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February 2010

Submitted by admin2 on Fri, 26/02/2010 - 2:16pm

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu

Land Claims Report for February 2010



  1. Te Hiku shared interests AIP signed 16 January
  2. National Iwi Leaders’ Forum 4-5 February
  3. Preparing and Negotiating Our Ngāti Kahu Deed of Settlement
  4. Ngāti Kahu withdrawing from Te Hiku Forum until…
  5. Repossession of Māheatai (Taipā)



The signing of the Agreement in Principle for shared interests in Te Hiku o Te Ika took place on 16 January after Te Aupōuri conceded that Te Rerenga Wairua lands will be vested in Ngāti Kurī. Ngāti Kahu made some strong statements at the signing about the inadequacy and unfairness of the proposed settlement. These were later endorsed by the National Iwi Leaders’ Forum and then repeated to the Prime Minister and several other Ministers when they met with Iwi Leaders at Waitangi on 5 February. However other iwi in Te Hiku o Te Ika appear happy to allow the Crown to decide not only what their final settlement will look like but also to determine how they will draw up their Deeds of Settlement. Ngāti Kahu takes a more independent approach and the Crown has agreed to meet with us separately to negotiate our Deed of Settlement. The repossession of Māheatai concluded after the owner agreed to take the sections off the market.


  1. Te Hiku shared interests AIP signed 16 January

After the difficulties between Te Aupōuri and Ngāti Kurī were resolved and it was agreed that lands Te Rerenga Wairua would vest in Ngāti Kurī, the signing of Te Hiku’s shared interests AIP went ahead at Roma marae, Ahipara. Kuia and kaumātua from each of the iwi attended along with some Ngāti Kurī who were unhappy about the signing and protested against it taking place.


I would like to record here my thanks to Te Kani Williams and Bernadette Arapere and the team from Wackrow Williams who did the hard work to ensure that the Agreement in Principle did finally meet Ngāti Kahu’s standards and had enough of the Crown domination/iwi subservience language removed for us to be able to sign it. This took up a lot of unnecessary time and I am urging that we draft our own Deed of Settlement to avoid a repeat of this. I did note that Ngāti Kahu’s negotiators were the only ones who went through the final document in any detail and secured a number of changes to the language as a result.


When speakers for each iwi were called on the day of the signing, I agreed to us having speakers for Ngāti Kahu (Rev. Timoti Flavell) and for Te Paatū (Selwyn Clark). Selwyn in particular made it very clear to the Crown that Te Paatū is included in Ngāti Kahu’s negotiations team and fully supported us in our condemnation of the current Crown settlement policy. He told the Minister of Treaty Negotiations that what the Crown proposed to return in settlement of our claims was far too mean-spirited, unjust and unfair and was far short of what is required to settle our claims fully and finally.

Joe Cooper for Te Rarawa indicated similar sentiments but appeared not to be supported by other Te Rarawa negotiators.


In this respect it was interesting to see the Crown’s flag flying and no acknowledgement of the mana and rangatiratanga of the iwi in evidence at Roma marae. When challenged by several kaumātua, Haami Piripi declined to take down the Crown flag saying we were all New Zealanders – apparent confirmation of the extent of Crown influence over Te Rarawa. I found his deferential attitude towards the Crown offensive. What was more disturbing was his assertion and the Crown’s apparent acceptance that he is the chairman of the Forum and can speak for all five iwi. I took the opportunity to personally correct both Haami and the Minister of Treaty Negotiations as the signing was taking place and reminded them both that only Ngāti Kahu speaks for Ngāti Kahu.


Our January Rūnanga hui discussed the need to manaaki our manuhiri better at the next formal signing of Deeds of Settlement. Marae were asked to consider where the signing of Te Hiku’s Deed of Settlement should take place.


The current fifteen work streams the Crown wants the Forum to work on and has gone as far a setting timelines on when each of the work streams is to be started and completed. It appears from the agenda of the next ‘Forum’ meeting that the other iwi negotiators have accepted the Crown’s directives by distributing the OTS work timetable under the heading of ‘Te Hiku Forum DoS project plan’.  The agenda indicates that they are organizing themselves to carry out the Crown’s wishes.


 This is most definitely not in Ngāti Kahu’s interests. I am therefore recommending that we consider a formal resolution of the Rūnanga that we withdraw from Te Hiku Forum until further notice.


2.    National Iwi Leaders’ Forum 4-5 February

As discussed at length at our January Rūnanga hui, Ngāti Kahu hosted the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum at Haruru Falls, Waitangi. The hui, which was extended to two days, was very successful. Twenty nine iwi were formally represented and a large number of observers attended, especially but not only from Te Taitokerau. Background papers for each of the issues the Forum is addressing were prepared, mainly by Ngāi Tahu’s Sasha McMeeking, and distributed to all iwi authorities beforehand.


For the first time iwi chairs had sufficient time to discuss issues affecting us all to reach consensus about the messages we needed to convey to government who asked to meet the Forum on the 5th. At the end of the meeting we met first with the Minister of Māori Affairs and then the Prime Minister and some of his cabinet to convey our decisions.


