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November - December 2010

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Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu

Land Claims Report for November 2010



1.    Māheatai – Matakairiri repossession

2.    Meeting with Chief Crown Negotiator on Tuesday 2nd November

3.    Decision from Environment Court on Te Ana o Taite – Appeal to High Court

4.    National Iwi Leaders Forum Hui – Takapuwahia marae, Porirua 13th and 14th November 2010

5.    Perth Consultation Hui

6.    Informal Meeting with Ngaitakoto Negotiator

7.    Interview with Selwyn Clarke on Radio Waatea

8.  Apology from Dean Nathan

9.  Marine and Coastal Area Takutaimoana Bill


This month has been extremely busy and the length of this report reflects that. The following combines the reports of specific events I have reported on by email during this period.


1.   Māheatai – Matakairiri repossession


Media Coverage

There has been a great deal of media coverage of the Matakairiri repossession at Māheatai (Taipā). Coverage by Māori Television is the only consistently accurate and balanced reporting. The Northland Age has included a large number of errors, including the stories of Florence Keene on the history of the area. McCully Matiu warned many years ago that her stories were often wrong. The Waitangi Tribunal demonstrated that in their findings on Māheatai. I asked the Northland Age to use the Waitangi Tribunal’s report but they have not done so.


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

Last month I reported that Matakairiri was meeting with the Far North District Council. The Mayor, Wayne Brown, was accompanied by a number of Pākehā who were very badly behaved and shouted racist taunts during the pōwhiri. It was reported to us subsequently that the Mayor had incited the behavior when he met with group immediately before the pōwhiri. His behaviour and that of the crowd accompanying him was reported to the Race Relations Commissioner. I am awaiting a response. I also asked the Minister of Māori Affairs, Dr Pita Sharples, to assist by making information available to the Pākehā community on the Waitangi Tribunal’s Muriwhenua Land Report


Arrests but No Charges

At the behest of the Mayor the police went to Māheatai on 10 November and arrested nine Ngāti Kahu including the chairman of our Taumata Kaumātua o Ngāti Kahu, Archdeacon Timoti Flavell and our kaumātua, Allan Hetaraka. All Māori present were issued trespass notices. Those arrested were taken to Kaitāia, warned and released. No charges were laid.


Second Hīkoi and Repossession and Māheatai included in Settlement Negotiations

The following week a well-attended protest march took place in Kaitāia and Māheatai was repossessed once again – this time on a piece which the Mayle whānau have a title to. The following week Matakairiri asked that the piece occupied by the sailing club be included in our Agreement in Principle. Our negotiating team had been waiting for instructions from Matakairiri so were pleased to receive them. We talked immediately to the Crown and they have agreed to discuss that and the inclusion of the Mayle whānau piece as well as part of the current settlement. However they are insisting that they won’t start discussions while Matakairiri remains on those lands. Given that negotiations will not recommence until our Deed of Settlement is completed I have said that that does not pose a problem.


Chief Crown Negotiator Tries to Bully Ngāti Kahu Negotiators

Prior to that, the Crown tried to bully me into telling Matakairiri what to do. I was visited late at night at my house in Auckland before the second protest march by the Chief Crown Negotiator, Pat Snedden, ordering me to stop the march and the repossession. I refused because it is Matakairiri who are mana whenua and make the decisions, not the Rūnanga. That did not stop him arguing and trying to bully me into carrying out the Crown’s wishes. When I refused he had a go at Lloyd Popata in the same manner. As a result neither of us is answering any calls from Pat Snedden.


Racist Attacks by Elements of Pākehā Community

Pat was acting on the instructions of the government who are coming under extreme pressure from elements within the Taipā community. They are running a campaign of hate mail and racists attacks and I have received a number of emails in this vein. I have responded to each telling them to read the Waitangi Tribunal’s Muriwhenua Land Report. Their responses indicate fury that Ngāti Kahu will not submit to their delusions of superiority.


