For more than 160 years, Te Atiawa struggled against the effects of Crown actions including disruptive land purchasing practices, war, the loss of their land through confiscation, the imposition of a system of perpetual leasing, and large-scale changes to our traditional environment. Together, these actions have undermined Te Atiawa social structures, cultural traditions, and the distinctive Taranaki reo. In recent years, many Te Atiawa people have experienced poor health, relatively low levels of educational attainment, and high unemployment.
Despite the challenge of historical Crown actions and omissions, Te Atiawa have proved resilient. The number of people who affiliate to Te Atiawa is large and growing, and a higher proportion of our people are taking up opportunities in education and employment. Today, we express our vision for the future in terms of moving from raupatu to redress to restoration.
We can now forge the next stage of our tribal journey to preserve our tribal identity and begin to create a prosperous future for our people.
In the 21st century, Te Atiawa identity will continue to evolve and adapt as it has always done. The responsibility of current generations is to honour the deeds and values of our tupuna and to create an inheritance for future generations. Te Atiawa now have a responsibility to be the stewards of, to grow and use the resources we have fought to reclaim for so long; to achieve the culturally rich, boundless future our tupuna dreamed we could achieve.