Ran from 14 September – 4 December 2015, The National Library of New Zealand, Wellington.

The 1975 Māori Land March, which travelled the length of the North Island, triggered a seismic shift in political consciousness about land, culture and identity – challenging Māori as well as Pākehā. It provided inspiration and support for subsequent struggles for the return of land, including the Raglan golf course in Whāingaroa and Bastion Point in Auckland. The exhibition title borrows from the marchers’ demand that not one more acre of Māori land be alienated.

Three of Christian Heinegg’s photos of the 1975 land march.

Photographs by Christian Heinegg. L-R: Māori Land March in Hamilton, 24 September 1975, with Moka Puru, Tame Iti, and Whina Cooper (35mm-87527-2-F); Marchers crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, 23 September 1975 (35mm-87517-36-F); Hone Tuwhare during a rest stop for lunch in Northland, September 1975 (35mm-87503-7-F).

Four decades on, the historian Tiopira McDowell argues the march has become one of the most powerful and symbolic moments of modern New Zealand history, contributing to the moulding and reshaping of Māori and Pākehā culture, identity and race relations in the later decades of the 20th century.

The Alexander Turnbull Library holds Christian Heinegg’s photo essay of the march – more than 300 images, exhibited here for the first time.

Among those featured in Christian’s photos is Vivian Hutchinson, who suggested the idea of the march to Whina Cooper. This exhibition draws on Vivian’s papers at the Turnbull relating to Te Roopu o te Matakite (‘those with foresight’) – the group behind the march – and the papers of Whina Cooper’s biographer, Michael King.

At the 2004 foreshore and seabed hīkoi, a new generation of marchers carried the famous photo of Whina Cooper and her granddaughter Irene – a powerful statement of the enduring significance of the Land March.

Whānau from Panguru at the Foreshore and Seabed Hīkoi, Parliament grounds, 2004.

Whānau from Panguru at the Foreshore and Seabed Hīkoi, Parliament grounds, Wellington, 5 May 2004. From left: Brother Brian Stanaway, Werehiko Hauiti (wearing beanie), Addonia Peita, Kamira Campbell (holding picture), Jah Peita (holding picture), Christina Te Wake, (wearing red tie) and Michael Jo Pomare (holding picture). Hinerangi Puru – Whina Cooper’s daughter – is standing behind the framed picture. Photographer: Dylan Owen. Ref: PADL-000075.


Feature image: Photograph of protesters on the Maori Land March, College Hill

Source: Alexander Turnbull Library, The National Library of New Zealand


Updated on 7th January 2016