Strong Support from MP and Others

However countering the racist attacks are numerous messages of support coming in. Our MP, Hone Harawira, has been particularly supportive. He has praised the repossession for its peaceful and orderly conduct and the dignified and consistent stance taken in the face of attack. He has also referred to the Waitangi Tribunal’s report.


Minister’s Comments Regretted – Director of OTS

I ran into the head of OTS in Wellington this week who reported that they and minister Chris Finlayson were coming under extreme pressure from Wayne Brown and elements of the Taipā community to bring Ngāti Kahu under Pākehā control. He said that was not the Crown’s intention. He said he regretted Finlayson’s outburst when confronted by the media saying he had not meant to tell Ngāti Kahu to “go to hell” and that we are “stupid”. Mr Finlayson can correct that mistake himself in due course.


Male Whānau Being Harassed

Extreme pressure and bullying is also being applied to the Male whānau who have indicated they will sell their piece of land to Ngāti Kahu. Police have reported that Pākehā have harassed them to get the police to evict Matakairiri.



By way of comment, this has all been very revealing of how deeply ingrained and vicious the racism is in the Pākehā community. It is that well-known ugly under-belly of New Zealand society and in the past it has brought international condemnation down on this country. I have no doubt it will continue to bring it.


2.   Meeting with Chief Crown Negotiator on Tuesday 2nd November


Despite what is happening at Māheatai Pat Snedden continues to want to push Ngāti Kahu to meet Crown determined deadlines for settlement of our claims. This time he came and met me (and Podge) in my office.


I questioned him closely about where he thought other iwi were at in terms of progressing their settlements. He admitted there were serious problems with Ngāti Kurī but they were pretty well there with Ngāi Takoto. Te Aupōuri has yet to complete their governance structure.


Pat’s version does seem somewhat at odds with at least one other iwi’s view. I spoke with Rangitane Marsden and he reports Ngāi Takoto has a very long way to go (see below). We’ll be meeting with Te Rarawa on Friday and will no doubt learn more there from them.


Pat persisted with trying to get us to go back and work with the other four iwi. I repeated myself yet again saying no, we are concentrating on finishing our Deed of Settlement. I told Pat to stop trying to divide and rule the five iwi.


3.   Decision from Environment Court on Te Ana o Taite – Appeal to High Court


As I expected the Environment Court has not allowed our appeal against Carrington Farms subdividing Te Ana o Taite to build houses on it. The main reason they give is because they felt their hands were tied by the (non-notified) consents to build twelve houses that had already been issued before the application for subdivision was made. We were only notified about the subdivision, not about the building consent. By the time we found out about the building consent, which was the most important one to stop, it was far too late to object to it.


The Court picked this matter up and is very unhappy about the manner in which the resource consent process has been manipulated and indicates that had proper process been followed Carrington Farms would not have got its consents. They are also most unhappy that the Council did not deal with all the consents together and say they should have. But the Environment Court does not have the power to deal with those violations.


If the Council had dealt with all the consents needed together, we would have found out about the building consent and the subdivision consent at the same time and, in the Court's view, would have been able to stop them then.


The Court also noted, as it indicated in closing in the hearing, that the Settlement Agreement can still assist us and that we have already taken that matter to the High Court.  The High Court is waiting for us to go back to it on that matter.


The only part of this decision that I consider the Environment Court got completely wrong is that it accepted the archaeologist’s evidence over ours for the location of Te Ana o Taite. They rejected our oral traditions in favour of Pākehā "physical evidence". That means they did not understand my evidence or Hirini Matunga's even though they say they accepted them both. All that tells me is how far Pākehā Courts still have to go to understand tikanga and the correct interpretation of section 6(e) about recognising and providing for the Maori relationship with our waahi tapu. Maybe one day we'll have Māori judges who have tikanga training and don't have to be taught kindergarten tikanga so that we can avoid gross ignorance like this.


This last matter apart, Christian Whata advises that this decision provides clear grounds for us to appeal to the High Court to remedy what the Environment Court could not do. Karikari marae has instructed that all necessary legal steps needed are to be taken once this decision was known. The Runanga has been authorised to continue legal action but that cost issues must come back to the Runanga first for authorisation. We have an estimate of costs, which will not include fees for our lawyer and these will be discussed at our next hui. In the meantime I have instructed Christian to file an appeal and he has done so.


4.   National Iwi Leaders Forum Hui – Takapuwahia marae, Porirua -13th and 14th November 2010


It was a good hui, but still too much interference by the government. Tuku Morgan (Tainui) seems to be encouraging at least some of that interference.  


First up, Te Rarawa (Katie Murray and Kevin Robinson) were there and we had really good talks about our upcoming meeting. Katie indicated that the first thing Te Rarawa is wanting is to emphasise and confirm our whanaungatanga. And then Te Rarawa would like to understand how Ngāti Kahu operates and to understand why we do things the way we do so that they know how to tautoko us. I thought that was a fair and reasonable request and that we'd be happy to talk about that. Our delegates and our taumata kaumātua can all make considerable contributions to that discussion - so it should be a good discussion.


On the National Iwi Chairs Forum hui, Tuku invited Tariana and Pita to talk about the Takutaimoana bill very early in our hui. We did not have enough time to discuss it properly amongst ourselves before they arrived. Those who did get to put their iwi's views were

  • Ngāi Tahu - opposes the bill and will remain so unless substantial changes are made to the tests for customary marine title and protected customary rights.
  • Tainui - supports but needs changes made and Tuku believes he is a good enough negotiator to get the changes he wants (āe, pono, that's what he said!!).
  • Ngāti Kahu - opposes because it is based on no-one owning takutaimoana when we clearly do and it confiscates our takutai just as the 2004 Act does.
  • Ngāti Porou - supports the bill even though it needs changes - but they believe they can get the changes.
  • Ngāti Whātua - supports the bill but it needs changes to the tests.
  • Ngāti Mutunga - opposes the bill because it is raupatu (confiscation).
  • Hauraki - reserves the right to uphold their own mana in their takutaimoana especially in relation to mining and does not support bill
  • Ngāruahine - opposes and especially the tests
  • Ngāti Ruanui - opposes
  • Ngāti Tama – opposes
  • Te Atiawa - has grave concerns ....didn't finish because Pita and Tariana arrived.

Pita and Tariana made it very clear that they are the Crown and support the Crown. Pita is obviously unhappy with the bill, saying it is far from ideal and they really did want tupuna title but couldn't get it. Tariana tried to run the line that we didn't know what the bill was about, and that we had to support it because otherwise we would close the door on ever getting rid of the 2004 Act. She went as far as saying it recognised our mana. I had a go at her and Pita over the "no-one owns it" lie and the implication that Māori didn't exist in this country before the pākehā came. I also pointed out that it only uses the words mana whenua but does not recognise it in practice because it then says that mana whenua carries no legal rights - in other words, it means nothing.


 Three iwi (Tainui, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Whātua) indicated their support to the ministers. The rest opposed, including Ngāti Toa.


Unfortunately, Tuku Morgan left straight after this so we couldn't discuss with him his bringing the Crown in to interfere in the Forum. Mark Solomon however did stay and was very good about reporting on discussions he had had with Ministers - many of which had been wrongly reported by the media!


Ngāi Tahu (Mark Solomon) reported on the Public Private Partnerships. The Working Group dealing with this was sent away to draw up a template for how we could proceed in the Consortium (I indicated Ngāti Kahu's support for the Consortium). There is a hui on 7 December at Turangawaewae marae to discuss the draft template and another on 17 January at Ōrākei marae in Auckland to further discuss it.


Freshwater: Dean Stebbing reported - not much progress after a very good report supportive of Māori  interests. Eddie Durie's advice on how to approach negotiation relating to freshwater is still the best advice we have.


Aquaculture: The Ministry of Fisheries had managed to pull in some iwi technicians to start addressing the way they are now approaching the allocation of space for aquaculture. AMAs have been abandoned. Rather than respond to a Ministry agenda we decided to set up our own working group to deal with it from our perspective.


Education: Pem Bird came to ask support from the Forum for the group established by the Ministry of Education to be the Iwi Leaders to speak with Ministers on Māori in education. It followed on from Wira Gardner's strong pitch at the last forum hui. It turned out that many iwi were unhappy with the Ministry process of trying to coerce iwi into doing the Ministry's bidding. We decided that once again we would not be drawn into Crown agendas but would establish our own. We would start with seeing how we could address the racism that underlies and is the key cause of Māori underperformance in education. We recognised that racism underlies disadvantage suffered by Māori across most sectors of society and we would therefore deal with racism as a separate but overriding issue at our next hui. 


Oil, gas and other minerals: Taranaki gave us a strong presentation on difficulties they have experienced over many years with the Crown stealing their minerals. The matter was put on the Waitangi hui agenda.


Suspension of Tau Ihu Treaty claims negotiations: The iwi of the top of the South Island (Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka o Māui) asked for support to urge the Crown to recommence their negotiations and that iwi rather than corporations (Wakatū Incorporation) settle land claims. That support was given.


Naida Glavish introduced the French ambassador - he was excellent, talking about the need to never give up fighting for justice and what is right. We got him to sing his national anthem (which is all about battling injustice) as his waiata - he got all choked up but between us all we managed to get through it for him.


Next hui at Waitangi - 4-5 February 2011: Agenda Items

  • 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

 Ngāti Toarangatira treated us superbly - kaimoana par excellence, a happy hour that we needed and enjoyed and a superbly chaired and run hui.

5.   Perth Consultation Hui

Those of the team who made this trip were Lloyd Popata, Te Kani Williams, Bardia Matiu, Te Ikanui Kingi-Waiaua, Timoti Flavell, Leanne Popata and me. At the request of my whānau, Podge Housham came with us (paying his own way).


We left Auckland on Thursday 18 November and returned on Monday 22 November.


Our primary contacts in Perth were the Matiu whanau, and in particular Uncle Mac Matiu's children, Aussie and Wayne who manaaki'ed us and took us around the city while we were there. Ngā mihi atu ki te whanau Matiu.


Our first hui was not until Friday evening so we spent the day on Friday meeting and working on a number of matters relating to our claims in particular:

  • how to progress Maheatai (under the directions of Matakairiri);
  • dealing with increasing interference from OTS (which is impacting very negatively on Pat Snedden's performance);
  • Ngāti Kahu's hui with Te Rarawa on 3 November to address matters of whanaungatanga and the breakdown between the respective negotiations teams
  • resolving shared interests in Maungataniwha, Otangaroa, Kohumaru, Whakaangi, Kaitaia and scheduling the hui that will address these.

We also scheduled our next full Deed of Settlement working meeting for Thursday 2 December in Kaitaia commencing 1pm.


The turn-out for both our scheduled presentations on the Friday evening and on the Saturday at midday in Perth was disappointing given the large number of requests we had received. The Matiu and Housham families were the only whanau who attended those. We handed out information and spent time catching up and in particular talking about the realities of the mining industry that has drawn so many of our people to Perth. Some of the whanau turned up too late for the scheduled Saturday session although we did provide them with information. They told us work stopped them arriving on time.


This turned out to be the single major factor we had not taken into account in planning our visit. Our people are in Perth being very well paid, mainly in the mining and associated industries. But with that good pay comes very long working hours. So a 72-80 hour work week is the norm, and there are no unions in the mines to regulate this. That leaves little if any time to attend other events. Thankfully Te Ikanui was able to discover that the time our people in Perth are available is very late at night or very early in the morning.


So Te Ikanui conducted two sessions, one from about 11.30pm on Saturday to 1.30am on Sunday, and then a few hours later very early on Sunday morning for a large number of whanau who came together at very short notice.


From those hui he was able to report that whanau in Perth have kept themselves well informed about what is happening in Ngati Kahu. They miss home and there are very high levels of interest in the progress of our claims. Te Ikanui answered a lot of very probing and good questions.


He reported a very strong desire among our whanau in Perth to come home and bring the considerable skills they have amassed, but only if there are decent jobs to come back to. There was a great deal of interest in what is happening about Rangiputa as a result.


We debriefed before boarding the plane home. And although we did end up providing a lot of information for our Perth whanau, the instructions of our kaumatua there, Aussie Matiu, was that in future, if people want to know about their claims they should go home to do that rather than asking the negotiators to travel to them.




6.   Informal Meeting with Ngaitakoto Negotiator


Podge and I had an accidental meeting with Rangitane Marsden on Saturday 27th November in Mangere and he sat and talked with us for quite a while.


He started out saying he really supported our people at Taipā. I told him where we were at with our Deed of Settlement and visit to Perth. I asked him how Ngāi Takoto was getting on with theirs.


He reported that Ngāi Takoto was having a very hard time with the Crown and making very little progress. They've not reached any agreement with the Crown and he feels it's a long way off. They've had offers of a few things, but nowhere near enough and nothing in writing. They haven't even received an offer.


I asked him about whether they were going for an AIP or straight to Deed of Settlement and he said they weren't anywhere near even thinking about either of those things because they've had nothing in writing from the Crown about anything.


He's still adamant they are not going to pay for the airport. I told him we'd given up and said we'd pay for it but if Ngāi Takoto could get it for us both for nothing we'd be very happy about that.


I told him Ngāti Kahu was being blamed for holding the settlements of the other four iwi up. He said rubbish - Ngāti Kurī was nowhere near agreement with the Crown either. I told him Pat was playing divide and rule amongst us and he knew that but had said Ngāi Takoto is OK with Ngāti Kahu and what we're doing. That is certainly my understanding from other Ngāi Takoto so it was reassuring to hear it from Rangitane as well.


7.   Interview with Selwyn Clarke on Radio Waatea


There was also an excellent interview of Selwyn Clark by Kingi Taurua on Radio Waatea on the same day. It was on Te Paatu, naming all the marae of Te Paatu and the hapū of Te Paatu, the proper name (Te Patu) and how the missionaries changed it, the three attacks by Hongi Hika with the final one at Kauhanga and the story of the kete and the kohatu o roto, and finished off with a waiata about what he'd said. It was all in te reo and was superb, and exactly what we need in our Deed of Settlement.


8.   Apology from Dean Nathan


Dean Nathan of Māori Television rang earlier that week asking about Māheatai and the hui with Todd Mayle. I told him it was happening and he went there and gave it what looked like good coverage. It certainly matched up with what John Jnr reported to us.


Dean also apologised to me for his coverage of the hui of the other four iwi a couple of months ago where they attacked Ngāti Kahu. He said he'd been at the whole hui, invited by Haami and they kept coming back to Ngāti Kahu not being there and criticising us. And that's why he did the piece on that. I told him it was uncharacteristic of him not to come to us for our side and he had got it badly wrong and upset Ngāti Kahu. I told him our side and all he could do was apologise profusely and promise to never do it again.


9. Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill select committee   hearing


At very short notice nine of us turned up at the request of this committee today in Auckland to tell them why we opposed it. Very few people were there – even people they had scheduled to present didn’t turn up and we ended up being heard nearly three quarters of an hour early. Just as well almost all of us got there early.


We went over our mana whenua mana moana declaration and just reiterated what we have always said about nothing happening in our rohe without our say so. We reminded them that we own the entire takutai moana as a matter of fact and the bill is fatally flawed when it assumes that no-one owns it. We told them the tests for customary title and customary rights were based on false assumptions and therefore couldn’t and wouldn’t work. We told them to repeal the 2004 Act and then have the longer conversation that the Waitangi Tribunal recommended.


They asked a few questions that helped me add some things I’d missed in the presentation. All the members were Māori so no-one got nasty like they did in 2004. We were finished within half an hour.

Professor Margaret Mutu

1 December 2010