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August 2009

Submitted by admin2 on Wed, 26/08/2009 - 5:06pm

Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngati Kahu

Land Claims Report for August 2009


1.    Negotiations with Crown to settle the shared interests and overlapping claims made to the five iwi of Te Hiku o te Ika

2.    Rangiāniwaniwa

3.    National Iwi Chairs hui, Hopuhopu, 20 August


1.   Negotiations with Crown to settle the shared interests and overlapping claims made to the five iwi of Te Hiku o te Ika


Negotiations have diversified a little this month with the Crown trying to shift the focus from the valuations of the large farms blocks to working on improving the services government departments deliver to Te Hiku o te Ika. Initial work has also started on drawing up a first draft of an Agreement in Principle.


On the valuations front the Forum resolved at its hui of 24 July that if we could reduce the monetary value the Crown has assigned and is demanding we pay for all the seven big farms in the five iwi’s territories from $50m to $30m we would accept it. In this scenario Rangiputa would remain at $4.1m as agreed in our Agreement in Principle and Kohumaru would come back at $ 670,000. This is a significant reduction on the $2.3m the Crown was demanding and other iwi were expecting us to pay for Kohumaru, but is still well in excess of its true $0 value. Nevertheless, our Ngāti Kahu team agreed we could live with it. Since then our lawyers and valuation team have been in intense negotiations in order to persuade the Crown to accept $30m. In the end we agreed to have our valuers do a full valuation of the farms, the Crown get their valuers to do a valuation and then let the valuers argue between themselves to reach an agreed valuation. We have instructed our valuers that they must take into account that these lands are under claim and our claims have been upheld which severely diminishes the market size. In effect we are the only ones in the market. Furthermore, the recession has meant that there have been no sales of large farms in Te Hiku o te Ika for some time now, further driving down the monetary value Pākehā assign to such lands.


On improving government services and establishing some sort of Iwi-Government accord to oversee government services, our CEO, Anahera Herbert-Graves attended a negotiations meeting with other Forum members to try to set down principles for the accord. This was followed by a meeting with the Chief Crown Negotiator. Ngāti Kahu’s approach is that, in order to ensure that we exercise our own mana and tino rangatiratanga, we must determine and control the allocation of the budget for the services affecting our people, not the Crown (who have only ever got it wrong).


Ngāti Kahu will also determine the outcomes required and how they are delivered. It appears that the other iwi are not yet clear about how this area can deliver the greatest benefits to their whānau and hapū. As a result there was no agreed position. The wider Forum is now considering clarifying the underlying principles for such an accord.


In the last week Te Kani Williams started on drafting the initial draft of an Agreement in Principle for the shared interests and overlapping claims of the five iwi. There is a great deal of work still to be done on this including reaching agreement on the statutory board for Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē, the accord and the return of Te Aupōuri forest and the farms.


2.         Rangiāniwaniwa

We have been asked by the Crown to allow the site of Te Rangiāniwaniwa kura to be transferred from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to the Ministry of Education and a long term lease to the Kura be confirmed. On behalf of Patukoraha and Ngai Tohianga, we have declined the request because the lands are to be returned jointly to Ngāti Kahu and Ngāi Takoto and we can then jointly lease it to the kura. Until such time as it is returned we have instructed that the land remain with LINZ and the lease be renewed on an annual basis.  Last week our CEO met with the Board of Trustees’ Chair, Richard Murray, and they agreed to set up a meeting between the Board, the Principal and the mana whenua hapu to talk about this matter.  At time of writing this report it looks as though that meeting will happen on 31st August.



3.         National Iwi Chairs hui, Hopuhopu, 20 August

On 20 August Timoti and Vera Flavell, Lloyd Popata, Ann Batistich, Ani Manuera, Podge Housham, Ruth Murray and I attended this hui representing Ngāti Kahu. Forty seven iwi registered for the hui. There were several excellent presentations.  The first was from the Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Mark Solomon, reporting on the work of the Māori Economic Taskforce set up earlier this year. It included the concept of “Public Private Partnerships” and Mark spoke of iwi purchasing public buildings such as courts, police stations and schools and leasing them back to the Crown. We already have provision for the sale and leaseback of all schools in our territories and purchase of the Mangonui police station in our Agreement in Principle. He also announced that the Attorney-General has called a meeting of geographically diverse iwi representatives to discuss how to address the foreshore and seabed matter. The meeting is in Wellington next Wednesday and we are hoping to send a Ngāti Kahu representative.


Archie Taiaroa delivered a presentation on the ownership and allocation of freshwater. This was disturbing as it appears that the Crown has acted as if it owns the resource and has not only allocated almost all of it without including or consulting iwi who are its true owners, but in some areas has over-allocated the resource. Whata Winiata urged iwi leaders to take a strong mana, tino rangatiratanga stance based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi using my articulation of Ngāti Kahu’s mana over the foreshore and seabed on the Native Affairs programme (reported last month) as a model for doing that.


Api Mahuika led a presentation on climate change and the carbon emissions scheme. It high-lighted several difficulties our whānau and hapū will experience as a result of the scheme.


The final presentation was an excellent paper on constitutional change prepared by Judge Caren Fox. I asked her for a copy and I will circulate it when she has completed and circulated it to the iwi.


Professor Margaret Mutu

21 August 2009