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August 2016

Submitted by admin2 on Wed, 05/10/2016 - 7:40pm

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti KahuLand Claims Report for August 2016


1.                 Progress with publication of Deed of Partial Settlement

2.                 Awaiting Court of Appeal decision on binding recommendations

3.                 Minister of Treaty Negotiations still trying to extinguish Ngāti Kahu’s claims

4.                 National Iwi Chairs Forum 3-5 August at Hopuhopu

5.                 Repossession of Kaitāia Airport in the District Court

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



·        We have now completed all tasks for our book Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation, our Deed of Partial Settlement.  My next task will be to check the typeset version of the book.

·        We are still awaiting the Court of Appeal’s decision on our appeals in respect of the Waitangi Tribunal not making binding recommendations. We need to start preparing our post-1865 claims for hearing and consider taking a contemporary claim for the Ngāti Kahu lands sold to other iwi as part of their treaty claims settlements.

·        We met with Minister Te Ururoa Flavell at Hopuhopu. It resulted in him and Minister Finlayson directing the Rūnanga to respond by 9 September to his demand that the Rūnanga undertake a “mandate reconfirmation process”. We need to discuss this at this month’s hui.

·        We have made an Official Information Act request to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations and the Minister of Māori Development for all information leading to their decision that we change the mandate given by Ngāti Kahu to settle our Tiriti o Waitangi claims to one determined by the Government. 

·        Ngāti Kahu attended the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum hosted by Tainui at Hopuhopu from 3 to 5 August. A large number of issues were discussed including the disposal of tūpāpaku (the deceased) at sea in Ngāti Kahu’s rohe; Māori ownership of fresh water; Te Ture Whenua Māori Hōu (new Māori Land Act); the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary violating the 1992 fisheries settlement; the Children’s Covenant and improving the justice system.

·        The hearing date for the six Patukōraha, Ngāi Tohianga and Te Paatu people arrested for trespassing on their own ancestral lands at Rangiāniwaniwa has been set down for the week commencing 31 October.

·        The Rūnanga’s two interim trustees for Ngāti Kahu’s farm at Taipā signed off the Trust Deed for the farm last month. We are still waiting for the two Ngāti Kahu Trust Board appointees to do so.


1.                Progress with publication of Deed of Partial Settlement

The last photo that needed reshooting has now been done and sent to Huia Publishers for our book Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation, our Deed of Partial Settlement.


The issue of the portrait by artist Goldie of Mātenga Mātenga has now been resolved. Patukōraha confirmed that while he was living with Ngāti Mahuta in the Kāwhia district, he was known as Te Aho o Te Rangi Wharepū (he was known by a number of other names in different parts of the country). This is the (incorrect) name Goldie attributed to the portrait he did of Mātenga. We advised Tainui (Rāhui Papa and Tukoroirangi Morgan) when we attended National Iwi Chairs Forum at Hopuhopu that the portrait would be included in our book and they were happy about that. They told us that Wharepū was the architect of the Rangiriri pā. They said he brought that knowledge from Ruapekapeka pā in Ngāti Hine territory where he also spent time.  


We have now provided all the information needed for our book to Huia Publishers. I am now waiting for them to complete the design, layout and typesetting of the entire book. I will check that when it is completed.


2.        Awaiting Court of Appeal decision on binding recommendations

We are still awaiting the decision of the Court of Appeal in respect of the Waitangi Tribunal not making binding recommendations. 


We are now considering our post-1865 claims. We expect to commence preparation for hearing those claims once we have completed hearings for binding recommendations.


At this month’s hui, the Rūnanga will consider filing a contemporary claim in the Tribunal against the Government for the Ngāti Kahu lands that have been sold to other iwi as part of their treaty claims settlements.


3.                Minister of Treaty Negotiations still trying to extinguish Ngāti Kahu’s claims

On Friday 5 August, while we were attending National Iwi Chairs’ Forum we spoke to Minister of Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, and asked him what evidence he had before him when he signed the letter demanding we go through a “mandate reconfirmation process” that would require us to change both our mandate and who we represent. He responded that the only problem was that we had not been responding to letters Finlayson sent us. We said that was wrong and we could send him all our responses. He responded that all we needed to do was write to him and tell him that and he would sort it out.


We said we could do that and would do so that day. However, the Minister then became very agitated when he realized the conversation was being recorded and demanded we turn the recorder off, wipe what we had recorded and not use it against him in court. We surmised that he was being less than honest with us. Nevertheless we sent him all the correspondence between the Rūnanga and Finlayson that day.


A few days later, we received a letter from him and Finlayson demanding that we respond by 9 September that we will undertake a “mandate reconfirmation process” as determined by the Crown. That letter is copied at the end of this report.


