Dame Whina Cooper was one of the most influential Māori leaders of the 20th century. She spent most of her life fighting for land rights; and, in this episode from a two-part TVNZ profile, she explains the importance of the land to her people. The former Panguru storekeeper first came to national attention in 1951 when she established the Māori Women’s Welfare League. At age 79, she was back in the spotlight leading the Māori land march; her fire and determination are very much in evidence in a heated address to then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.
We don’t want our Māoris to be slaves.– Dame Whina Cooper
Archival footage from material preserved and made available by The New Zealand Film Archive Ngā Kaitiaki O Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua.