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February 2017

Submitted by admin2 on Mon, 24/04/2017 - 3:30pm

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu Land Claims Report for
February 2017

1. Crown not appealing the Court of Appeal decision on binding recommendations
2. Progress with publication of the Ngāti Kahu book
3. National Iwi Chairs’ Forum 2-3 February at Waitangi
4. Taniwha Dragon Economic Summit – Ngāti Kahu and Shanghai CRED
5. Reconfirmation of mandate
6. Repossession of Kaitāia Airport – appeal to High Court
7. Ngāti Kahu Trust Board Litigation Against Ngāti Kahu Mortgage Services

• Crown Law have notified us that it will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision directing the Waitangi Tribunal to rehear our application for binding recommendations. This is excellent news!
• All the minor corrections provided from our last hui have been included in our book Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation, our Deed of Partial Settlement. A couple that came in very late have not been able to be included.
• National Iwi Chairs’ Forum held its hui on Thursday and Friday 2-3 February at Waitangi.
• Ngāti Kahu Fisheries Company and I will be attending the Taniwha Dragon Economic Summit being organized by Ngāti Kahungunu.
• A response to the official information received from the Ministers of Treaty Negotiations and of Māori Development along with the proposal for the mandate reconfirmation process was circulated at our 21 January hui and will be discussed at our next hui on 25 February.
• The hearing for the appeal in the High Court, Whāngārei against the decision of the Kaitāia District Court on the repossession of Rangiāniwaniwa is scheduled for 23 February.
• The Rūnanga and the Ngāti Kahu Trust Board Initial Trustees for Ngāti Kahu’s farm at Taipā are still moving through the process required before they hand over to the Permanent Trustees in March 2017.

1. Crown not appealing the Court of Appeal on binding recommendations
On 19 December the Court of Appeal issued its decision on the Waitangi Tribunal refusing to give Mangatū Incorporation (of Te Tairāwhiti) and Ngāti Kahu binding recommendations over Crown Forest and State Owned Enterprise lands in both our territories. It upheld two High Court decisions ordering the Tribunal to rehear Mangatū’s and then Ngāti Kahu's applications for binding recommendations. For us, it also made it very clear that the Tribunal cannot defer to the Crown’s treaty claims settlement policy in order to avoid making binding recommendations. The decision effectively says that because Ngāti Kahu meets all the requirements for binding recommendations the Tribunal MUST make a decision on them. It cannot keep avoiding making a decision.
This was a clear win for Mangatū and for Ngāti Kahu and a bitter blow to the government and its treaty claims settlement policy. The Crown had until 8 February to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Our lawyers had advised us that the decision was written in a way that would not allow it to be appealed. On 2 February I was advised unofficially that the Crown had conceded defeat. On 8 February Crown Law notified our lawyers that the government would not be appealing. This means that this is now an outright and uncontestable win for Ngāti Kahu (and for Mangatū Incorporation). We are now pursuing the costs we were awarded in the High Court part of this case.
The Crown will be alarmed at this result. Their treaty claims settlement policy is designed to stop Māori pursuing binding recommendations and they have single-mindedly pursued that goal for 25 years. They will not give up because their own courts have ordered the Tribunal to adhere to the law rather than kowtowing to government demands. It will be a hard fought battle when we return to the Tribunal but we go into it with considerable advantage over the Crown. We have both what is right and Pākehā law clearly on our side now.
2. Progress with publication of the Ngāti Kahu book
The typeset version of our book Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation, our Deed of Partial Settlement, was circulated at our last hui and I notified the publisher of a number of very minor changes throughout the book as a result. They accepted all but a couple of larger requested changes (whole paragraph or page changes cannot be made to the typeset version). The changes have all been made now and sent back to the typesetter.

I did receive a couple of very late requests for additions and changes that could not be made because they were too late. I suggest that the changes be included in a second edition of the book should one be published. The preface to the book makes it clear that the hapū kōrero in particular is far from complete and awaits the mokopuna who will uncover the treasure troves of knowledge in the memories of their kuia and kaumātua.