On the same day we made a request under the Official Information Act for all documentation relating to the decision to make this demand so that we can make our own assessment of the need to conduct a very long, expensive and time-consuming mandating process. We asked for that information by today so that I could advise you about it in this report. We have not received the information.


Just to recap, the Government withdrew from negotiations with Ngāti Kahu in 2011 after it refused to discuss our Deed of Partial Settlement (which is now being published by Huia Publishers). That is why we are not in negotiations with them but pursuing our legal rights instead. Because we are not in negotiations we do not need a mandate to negotiate.


However it is important that we confirm our mandate to continue to carry out the instructions of Ngāti Kahu in respect of our Tiriti o Waitangi claims. We do that regularly anyway.


The Government has made it very clear in both the Tribunal and the courts that it will do everything in its power to stop us pursuing our legal rights to obtain binding recommendations. It has said repeatedly that only it can determine how our claims can be settled. It has gone as far as writing the legislation to do that and including it in the settlement legislation of Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto and Ngāti Kurī (Ngāti Kahu is named 333 times in each of those iwi’s legislation). However without Ngāti Kahu’s signed agreement, that legislation is meaningless and cannot be enforced. We know the Government is desperate to appoint its own Ngāti Kahu negotiators who will sign off on that legislation.


That will inevitably cause even greater conflict within Ngāti Kahu than the Government has already caused and we need to avoid such blatant divide and rule tactics. I am therefore asking that at this month’s Rūnanga hui, we consider and discuss advising Ministers Finlayson and Flavell by 9 September that we will undertake a process to reconfirm our mandate, but that the process must follow Ngāti Kahu tikanga. We still need the information requested under the Official Information Act in order to address any issues that raises. 



4.                National Iwi Chairs Forum 3-5 August at Hopuhopu

A large Ngāti Kahu contingent, including one of our rangatahi representatives, Wīkātana Pōpata, attended the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum hosted by Tainui at Hopuhopu from 3 to 5 August. A large number of issues were discussed.


Secretariat report: The Forum’s secretariat reported that there are now 72 iwi belonging to the Forum.


The Forum broke out into four working groups (Pou) to discuss the reports of the Iwi Leaders Groups that had been grouped together. We tried to have people attend each of these but I would have preferred to have been able to hear the discussion of all of the groups. Most of us attended the Pou Tikanga group which covered Matike Mai Aotearoa (the constitutional and United Nations work) and the sea burials. When that finished we went to the Pou Taiao (Environment) which was dealing with fresh water, conservation, climate change and oil, minerals and gas. So we missed the in depth discussions in the Pou Tangata and the Pou Tāhua. These two covered Whānau Ora, Iwi Data, Housing, Rangatahi-ā-Iwi, Mātauranga, the Iwi Collective, He Kai Kei Aku Ringa and the Trans Pacific Partnership. However all groups reported back to the full Forum in the afternoon.


The main issues covered were:


Burials of tūpāpaku at sea: Our refusal to allow this in our rohe was supported unanimously and a resolution was passed saying that there is to be no further sea burials unless the relevant iwi approve them. We advised the Māori advisory group of the Environmental Protection Agency the next day of that resolution.


Freshwater: The government is refusing to address Māori rights and interests in freshwater (which puts it in breach of the promise it made to the Supreme Court that it would). This group is having a really hard time with the government.


Te Ture Whenua Māori Hōu (new Māori Land Act): A long list of recommendations in respect of specific sections of the Bill was approved.


Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary: The Forum, with Ngāti Kurī being the only iwi opposed, supported Te Ohu Kaimoana taking litigation against the Government for violating the 1992 Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Claims Settlement Act (The Sanctuary forbids fishing which the settlement guaranteed.).

We warned the Government (Ministers English and Finlayson) that if they did this then it was clear they could overturn any settlement and that they were effectively unravelling all the settlements. That prompted Minister Finlayson to throw his characteristic tantrum, stamping his feet and banging the lectern while ordering us not to interfere with his full and final settlements he’d worked so hard to get. Mā te wā.


Children’s Covenant: On the second day we had a lovely ceremony for the signing of the Children’s Covenant – a covenant detailing how the country will treasure, respect and ensure that our children enjoy a good life. We have a copy in the office.


Improving the Justice System: Judge Joe Williams delivered a heart-felt plea for whānau, hapū and iwi to intervene in the courts, especially at sentencing, to ensure that tikanga Māori is properly considered at sentencing. I spoke to him afterwards to tell him that I had provided expert evidence on this a number of times in courts and it had always been ignored, with one judge telling me that while it sounded lovely, she didn’t understand any of it. The problem is not our people, it’s the judges and the entire justice system.


For Items 5 – 6 please see the summary above.


Professor Margaret Mutu

22 August 2016