Those decisions were:

a)    The Constitution

·         A Working Party is to be convened and facilitated by Moana Jackson (Ngāti Kahungunu) to draw up a constitution based on He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It will also draw on the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the new Bolivian constitution and will form the basis of the New Zealand constitution. Membership of the Working Party is to be drawn from those with expert knowledge in this area as well as hapū, iwi and urban representatives. People such as Moana Jackson, Edie Durie (Ngāti Kauwhata, Rangitāne), Huirangi Waikerepuru (Taranaki), Annette Sykes (Te Arawa), Hone Harawira (Ngāti Kahu, Ngāi Takoto), Rāhui Kātene (Ngāi Tahu), Ani Mikaere (Ngāti Raukawa) were recommended to be included. (N.B. I would like to work with this working party of the Iwi Leaders Forum.)

·         Iwi have until the end of March to notify their representative on the Working Party to Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu so that it can meet and start its work.

·         The Working Party is to ensure that information about its work and the nature and development of the constitution is well communicated to all whānau, hapū and iwi (ideally through mandated iwi authorities).

·         The Working Party is to report back to the next National Iwi Leaders’ Forum (to be hosted by Ngāi Tahu in May).


b)    Treaty Settlements

·         The Current settlement policy continues to be the source of a great deal of bitterness for all iwi, including those who have settled. Its fundamentally unfair and unjust nature will ensure that settlements will not be durable and cannot be full and final. Land and resources that were stolen must be returned.

·         The Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendations must be binding on governments.

·         The current government deadline of 2014 is unrealistic and unachievable.

·         Those entering into or engaged in negotiations or Tribunal hearings must be properly resourced by the Crown.

·         The Waitangi Tribunal must be properly resourced so that it can deliver its reports in a timely manner so that claimants can use them in negotiations. It is unacceptable for the Crown to expect claimants to negotiate without the information provided in reports being available to them.


c)    The Foreshore and Seabed

·         The committee dealing with this, the Foreshore and Seabed Leaders Group, chaired by Mark Solomon, Ngāi Tahu, reported satisfactory progress in its talks with government.

·         His Group’s sole purpose is to lay the ground work for iwi round the country to enter negotiations about their foreshore and seabed if they wish. The Group does not and has never negotiated on behalf of any hapū or iwi.

·         Mark reported that the first draft of replacement legislation that the committee had seen had been completely unacceptable. As a result the Crown had gone back to ensure that the fundamentals required by Māori are included. This includes removing the assertion of Crown ownership, giving effective acknowledgement to hapū and iwi mana whenua (which includes but is much greater than ownership and necessitates hapū having decision-making roles about use of the foreshore and seabed), ensuring that the foreshore and seabed cannot be sold and ensuring public access.

·         Work being done on the Foreshore and Seabed needs to be properly resourced and the Crown should do that.

·         The Forum agreed that the committee keep working and report back to the next Forum hui.


d)    Climate Change/Emission Trading Scheme

·         Api Mahuika (Ngāti Porou) reported on this working party and made a number of recommendations which were accepted by the Forum and delivered to the Crown. Once again the right of individual iwi, hapū and whānau to engage  with the Crown on this issue was emphasized.

·         Mike Smith (Ngāti Kahu, Ngāpuhi) delivered a presentation on the affects of climate change that was pretty alarming, including the likely collapse of our wild fisheries. He distributed a documentary he had made and information relating to these issues that all iwi authorities need to be aware of in planning their economic recovery.


e)    Fresh Water

·         Archie Taiaroa(Whanganui) reported for this working party, the Freshwater Management Leaders Group, that discussions with the Crown are proceeding well. A full report was included in the papers circulated before the hui including the outcomes of several consultation hui around the country.

·         It was agreed that a statement from this group would be delivered to the Prime Minister’s group by Tumu Te Heuheu (Tūwharetoa).

·         The working party is to continue its work and report back to the next hui.


f)     Private Public Partnerships (PPPs)

·         Mark Solomon reported on PPPs between the Crown and Iwi whereby Iwi would be contracted to carry out major public works projects such as roading, building hospitals, schools, etc.

·         Mark is on a government taskforce putting together advice for progressing iwi involvement. However, once again he emphasized that each iwi must engage with the crown for PPPs in their own area.

·         It was noted that the Māori asset base is building rapidly but that the only measurement of its full worth is severely deficient (in the form of a Te Puni Kokiri report valuing the Māori asset base in strictly monetary terms). The University of Auckland Business School is to be approached to carry out research into how best to measure the Māori asset base.


g)    Whānau Ora

·         The Minister of Māori Affairs was present to hear Tukuroirangi Morgan deliver a presentation on this. The Minister indicated that Tariana Turia was having difficulty getting the government to accept the kaupapa and wanted it to be delivered to all people rather than just to Māori. He asked for support.

