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May 2017

Submitted by admin2 on Mon, 14/08/2017 - 3:26am

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu Land Claims Report
Haratua 2017

1. Rūnanga mandate reaffirmed by Ngāti Kahu
2. Crown suspends its recognition of mandate given by Ngāti Kahu
3. National Iwi Chairs’ Forum 4-5 May
4. Timetable suggested for reconvened Waitangi Tribunal hearings for binding recommendations
5. Application for Judge to recuse himself successful
6. Progress with publication of the Ngāti Kahu book
7. Ngāti Kahu Taipā Farm
8. Repossession of Kaitāia Airport – appeal to High Court

1. Both hui-ā-iwi of the whānau, hapū and marae of Ngāti Kahu called to report on, discuss and take instructions on the claims, reaffirmed the Rūnanga’s mandate to seek binding recommendations from the Waitangi Tribunal.
2. The Minister of Treaty Negotiations and the Minister of Māori Development have notified us that because we are returning to the Waitangi Tribunal, they have suspended their recognition of our mandate to represent Ngāti Kahu. They also notified the Waitangi Tribunal and at least one of the individuals they have been corresponding with. The media reported on the Ministers’ letter and our response.
3. We attended National Iwi Chairs Forum at Hopuhopu on 4 and 5 May.
4. Following directions from the Tribunal, our lawyers have suggested a timetable for rehearing our application for binding recommendations that has the hearing taking place in October.
5. Judge Stephen Clarke, who presided over our 2012 hearing for binding recommendations, has recused himself (stepped aside) from any further involvement in our claim after we asked him to do so.
6. We received a second typeset version of our book, Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation. The location of the 186 photos and 52 maps within the book has to be corrected to make sure they are located near the relevant kōrero. I have also asked for the change to Patukōraha’s pepeha requested by Karepōnia marae and corrections to some of the hakapapa.
7. We understand that at least seven marae have now formally elected their trustee for the Ngāti Kahu Taipā farm. As such the trust can now start operating.
8. The decision of a date for the full hearing of the appeal to the High Court, Whāngārei against the decision of the Kaitāia District Court on the repossession of Rangiāniwaniwa has been delayed.

1. Rūnanga mandate reaffirmed by Ngāti Kahu
The hui-ā-iwi held in Auckland on 6 May and at Kēnana marae on 13 May were both well-attended and both reaffirmed the mandate of the Rūnanga. We called them in preparation for our hearing before the Waitangi Tribunal to update the whānau, hapū and marae of Ngāti Kahu on the progress of the claims and to seek reaffirmation of the mandate. The resolution passed at both hui was:
• Reaffirms the mandate of Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu to continue to pursue Ngāti Kahu’s well-founded claims by seeking Binding Recommendations via the Waitangi Tribunal for the compulsory return of all State-owned Enterprise (SoE) and Crown Forest License (CFL) lands, plus compensation for the full value of the trees on all CFL lands;
• Supports the Rūnanga and its structure to receive the redress for all Ngāti Kahu.

On 6 May this resolution was moved by Nicole Hoey (Karepōnia marae), seconded by Raemonde Pai (Ko Te Āhua marae) and carried unanimously. On 13 May it was moved by Sana (Raharuhi) Ryan (Haititaimarangai marae), seconded by Arthur (Tiger) Tukariri (Kenana marae) and carried with two abstentions.
There were no objections to the resolution in either hui-ā-iwi. I sent emails inviting those individuals who had been corresponding with the Minister and the Office of Treaty Settlements to attend the hui. I also spoke with one of them at National Iwi Chairs Forum and he sent his apology. None of the others attended either hui.
2. Crown suspends its recognition of mandate given by Ngāti Kahu
On 2 May we responded to the letter of 7 April 2017 from the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Christopher Finlayson, and the Minister of Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell, which threatened to suspend its recognition of our mandate if we returned to the Tribunal. We confirmed that the Rūnanga had instructed that we return to the Tribunal for binding recommendations. We also confirmed that we would not accept the $94,400 they offered to contribute to the costs of a Crown-determined mandate reconfirmation process to negotiate a full and final extinguishment of all Ngāti Kahu’s historical claims. The following week we received a letter saying that the Crown had suspended its recognition of the mandate held by the Rūnanga.

