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January 2011

Submitted by admin2 on Mon, 07/03/2011 - 11:33am

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu

Land Claims Report for December 2010 – January 2011



  1. Māheatai
  2. Hui with Te Rarawa 3 December
  3. Te Hui Tōpū o Te Hiku o Te Ika (Te Hiku Forum)
  4. Communications with Ngāti Kurī and Ngāi Takoto
  5. Communications with the Crown
  6. Work on Deed of Settlement continues
  7. Te Ana o Taite – Environmental Defence Society agrees to join us in the High Court
  8. National Iwi Leaders Forum Hui – Waitangi 4th and 5th February
  9. Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill 



The repossession of Māheatai ended peacefully on Monday 6th December after Matakairiri were satisfied with the Crown agreeing to their instruction to include those lands in our negotiations. We had an excellent hui with kuia and kaumātua of Te Rarawa early in December explaining how we as Ngāti Kahu deal with our land claims. We received disappointing news the following week that the four iwi were going to settle their claims, including our shared interests claims, without us, a decision that seemed contrary to the hui with Te Rarawa. This was the result of the Crown applying considerable pressure to have all Te Hiku claims out of the way before election year, pressure that also resulted in the Chief Crown Negotiator complaining about references to him in my last land claims report. However a week or so later we were relieved to hear from Ngāti Kurī and Ngāi Takoto that the news conveyed to us about the decision of the four iwi was wrong. We were also very pleased to hear that the Environmental Defence Society will be joining us in the High Court against Carrington Farms to fight for the protection of Te Ana o Taite. In the meantime work on our Deed of Settlement continued with the help of one of my senior students who has a summer scholarship to assist with our hapū histories chapter. The following combines the reports of specific events I have reported on by email during this period.


1. Māheatai – Matakairiri repossession

Matakairiri hapū provided a detailed report at our last Rūnanga hui and we discussed the repossession of Māheatai at some length. Matakairiri told us they had resolved to move off the site on the Monday following our hui. Matakairiri has instructed our negotiators to have the two pieces of land (the FNDC reserve where the sailing club is and the old camping ground that the Mayle family has) returned through our land claims settlement process. The negotiators have listed those two pieces in our draft Deed of Settlement and the matter will be discussed with the Crown once we've completed drafting the Deed of Settlement and sent it to the minister for a response. As a result, Matakairiri decided to end the repossession action on the lands. They held a church service and family day on Sunday and packed up and left on Monday morning. We notified the Crown but added that Matakairiri's instructions included that if the Crown retracts from its publicly stated position that the lands would return to Matakairiri control, then the repossession would resume.


Far North District Council, Mayor Brown and the Complaint to the Race Relations Commissioner

The Race Relations Commissioner responded to our complaint against Mayor Brown. He advised that while the behavior reported was not acceptable in terms of community relationships, the law as it stands prevented him from doing anything about it. I have been aware for many years now that the laws in this country dealing with racial discrimination are severely inadequate. It is part of the reason why racism continues to be practiced and is only curbed temporarily when there is a public outcry against particularly blatant instances.

In this case mere reporting of the matter to the Commissioner was sufficient to draw media coverage about it and let the country know that Ngāti Kahu will speak out against such behavior whether the law can deal with it or not.


2. Hui with Te Rarawa 3 December

Many of our delegates and kuia and kaumātua attended the hakawhanaungatanga hui with Te Rarawa the day before our last Rūnanga hui. So did a large number of Te Rarawa kuia and kaumātua. We confirmed our very close hakapapa ties and the fact that we could never be separated because we are one and same people in many respects. Following on from their Chairmans lead when he spoke of Te Rarawas land claims, we explained how Ngāti Kahu runs our Treaty of Waitangi claims process and the fact that our hapū direct what happens and the negotiators carry out those instructions. We also explained that we were writing our own Deed of Settlement rather than letting the Crown do it, that it was taking a lot longer than we had originally anticipated but that we hoped it would be completed by March 2011. We went to lunch very happy that the hui was going so well. It was supposed to continue after lunch but key Te Rarawa people had left so the hui disbanded. At our Rūnanga meeting we discussed holding similar hui with each of the other iwi.


3. Te Hui Tōpū o Te Hiku o Te Ika (Te Hiku Forum)

In the meantime Te Kani Williams had advised us that the Crown and the other four iwi were pushing hard to settle all claims by Christmas and that they were intending to cut Ngāti Kahu out if we would not comply with their demands. He advised us to inform the other four iwi in writing of our position on the issues being dealt with in respect of the land interests we share with the other iwi. I circulated that to our delegates before sending it to the other four iwi. That memorandum was sent as a formal indication that Ngāti Kahu had continued to keep informed on what the Forum was doing and had maintained the same position we had when we signed the five iwi Agreement in Principle in January 2010.


The following day Te Kanis colleague, Bernadette Arapere, was summoned by the chair of Te Rarawa to the venue of a meeting with Crown officials, told to wait in the car park, and eventually told by the chair of Te Rarawa that the other four iwi had decided to settle all claims, including shared interests, without Ngāti Kahu. In other words, he was claiming that the other four iwi had agreed to sever their ties to Ngāti Kahu by expelling us from Te Hiku Forum in order to preserve their relationships with the Crown. The chair of Te Rarawa claimed to be speaking on behalf of Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto and Ngāti Kurī. He said that a letter would be sent to me shortly.