3. National Iwi Chairs’ Forum 2-3 February at Waitangi
A large contingent from Ngāti Kahu attended the Forum. On the first day, each of the Iwi Leaders’ Groups reported back on their work and made recommendations. On the second day the recommendations intended for the Government were delivered to the 13 members of Cabinet who attended (accompanied by about 60 officials).

We had to split our Ngāti Kahu rōpū in order to hear all the reports. The key points from each of the four Pou were:
1. Pou Tangata (Social issues)
• There is strong opposition to the Children, Young Persons & Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Bill and the Minister being untruthful about its content. It must be rewritten by a joint group of Iwi Chairs Forum and Crown and come under the governance of Whānau Ora Partnership Group.
• E Tū Whānau is a government programme and has no place in the Iwi Chairs Forum.
• Rangatahi-ā-Iwi asked to be funded by National Iwi Chairs Forum. This is being considered by the governance group.
2. Pou Taiao (Environmental issues)
• Freshwater: While the technicians continue to do a lot of excellent work for us on the future management of water, including ensuring that hapū are both consulted and take part in monitoring, problems remain with the Government refusing to address the ownership of water.
• The natural resource areas of freshwater, conservation, marine protected areas and climate change Iwi Leaders Groups need to be consolidated to stop the Crown trying to force inconsistencies across them. But then a new Iwi Leaders Group was agreed on to address Rangitāhua (Kermadecs), marine protected areas and the future of fisheries. 12 iwi wanted to participate in it.
• The Crown has still not responded on the Wai 262 Flora and Fauna claim recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal that were sought last year.
3. Pou Tāhua (Economic Issues)
• There are still a large number of serious problems with the Ture Whenua Bill which must be addressed before it becomes legislation.
• There will be a major Māori-Chinese economic summit in Hastings that all iwi asset holding companies are invited to attend (see below – Taniwha Dragon Economic Summit)
• The decision for Mangatū Incorporation and Ngāti Kahu from the Court of Appeal is a major victory and sets a strong precedent for those wanting to pursue binding recommendations.
4. Pou Tikanga
• The Monitoring Mechanism (which monitors the Government’s compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) has recommended a set of underlying assumptions on which to base a national plan of action to implement the Declaration. They are
i. Constitutional transformation
ii. Self-determination
iii. Lands and territories and resources
iv. Cultural rights
v. Equality and non-discrimination
vi. Practical implementation and technical assistance
On the second day relevant decisions were delivered to Cabinet and various Ministers responded. I had met with Te Ururoa Flavell (Minister of Māori Development) the evening before and briefed him on the constitutional transformation and Monitoring Mechanism work – which he agreed to help out with – mā te wā.

In past years the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum in Te Taitokerau was held on 4 and 5 February to accommodate those wishing to remain for the Waitangi Day commemorations on 6 February. This year it was brought forward to the 2nd and 3rd and many of our Ngāti Kahu rōpū were unable to stay. I did remain at the request of organisers of events at Taurangatira, including the political forum tent, and delivered one presentation on constitutional transformation and then another on our book, Ngāti Kahu, Portrait of a Sovereign Nation.
4. Taniwha Dragon Economic Summit – Ngāti Kahu and Shanghai CRED
Ngāti Kahungunu has organized a conference between Iwi and major Chinese companies to promote cooperation and investment. It will take place in Hastings on 19-21 February immediately before the Matatini kapa haka competitions. Ngāti Kahungunu asked Mr Gui (of Shanghai CRED) and I, along with a number of other Māori organisations working with large Chinese companies, to make presentations at the conference about the work we are doing.
I agreed and will be accompanied by Ngāti Kahu Fisheries Company and our legal advisors to attend that Summit. Mr Gui was unable to come because his mother is ill so Jack Hu will deliver the presentation.

For items 5, 6 and 7 please see the summary above.

Professor Margaret Mutu
16 February 2017