The Crown is vehemently opposed to any group of Māori obtaining binding recommendations from the Tribunal. The whole purpose of their treaty claims settlement policy is to wipe out those legal rights that the New Zealand Māori Council and the Federation of Māori Authorities fought so hard to get in the 1980s. They always tell claimants they are not allowed to have them but that is not true, as the Court of Appeal showed when it overturned the Tribunal’s refusal to give them to us.

On the same day it sent the letter to us, the government also sent a letter to at least one of the people they have been encouraging to challenge the Rūnanga’s mandate, advising the person that they had suspended recognition and encouraging them to intervene in the Tribunal hearing process. This person sent the government’s letter and a letter containing misinformation about Ngāti Kahu’s claims to the Northland Age. Before publishing the person’s letter the editor asked the Rūnanga to comment. Our corrections of the misinformation were published in the same edition of the Age (on 9 May) and are posted on our website and Facebook page.

The government also sent a copy of their letter to us to the Waitangi Tribunal in an attempt to derail the hearing process. They did not include our response. We sent that to the Tribunal and a report on the very wide notification of our two hui-ā-iwi and the outcome reconfirming the Rūnanga’s mandate.

We received several queries from Māori media and I conducted a number of radio interviews, not only with our Kaitāia station, but also with Radio Tautoko in Mangamuka and Radio Waatea in Auckland. We received messages of support from around the country, including from the Wakatū Incorporation in Nelson who were subjected to the same sort of abuse by Minister Finlayson when they took their case through the courts to recover their lands (and won).

We can continue to expect the government to engage in dirty and divisive tactics against Ngāti Kahu and should not be surprised at the lengths they will go to stop us getting our lands back without having to pay for them and to stop us getting the compensation we are legally entitled to.

3. National Iwi Chairs’ Forum 4-5 May
Several of the Taumata Kaumātua attended National Iwi Chairs Forum at Hopuhopu. Topics covered included:
• Moana Jackson is asking what progress iwi are making in distributing and discussing his report on constitutional transformation. The Minister of Māori Development offered to fund the on-going conversation round the country when I met with him in February. However when reminded he asked that there be a resolution from the Forum asking him to fund it. That was passed along with a request that all parties commit to constitutional transformation. It was relayed to the Minister when he attended the Forum the next day. Mā te wā.
• The same Minister also requested a resolution of the Forum that he set up a joint working group to develop and implement a National Plan of Action for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Forum’s Monitoring Mechanism has laid down the principles that are to underpin the plan and will take a supervisory role on that working group to make sure the Declaration is adhered to. The joint working group was supposed to have been set up last year but government departments have been pleading ignorance and expecting the Monitoring Mechanism to do their work for them. We will report progress in this area to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva in July.
• Ngāti Kurī alerted the Forum to the myrtle rust attack on pōhutukawa, rata and various other trees and asked the government to move quickly to stop it.
• Government departments are playing the various natural resource Iwi Leaders’ Groups off against each other so Ministers responsible for these areas are being told to meet to discuss consolidating the areas.
• Progress with resolving fresh water ownership and management is very slow.
• The government was asked to re-engage in discussions on marine protected areas following its back down over trying to turn Rangitāhua (the Kermadecs) into a marine protected area and hence stop Māori commercial fishing guaranteed by the Sealord deal.
• The Forum is continuing to insist that the Oranga Tamariki (Vulnerable Children) Bill be jointly drafted by the Justice Iwi Leaders Group and the government.
• The Forum acknowledged and supported the Tūramarama Declaration as a basis for a National Māori Suicide Prevention Strategy.
• A new Iwi Leaders’ Group was set up in February to deal with the conflict arising from the government’s handling of the treaty claims settlements, particularly in respect of shared interests. The group is led by Charlie Tāwhiao of Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngarimu Blair of Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei and is seeking changes to the government’s treaty claims settlement policy.
• With Hekia Parata stepping down as Minister of Education, Haami Piripi, Te Rarawa, has withdrawn as chair of the Education Iwi Leaders Group. Despite being warned that government ministers must not interfere in the Forum, Hekia established that group within the Forum and directed it using Haami. Should the Education Iwi Leaders’ Group survive, I hope it takes a very different approach and deals with education that benefits Māori.
• A well-attended Rangatahi-ā-Iwi meeting was held on 19 May in Hamilton to discuss how rangatahi representatives appointed by iwi could assist in the various Iwi Leaders’ Groups. Several are already part of Matike Mai Aotearoa that I chair. Zarrah Pineaha is our representative but was unable to attend.

For items 4 to 8, please see the summary above.

Professor Margaret Mutu
20 May 2017