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September 2016

Submitted by admin2 on Wed, 09/11/2016 - 10:16pm

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti KahuLand Claims Report for September 2016


1.                 Second Ngāti Kahu Diplomatic Mission to Shanghai 1-9 September

2.                 Minister of Treaty Negotiations stalling on Official Information Act request

3.                 No response the same Minister on our decision to reconfirm our mandate

4.                 Ngāti Kahu Trust Board Litigation Against Ngāti Kahu Mortgage Services

5.                 Progress with publication of Deed of Partial Settlement

6.                 Awaiting Court of Appeal decision on binding recommendations

7.                 Repossession of Kaitāia Airport in the District Court



·        The second diplomatic mission to Shanghai took a business focus and was very successful.

·        Early in August we made an Official Information Act request to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations and the Minister of Māori Development for all information leading to their decision to demand that Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu reconfirm our mandate to settle our Tiriti o Waitangi claims. We have received no information, just a letter saying that instead of taking 20 days to deliver it as required by the Act they will take until 7 October.

·        We notified both ministers on 1 September that we will reconfirm our mandate and set out a timeline to 2020 to carry out the steps they have demanded. We have had no response.

·        The Rūnanga’s two interim trustees for Ngāti Kahu’s farm at Taipā signed off the Trust Deed for the farm two months ago. We have been assured that the two Ngāti Kahu Trust Board appointees are doing the same.

·         I am awaiting the typeset version of our book Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation, our Deed of Partial Settlement. 

·        We are still awaiting the Court of Appeal’s decision on our appeals in respect of the Waitangi Tribunal not making binding recommendations. We need to start preparing our post-1865 claims for hearing and to lodge our contemporary claim for the Ngāti Kahu lands sold to other iwi as part of their treaty claims settlements. 

·        The hearing date for the six Patukōraha, Ngāi Tohianga and Te Paatu people arrested for trespassing on their own ancestral lands at Rangiāniwaniwa has been set down for the week commencing 31 October.


1.        Second Ngāti Kahu Diplomatic Mission to Shanghai 1-9 September

Ten representatives of Ngāti Kahu left Auckland on 1 September for the second diplomatic mission to Shanghai. The delegation included three from last year’s mission, Anahera Herbert-Graves (Karepōnia marae), Hōhepa Rāmeka (Karepōnia), Professor Margaret Mutu (Karikari), and Rose Vasey-Roberts (Karepōnia), Trudy Allen (Karepōri), Sana Ryan (Karikari), Tyrone Hack (Haititaimarangai), Tony Walden (Parapara), John Mutu-Grigg (Karikari) and Te Kani Williams.

This year’s delegation took a business focus. Each member of the delegation played a specific role: Anahera represented Ngāti Kahu Fisheries Co., Hōhepa was our cultural coordinator, Rose was following up employment opportunities, Trudy and Sana were monitoring planning and environmental aspects of the Carrington Jade development, Tony, Tyrone and John have business backgrounds and Te Kani was our legal advisor. I was the head of the delegation.

Once again, Shanghai Cred and in particular its owner Mr Gui, afforded us impeccable hospitality. He sent Jing Ma, the vice general manager of Carrington Winery Jade LP to accompany us from Kaitāia and to assist and advise us. She has lived in New Zealand for eighteen years, six of those in Kaitāia (running the Chinese takeaways at the southern end of Commerce St). She was very helpful and provided excellent advice. We were also fortunate to have Emilia and Crys, who accompanied and looked after us last year, do the same this year.

We met and had lunch with Mr Gui on our first day and asked a number of very specific questions about the Carrington Jade development. Mr Gui answered all our queries positively and Jing Ma was able to assist with the interpretation into Mandarin and explain aspects of Karikari and the environment that our Shanghai based interpreter, Emilia, sometimes struggled with. We also mentioned Rangiputa station, that it is ours and that it will be returned to us sooner or later.

We were called on to perform waiata and haka several times on this visit – the first was on the first evening when we attended a Chinese ‘square dance’ evening. Our attempts to participate in their very elegant dance routine were greatly appreciated as was our subsequent waiata and haka! We also performed for the Shanghai Fisheries Group when Mr Gui took us to a very enjoyable and successful meeting with them, and for Mr Gui and a number of friends he invited to have lunch with us on the final day. Hopefully we can provide a more polished group of performers when Mr Gui visits Carrington in November.

We were taken to visit many cultural sites, some of which we saw last year. They included the Buddhist temple which Mr Gui funded and which we saw in a partially completed state last year. Most of the magnificent art work in each of the temple buildings has now been completed and once again the monks treated us with great generosity. The Shanghai Circus World was once again, amazing. The Shanghai City Planning Exhibition Hall demonstrated how planning for the development of a city (which has only taken place over the last thirty years) can be done properly. However the problem of air and water pollution remains although there are extensive efforts to mitigate the problem through extensive planting of trees and the removal of all factories to outside of the city.

This year we saw more of the river than last year, walking along it with thousands of others who enjoy it during the weekend, and taking a cruise on it on evening. Shanghai Disney Resort opened in June so we went there, although persistent rain accompanied us that day. And the tallest building in Shanghai is now next door to the one we visited last year to look out and see Shanghai. We were not looking through glass in the floor this year.

Our delegation was a lot younger this year and we had several mischievous ones. However it was also a very hard working delegation and we were able to achieve a great deal as a result. Our relationship with Shanghai Cred is now very strong and we are looking forward to positive outcomes for Ngāti Kahu.


2.        Minister of Treaty Negotiations stalling on Official Information Act request

On 12 August we made an Official Information Act request to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations and the Minister of Māori Development asking for all information they have that has led to their decision to demand that Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu reconfirm our mandate to settle our Tiriti o Waitangi claims. Under the Act that information was required to be delivered to us on 9 September. But instead of the information requested, we received a letter from the Office of Treaty Settlements (OTS) telling us we will not receive the information until 7 October. We have advised OTS that we are lodging a complaint with the Ombudsman over their refusal to provide the information in a timely manner.

It is not at all clear to the marae, the claimants or the negotiators what evidence the Minister has to assert that the Rūnanga’s mandate is under threat. We know only of letters from two individuals. We do know that Minister Finlayson is vehemently opposed to us exercising our legal rights to have Rangiputa station, Kohumaru station, our forestry lands and several other lands returned without having to pay for them. We also know he will do everything he and his officials can think of to stop Ngāti Kahu doing that and to force us instead to take the full and final treaty claims settlement he wants to impose on us. In the past divide and rule tactics he uses that result in whānau and hapū fighting each other usually end up delivering what the government wants (and causing lasting damage to the iwi). It is well known that the government’s mandating process that he has demanded of us is very divisive.



3.        No response from the same Minister on our decision to reconfirm our mandate

At our last Rūnanga hui we decided to tell the ministers we would reconfirm our mandate. We intend to do it in a way that avoids their attempts to divide and rule us and have set a timeline that completes the process in 2020. We will continue pursuing our legal rights in the courts and the Waitangi Tribunal and run a parallel process of hui to reconfirm the mandate. The last hui also resolved that each marae chairman would sign a letter confirming that the Rūnanga continues to hold the mandate to progress Ngāti Kahu’s claims. The letter is currently being circulated and a number of chairs have already signed.

We notified both ministers of our decision to reconfirm the Rūnanga’s mandate on 1 September, eight days earlier than they demanded. We have yet to receive a response.


For Items 4 – 7 please see the summary above.


Professor Margaret Mutu


18 September 2016