Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu Land Claims Portfolio
Report for December 2017 – January 2018
1. Waitangi Tribunal judicial conference 23, 24 April
2. National Iwi Chairs Forum hui 31 January – 2 February
3. Launching the Ngāti Kahu book – 3 January Te Paatu marae
• A second judicial conference to prepare for the full hearing for binding recommendations will take place at the Ramada Resort, Taipā on 23 and 24 April.
• A National Iwi Chairs Forum’s hui was held from 29 November to 1 December at Te Papa – the National Museum in Wellington. It was hosted by Rongowhakaata. The next hui will be held at Waitangi 31 January to 2 February at the Copthorne Hotel, Waitangi.
• The launch of our book, Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation, took place at Te Paatu marae on 3 January 2018 and was very well attended.
1. Waitangi Tribunal judicial conference 23, 24 April
The Waitangi Tribunal will hold the next judicial conference to prepare for the full hearing for binding recommendations on 23 and 24 April at the Ramada Resort in Taipā.
We have just received a 31 page direction from the Tribunal resulting from the judicial conference held in November where the government went to extraordinary lengths to try to stop the Tribunal hearing our application. The
direction shows that the Crown has failed. Preparation for hearing will continue from where it was supposed to have been in October 2017. Effectively the Crown has just delayed our hearing by at least six months. We need to expect the Crown to continue to use delaying tactics. It shows just how desperate they are to deny Ngāti Kahu the legal right to have our lands restored to us.
2. Next National Iwi Chairs Forum meeting 31 January to 2 February
A National Iwi Chairs Forum’s hui was held from 29 November to 1 December at Te Papa – the National Museum in Wellington. It was hosted by Rongowhakaata. Anthony Housham and I attended along with Archdeacon Tīmoti Flavell, Reremoana Rēnata, Ānahera Herbert-Graves and Hōhepa Rāmeka. Three rangatahi also attended. The Forum meets again on Wednesday 31 January at the Copthorne Hotel, Waitangi for a strategic planning day, on Thursday 1 February to go through the reports of each of the Pou, and on Friday 2 February to let the government know what the Forum’s priorities are and to hear from Jacinda Ardern and her ministers what theirs are and the areas where we may be able to work together. The papers for this Forum hui at Waitangi are out much earlier than usual.
Te Pou Tikanga deals with constitutional transformation, the Monitoring Mechanism and the treaty claims settlement process. I chair that Pou. Our report for the February hui indicates that the new Minister of Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has asked to meet with the Monitoring Mechanism to follow up on the briefing paper we prepared on its work and that of Matike Mai Aotearoa on constitutional transformation. The Monitoring Mechanism provides a report each year to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for their meeting in Geneva in late June on whether and how the government is complying with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government has been invited to contribute to the report for each of the past three years but has not done so. This government wishes to contribute. The meeting with the minister may take place during the Forum hui at Waitangi.
The Monitoring Mechanism has asked iwi to provide input to its 2018 report and to participate in workshops to develop the report. The areas being focused on in the report are:
• An overarching priority of constitutional transformation;
• Self-determination, underpinned by participation in decision-making and free, prior and informed consent;
• Lands, territories and resources;
• Cultural rights;
• Equality and non-discrimination
The Monitoring Mechanism will fund the workshops and would like to conduct them before 1 April. They have asked whether Ngāti Kahu could host one of these workshops, especially on constitutional transformation.
The new Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Andrew Little, has been told that the treaty claims settlement policy is causing pain and trauma throughout the country and must be reviewed. He was told settlements are not full and final and will be revisited. He has since asked to talk with me about the treaty claims settlement research we’ve been conducting at the University of Auckland. I will discuss that research with him but will not discuss Ngāti Kahu’s claims following our decision not to engage with the government while we are in the Tribunal.
The report from Te Pou Taiao (Iwi Leaders Groups working in environmental areas, chaired by Selwyn Parata) indicates that the welcome change in the approach to climate change is continuing, including escalating the issue to crisis level and developing educational materials for whānau and hapū on what to expect and how to cope, especially with extreme weather events. The Pou is holding a series of national hui on the crisis. Mike Smith (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa) and Cat Murupaenga-Ikenn (Ngāti Kurī) are playing very active roles in this Iwi Leaders’ Group.
The Freshwater group is working on developing resources for whānau, hapū and iwi and preparing for the continuation of the freshwater and geothermal hearings in the Waitangi Tribunal in March. This group has hit a wall with the government who has not responded to their briefing paper.
Te Pou Taiao negotiated the Mana Whakahono ā Rohe provisions of the Resource Management Act that were legislated last year and are now being implemented. Workshops on the provisions are being conducted around the country with the next one for Te Taitokerau scheduled for 13 March in Te Hāpua. The provisions aim to ensure greater iwi authority participation in decision-making for resource consents and greater compliance with sections 6(e), 7(a) and 8 of the Act by local government. These are the sections that are supposed to recognize and provide for our relationship with our lands and resources, have regard to kaitiakitanga and take into account the Treaty of Waitangi – but which councils have always ignored. We are testing these new provisions in our resource management work.
Te Pou Taiao has joined the calls to deal urgently with plastics pollution including a ban on the use of plastic bags, reduction in plastic waste and finding out exactly how much plastic pollution there is in the seas, how New Zealand is contributing to that and how best to try to fix it.
Te Pou Tangata (social issues chaired by Rāhui Papa and Naida Glavish) deals primarily with Whānau Ora which also encompasses the areas of justice, education, housing, rangatahi-ā-iwi and data (statistics). They have a number of priority areas including child poverty and well-being, an inquiry into child abuse in state institutions, reducing incarceration rates and exercising rangatiratanga in respect of data collection. They are working on streamlining their work. This Pou looks to have on-going engagement with government including the continuation of the Iwi-Ministers Whānau Ora governance group and to significantly improve the contribution government departments make to Whānau Ora. Reports are coming from Whānau Ora workers trying to remediate whānau poverty, self-harm and suicide, homelessness and drug and alcohol abuse, that lack of funding is very problematic. This Pou has had no response to the briefing paper they provided to government on Whānau Ora although the data group has met with the new Minister of Statistics. They have secured free access for iwi for one year (December 2017 to December 2018) to all census data and are encouraging iwi to take up the opportunity to use it.
There is no report from the other pou, Te Pou Tāhua (economic development).
On 18 January the chairs of the Pou and the chairs hosting the Forum this year had a preliminary meeting with Jacinda Ardern and three of her ministers to see whether they would attend the Forum hui at Waitangi. The meeting went well with all present delivering their views on what needs to be done and how. As a result the government will attend the Forum hui on 2 February.
3. Launch of the Ngāti Kahu book – 3 January 2018
This was a great success with large numbers attending and each of the authors speaking to their part of the book. We all signed many copies of our book. Huia Publishers printed 750 books and more than half of those have been sold already. There are still books available for purchase at the Rūnanga office (21A Parkdale Cres, Kaitāia) for $65. It is also available in bookshops.
Professor Margaret Mutu
26 January 2018