Maori, who account for about 15% of the population, were dispossessed of much of their land during colonisation by Britain.
Written by Charlotte Greenfield and Praveen Menon, Reuters
Auckland/Wellington, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Five years ago, law graduate Pania Newton and her cousins got together around a kitchen table and agreed to do everything in their power to prevent a housing development on a south Auckland site considered sacred by local Māori.
Newton, now 29, is today leading thousands of protesters occupying the land at Ihumātao, one of a number of grassroots movements spearheaded by young, educated and tech-savvy Māori women.
Using social media and crowd-funding websites, the groups are mobilising community support to demand land rights and other reforms for Māori in the highest profile indigenous rights campaigns in more than a decade.