RSM World Day : A day when the independent member firms of the RSM network unite and engage with national, or local, charities through volunteering and community work and other charitable giving activities
"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
RSM in New Zealand celebrated by supporting Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, a hapu(subtribe) of the Ngāti Whātua iwi (tribe). Our offices came together on Bastion Point (Takaparawhau) to assist Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in their efforts to restore the natural bush to benefit the tangata whenua (people of the land) and “bring the birds home”.
Takaparawhau is a coastal piece of land with a rich history synonymous with land rights. Pre-colonisation, Takaparawhau was occupied by Ngāti Whātua, however the surrounding land was bought or confiscated by the NZ Government for public works and development over a period from the 1840s into the 1950s. In 1885 the New Zealand Government built a military outpost at Kohimarama and in 1886 the Crown used the Public Works Act 1882 to take ownership of 13 acres of Takaparawhau for the purpose of defence.
In 1941, when the Crown no longer needed Takaparawhau for defence, the land was not returned to Ngāti Whātua but instead gifted to the Auckland City Council for a reserve.
In 1977 the announcement of a housing development on the land resulting in the Ōrākei Māori Action Committee taking direct action to stop the development and prevent the land confiscation. The protesters occupied the land for a period of 506 days finally ending on 25 May 1978 when police and army arrived en masse to forcibly remove them – destroying the temporary buildings - including vegetable gardens and a meeting house, and arresting 222 protesters.
The occupation and the use of force to end it played a part in highlighting land injustice against Māori, and the occupation became a major moment in the history of land ownership protests. In the 1980s New Zealand Government returned the land to Ngāti Whātua, with compensation, as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement process.
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in"
It was a very special day for RSM - we were led onto the Takutaimoana work depot with a rousing rendition of Te Aroha, and welcomed with a hongi. A hongi is a traditional Maori greeting, carried out by pressing one's nose and forehead at the same time to another. Split into four work groups, we rotated through a variety of projects, from weeding to planting, to listening to the elders speak of the history of the land and person at an encounterhe importance of preserving the land for the generations to come.
"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children"
He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
What is the most important thing in the world?
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people
As business advisors we know that every successful venture requires planning and preparation. We sincerely hope that everyone enjoyed RSM World Day 2016 - connections were strengthened as we celebrated what it means to be RSM.
Thank you to the RSM team, and thank you to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei for all your hard work and good work and making this endeavour possible.