501 deportations and the history of Māori in Australia
With a new Australian government comes revived hopes for movement on section 501 deportations, a policy that disproportionately affects Māori in that country. One big hurdle? Australians’ ignorance about the impact of colonialism in Aotearoa, says Mat Henderson (Ngāpuhi).
I am descended from a Ngāpuhi shearer who migrated to Australia 110 years ago and share my korero with you today from the lands and waters of the Gadigal Nation where my whānau have lived for three generations. The first parcels of land stolen by Britain were granted to Royal Marines in 1792.
I acknowledge sovereignty was never ceded.
Always was. Always will be Gadigal land and waters.
Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou.
The history of Māori migration to Australia is a long and spirited one. Māori were among the first migrants to say “not cool” to the White Australia Act of 1901. My tupuna was one of them. He came to Australia in 1910 as a shearer and alongside our Australian First Nations brothers and sisters worked in indentured servitude and built Australian colonial wealth (and fought in its wars).