, emailing, advocating, planning and strategising all that we can to ensure we are being diligent to our kaupapa/cause.
We are here for all our people including our multi-cultural nationals who have every right to be treated with the same dignity and respect as New Zealand born citizens.
We are here to provide a lifeline of hope and rest in the assurance that we truly care, not by our words only but also by our actions.
We aim to serve and support our cause with every fibre of our being to ensure these issues never fade nor are ever forgotten.
For all these reasons and more we are very unique in our approach with a strong sense of mana and integrity, ensuring that as we step forward we do so in ways that are inclusive and true to who we are and who we are representing.
We are Iwi n Aus.