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February 2016

Submitted by admin2 on Wed, 11/05/2016 - 4:45pm

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu

Land Claims Report for February 2016


1.                 Still awaiting Court of Appeal date for binding recommendations application

2.                No further response from Minister of Treaty Negotiations on OTS officials causing problems

3.                 Repossession of Kaitāia Airport in the District Court

4.                 Progress with publication of Deed of Partial Settlement

5.                 Ngāti Kahu Trust Board Litigation Against Ngāti Kahu Mortgage Services

6.                 National Iwi Chairs’ Forum – 4-5 February at Waitangi

7.                Claim to Waitangi Tribunal against government’s Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)

8.                Moana Jackson’s report on Constitutional Transformation



·        We continue to wait for a hearing date from the Court of Appeal in respect of the Waitangi Tribunal not making binding recommendations.

·        The paper war appears to have taken a break as we have had no response from Minister of Treaty Negotiations Finlayson to our latest response sent in November.

·        The hearing date for the six Patukōraha, Ngāi Tohianga and Te Paatu people arrested for trespassing on their own ancestral lands at Rangiāniwaniwa was postponed to 24 February in the Kaitāia District Court. It will be to review evidence only. Kaumātua Herewini Karaka’s pension that was cut off because he refused to present himself to the Kaitāia police has been reinstated.

·        Reshooting of some photographs for our book Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation, our Deed of Partial Settlement, has almost been finalized. Some tūpuna photos are still to come.

·        The Rūnanga has still to appoint two interim trustees for Ngāti Kahu’s farm at Taipā.

·        National Iwi Chairs’ Forum was held at the Copthorne Hotel at Waitangi 4-5 February.

·        We filed a brief of evidence in support of the urgent application to the Waitangi Tribunal on the government’s refusal to consult over its TPPA. 

·        Moana Jackson’s Constitutional Transformation report was delivered to National Iwi Chairs Forum on 5 February and to a large audience at the Forum Tent at Taurangatira, Waitangi on 6 February.


For items 1) and 2) please see the summary above.


3.  Repossession of Kaitāia Airport in the District Court

Patukōraha, Ngāi Tohianga and Te Paatu repossessed the Kaitāia Airport at Rangiāniwaniwa on 8 September 2015 to highlight the injustices against Ngāti Kahu being perpetrated in the legislation which extinguishes all the claims of Te Rarawa, Ngāi Takoto, Te Aupōuri and Ngāti Kurī. The NZ Police arrested six people, all but one of them kuia and kaumātua, and charged them with trespassing on their own land. The matter is before the Kaitāia District Court.


The hearing scheduled for December 2015 was postponed to 2.15pm on 24 February. It is for a case review (a review of all the relevant facts in the case).


Kaumātua Herewini Karaka (Selwyn Clark) who is one of those arrested and has refused to voluntarily attend court had his pension cut off for refusing to present himself to the police in Kaitāia. Following protests that drew national and international media coverage it has been temporarily reinstated although the government has mounted a campaign to personally vilify Herewini, falsely asserting that he did not serve in the 28th Māori Battalion during World War II.

Fellow 28th veteran, our Ngāti Kurī whanaunga, Charlie Petera, has spoken to the media supporting Herewini and verifying his service in the 28th. Māori Television broadcast the interview on 21 February.


4. Progress with Publication of the Deed of Partial Settlement – Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation

All but a few of the photographs for the book are now completed. The weather continues to hamper finalization of all the photos.

5.    Ngāti Kahu Trust Board v Ngāti Kahu Mortgage Services Ltd

We still need to finalise the appointment of two interim trustees from the marae who are mana whenua in the Taipā farm (Karepōri marae and Ko Te Āhua marae). The sole responsibility of the interim trustees is to make an application to the Māori Land Court to set up an Ahuwhenua trust over the farm. Once the trust is set up, each of the 15 marae will appoint one permanent trustee each to the trust. Some marae have notified their permanent trustee appointments but most have still to select their trustee.


6.  National Iwi Chairs’ Forum – Waitangi 4-5 February

A large Ngāti Kahu delegation attended this hui as did a number of other kuia and kaumātua of Te Hiku o Te Ika. The Ngāti Wai Trust Board hosted the hui but, at a Taitokerau chairs’ hui beforehand, registered their significant concern that the venue (the Copthorne hotel) was too expensive. Other Taitokerau iwi asked to be able to take the hui back to their own rohe. Sonny Tau, previous chair of Ngāpuhi, vehemently opposed this and attempted to overrule the other iwi. Although Carol Dodd is the acting chair of Ngāpuhi, and Sonny Tau has been stood down, he continues to act as if he is still their chair at National Iwi Chairs Forum.


Matters covered at the Forum were:

a)     The Forum Secretariat sought approval for two iwi with no income or resources to pay a lower fee. The request was approved despite some embarrassing opposition from several Taitokerau chairs who seemed to have forgotten the rule of manaaki manuhiri.

b)    Freshwater: Chairs heading this Iwi Leaders Group expressed exasperation that the government had not delivered on a promise to provide a comprehensive package of proposals to address Māori rights, interests and decision-making. The Forum agreed to suspend talks with the government. However that was temporarily set aside following a meeting between the Freshwater chairs and Ministers that evening where the Ministers promised to deliver the discussion document by the end of the month.