·         It was agreed that Tuku Morgan set up a Whānau Ora Leaders Group (with Apirana Mahuika, Naida Glavish, Sir Tumu Te Heuheu, Sir Archie Taiaroa, Mark Solomon) to report back to the August hui of the Forum.

·         Tuku has reported already that the Prime Minister has agreed to meet with the Group on 24 February to progress the Iwi plan for Whānau Ora.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Treaty Negotiations responded to the reports. Their responses were largely unsatisfactory, avoiding most of the key issues. But the Prime Minister went as far as telling us that because Māori are only 15% of the population we will not be able to have what is rightfully ours because the remaining 85% of the population will not allow it and that’s just the way it is and you have to accept it. As the chair of the meeting I responded very sharply telling the Prime Minister not to speak to us like that and we do not accept it. Tuku Morgan and Naida Glavish (Ngāti Whātua) spoke in support of me. Apart from the Minister of Māori Affairs, the presence of the government was largely a waste of time and we have recommended that should they request to attend again next year it should be declined.


The next Iwi Leaders Forum is being convened by Ngāi Tahu sometime in May, then Tainui will convene it in August. We will return to Waitangi in February 2011, hopefully to a bigger venue that is better equipped to cater for a prestigious group such as the iwi leaders. Ngāti Whātua has offered to host that hui on behalf of Te Taitokerau.


I want to record here everyone’s huge gratitude to our staff who did an amazing job of organizing the hui and ensuring that our manuhiri were properly manaaki’d. Ngā mihi whānui ki a koutou katoa – you did us all very proud and ensured that Ngāti Kahu did, in practice, lead the future. The performance and cooperation of the Iwi Leaders in this hui was the best I’ve seen. Your organizational skills ensured that happened. The benchmark you set for the Iwi Leaders Forum meetings is high but I’m confident other iwi will rise to the challenge.


3.    Preparing and Negotiating Our Ngāti Kahu Deed of Settlement

At the Iwi Leaders’ Forum I spoke with the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Chris Finlayson about the need to recognize that the settlement of Ngāti Kahu’s cannot be full and final. He indicated that there is, in fact, no policy for treaty settlements and we are free to negotiate our settlement as we wish.


I wish to hold him to that and negotiate several improvements on our Agreement in Principle, including the protection our wāhi tapu on private land immediately and acknowledgement that all our lands must be returned before our claims can be agreed to be fully and finally settled. As such, there is a lot of work for us to do on our own Deed of Settlement before we re-engage with Te Hiku Forum. Our negotiations team will be meeting at 1pm on Tuesday 23 February at Tatai Hono marae, Auckland to plan for our approach to our Deed of Settlement. We have indicated to the other four iwi that we will not be meeting with them again as Te Hiku Forum until we have completed our own work on our own Deed of Settlement. We have also indicated this to Pat Snedden, the Chief Crown Negotiator, who has agreed to meet with us separately from the other iwi, although a date for our first meeting has yet to be finalized.


4.    Ngāti Kahu withdrawing from Te Hiku Forum until…

Unfortunately, the negotiators from the other four iwi are continuing their irksome habit of ignoring Ngāti Kahu. They are currently meeting and calling themselves ‘Te Hiku Forum’ (which is made up of all five iwi) without Ngāti Kahu, including meeting with the Crown to draw up Deeds of Settlement for all five iwi. They are doing this because the Crown wants the five iwi to negotiate at least some aspects of their Deeds of Settlement together before they address matters specific to individual iwi.

I am surmising that the Crown has adopted this strategy to try to force us to give way on the advantages we managed to secure under a Labour government but which other iwi could not get under the present National government. 


What I find alarming, however, is that it appears that the Crown has quite openly and unashamedly taken over control of the so-called ‘Forum’. The Office of Treaty Settlements has delivered a very detailed and heavy work timetable of the specific work it needs the Forum to complete so that it meets the government’s wish to have the Deeds of Settlement for the five iwi completed this year. It details fifteen work streams the Crown wants the Forum to work on and has gone as far a setting timelines on when each of the work streams is to be started and completed. It appears from the agenda of the next ‘Forum’ meeting that the other iwi negotiators have accepted the Crown’s directives by distributing the OTS work timetable under the heading of ‘Te Hiku Forum DoS project plan’.  The agenda indicates that they are organizing themselves to carry out the Crown’s wishes.


 This is most definitely not in Ngāti Kahu’s interests. I am therefore recommending that we consider a formal resolution of the Rūnanga that we withdraw from Te Hiku Forum until further notice.


5.    Repossession of Māheatai (Taipā)

As reported by the Pōpata whānau at our last Rūnanga hui, whānau of the Pākehā ‘owner’ of the Māheatai area repossessed at Taipā in January visited Ngāti Kahu on the land in question. They agreed to take the land off the market and to discuss a way forward with Ngāti Kahu. Following a hui with kaumātua and kuia, the Pōpata whānau, who led the repossession, left the section having achieved the undertakings they had sought.


Professor Margaret Mutu

18 February 2010