This decision was completely contrary to our discussions in our hui with Te Rarawa. So I rang the deputy chair of Te Rarawa and asked if the decision had been mandated. It hadnt. A few days later I was contacted by Ngāti Kurī who advised that they did not support the decision. Likewise Ngāi Takoto. Ngāti Kurī advised that Te Rarawas solicitors had drafted a letter to be sent to me but they refused to sign it. “The letter” never arrived.


4. Communications with Ngati Kuri and Ngaitakoto

Ngāti Kurīs negotiator, Harry Burkhardt, asked to meet with me and he came to Karikari on New Years Eve. We had a long and very helpful discussion dealing with a wide range of issues. We went through matters I had covered in my memo to the four iwi. Ngāti Kurī has major mana whenua issues and is trying to sort those out with Te Aupōuri. I reported on the meeting with Harry by email and in some detail to our delegates that evening. Ngāti Kurī strongly supports Ngāti Kahus actions, not least because they may well have to withdraw from the Forum to do their own work by themselves at some stage. They have no problem with Ngāti Kahu taking as long as we need to complete our Deed of Settlement – they consider that other iwi trying to dictate that Ngāti Kahu kowtow to Crown bullying was unnecessary, rude and inappropriate. It was of considerable relief to us to hear in such detail and at such length from Ngāti Kurī and we enjoyed the meeting.

Ngāi Takoto, through Rangitāne Marsden, also confirmed that Ngāi Takoto fully supports what Ngāti Kahu is doing and has no problem with us taking as long as we need to complete our Deed of Settlement. He wished us well and looked forward to us coming back to talk with Ngāi Takoto about the airport (Rangiāniwaniwa) and Kaitāia. 14


5. Communications with the Crown

There was a flurry of attempts by the Crown to get us to settle before Christmas. The most amusing was Hone Harawira, ringing at Chris Finlaysons request. Hone was fine with what we are doing but indicated that the National Party is desperate to avoid land claims being an election issue. We both laughed about that.


Despite being told that neither Lloyd nor I are available, Pat Snedden did keep in touch by email. However we received a message from him after he had read my land claims report on our website. He took exception to the report referring to his and the Crowns attempts to bully us. It appeared that he had taken the report personally. After our usual email discussions with delegates we eventually sent a response to Pat. We let him know that I had not intended to hurt him personally but that the Crowns actions and his as their agent were bullying as far as we are concerned and that would not assist in settling our claims. We wished him and his family a happy Christmas.


6. Work on Deed of Settlement continues

The team has continued to work on the Deed of Settlement. We were fortunate to have the services of one of my senior students who is Te Rarawa (Te Ihutai) who has a summer scholarship from the University. She has been working on the hapū histories for us, transcribing and translating Selwyn Clarks interview from Radio Waatea, and translating the interviews conducted by our oral histories team. Te Ikanui has also been transcribing extensive interviews with Charlie Petera and Reremoana Renata. This part of our work is very detailed and time consuming. It is also an extremely important part of our Deed of Settlement.


7. Te Ana o Taite – Environmental Defence Society (EDS) agrees to join us in the High Court

We were thrilled to hear from EDS that they are joining us in the High Court to fight Carrington Farms in order to protect Te Ana o Taite. While they will not be arguing on wāhi tapu grounds like us, the Environment Court decision gave them very strong grounds to fight on environmental and landscape issues. EDS was a party to the out of court settlement so they will fight on that issue as well.


8. National Iwi Leaders Forum Hui – Waitangi 4th and 5th February

The hui of the Constitutional Transformation Working Group of the National Iwi Chairs Forum took place at Waipapa marae at the University of Auckland on 11 December. A group of our kuia and kaumātua assisted mana whenua on the taumata and ran the kitchen. It was a very well attended hui of experts from iwi around the country and we received good media coverage for it. The Māori Party is working with us on developing a basis for the constitution for this country with Hone Harawira attending the hui for them. The next meeting of the working group will be on 5th February at Waitangi (at the same time as the National Iwi Chairs Forum hui).


The next full Forum hui is scheduled for 4th and 5th February at the Copthorne Hotel at Waitangi. The agenda was set at the last hui at Takapuwāhia marae in Porirua. It is

  • Treaty Settlement Process
  • Constitution
  • Aquaculture
  • Resource Management Reforms
  • Fresh Water
  • WAI 262 - Flora and Fauna claim
  • Oil, gas and other minerals (Taranaki leading this)
  • Education
  • post-Treaty settlements relationships with Crown
  • Wāhi tapu protection
  • Racism
  • establishing a secretariat for the National Iwi Chairs' Forum

 9. Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill

We have yet to hear what is to happen to this bill and the select committee has not yet reported. However the Māori Party has accepted that Māori are most unhappy with it but they have yet to decide what they can do about that.


Professor Margaret Mutu. 14 January 2011