A public discussion document has now been released that appears to have disregarded the promise to address Māori rights and interests in fresh water. We are awaiting an analysis of the document by the Freshwater Iwi Leaders’ Group technicians.

c)     Conservation: This is another Iwi Leaders’ Group expressing exasperation with the government’s lack of engagement and not honouring their undertakings.

d)    Whānau Ora: While the framework set up to implement this programme is excellent, implementing it is difficult without the necessary resources. Government data is also proving unreliable and often irrelevant so Whānau Ora needs to define and collect the data it needs.

e)    Mātauranga: The Education report continues to be determined by the Ministry of Education and is largely irrelevant.

f)      E Tū Whānau (stopping family violence): Until perpetrators are removed from leadership roles, this programme will struggle. Social services must be whānau focused, not Ministry determined.

g)     Iwi Collective: Strong opposition to the TPPA. This issue has demonstrated that the government is treating Iwi Chairs as a joke. Like many other issues, only constitutional transformation that restores our treaty and human rights can address this issue.

A young Māori statistician spoke as part of this report about the need for us to define, collect and control our own statistics. The group she spoke for is called Te Mana Raraunga – Māori Data Sovereignty Network.

h)    Commemoration of British Land Wars:  A petition has been presented to parliament and there is hope that 5 November (the day Parihaka was invaded) will be renamed from Guy Fawkes Day to this.

i)       United Nations Taonga: The bronze caste whatarangi is being presented by a small delegation of Iwi Chairs to the United Nations in New York this month in recognition of the Māori support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

j)       Ngā Rangatahi a Iwi: The key aim of this group of rangatahi nominated by their respective iwi is leadership succession and the need to ensure support for the next generation of iwi leaders. They tabled their report which included their terms of reference and a request for on-going support.

k)     Māori Sports Funding: On-going concern at the lack of funding available for Māori sportsmen, women, teams and sports.

l)       Matike Mai Aotearoa – Constitutional Transformation Working Party: For the second time the report of this group was brought forward by two hours and many people who came to hear it, including the judges of the Supreme Court, missed the presentation. Many of those presenting the report missed it too. One of those presenters took the microphone when she arrived with the rangatahi to do their presentation and told the Forum off. There was no response. When Moana Jackson did arrive, he was not given time to speak even though the chair of Ngāti Wai agreed he would. He appears to have been overruled by Sonny Tau. I hope Moana is treated with more respect by Te Arawa at the May meeting where he will present first on the agenda.

I presented the report in Moana’s absence assisted by Bill Hamilton and some of the Rangatahi Group. The rangatahi made it clear that they did not consider that the iwi chairs in the Forum had an appetite or the ability to provide the leadership needed for this issue, but that rangatahi do and they will provide that leadership. It was refreshing to hear. I noted a small number of Iwi Chairs who enthusiastically supported them.

The resolutions relating to the continuation of the debate were all passed.

m)  Cabinet Ministers: About nine attended. They had been instructed to respond to a letter sent to them in December specifying answers sought in respect of the TPPA, Te Ture Whenua Māori Hōu and the Waitangi Tribunal’s Te Paparahi o te Raki report (which found that Māori did not cede sovereignty to the British in 1840). Each Minister who responded essentially ignored the question asked and information given and lectured the forum on government policy. This included the Minister of Māori Development in respect of Te Ture Whenua Māori Hōu. They refused to discuss the Tribunal’s report. The responses I heard displayed the levels of ignorance and arrogance we have come to expect of governments. 

Four government departments, police, justice, statistics and culture and heritage, managed to find an Iwi Chair who would sponsor them to speak to the Forum despite the ruling that Iwi Chairs communicate only with Ministers, not their employees. The justice (Judge Henwood) and statistics employees were particularly irritating. I asked yet again that they not be given time on our agenda.


7. Claim to Waitangi Tribunal against government’s Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)

We are an interested party (rather than a claimant) to this claim. As requested by the Tribunal we filed a brief of evidence in support of the claim. Unfortunately no-one else met the deadline and their requests for extensions were declined. Given that this government has a habit of ignoring the Tribunal anyway, and has also ignored strong opposition to the TPPA expressed throughout the country, I am not surprised that people did not file on time. I have indicated that while I was happy to provide the brief of evidence for the record, I consider it a waste of time and money for me to appear before the Tribunal, especially given that it is sitting in Wellington.


8.  Moana Jackson’s report on Constitutional Transformation

While the receipt of Moana Jackson’s report by National Iwi Chairs’ Forum did not accord it the significance it deserved, the same cannot be said of its receipt at the Forum Tent at Taurangatira, Waitangi the following day, Waitangi Day. A large crowd filled the tent and there were also many standing outside listening to the presentation. The rangatahi did their full presentation and Moana spoke at length before formally presenting the report to our kaumātua, Herewini Karaka. The report was very well received and more than 200 copies were given out. Copies are available from our Rūnanga office.

Moana will be conducting follow up hui in the coming months. We will lead a group of rangatahi to present it to an international conference of Indigenous Studies academics in Hawai’i in May.


Professor Margaret Mutu


21 February 2016