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May 2011

Submitted by admin2 on Fri, 22/07/2011 - 12:40pm

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu
Land Claims Report for May 2011

1. Amended First Draft of Ngāti Kahu Draft Deed of Partial Settlement sent to Minister 19th May
2. Hui-ā-iwi of Ngāti Kahu to discuss Ngāti Kahu Draft Deed of Partial Settlement 21st May
3. Next Rūnanga hui – 28th May
4. Meeting with Other Four Iwi about Te Hiku o Te Ika forest lands and then with Crown 16th May

Work has continued on tidying up aspects of our first draft of our Ngāti Kahu Deed of Partial Settlement and expanding several sections. That version of the first draft was sent off to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations on 19th May. However marae representatives at our hui-ā-iwi on 21st May highlighted some crucially important information that had been accidentally dropped out in the redrafting and several areas that need additional information and further work. The Minister of Treaty Negotiations has indicated he will attend our next Rūnanga meeting to listen to Ngāti Kahu talking about our draft Deed of Partial Settlement.

We met with the other four iwi to strategise how to negotiate the transfer of Te Hiku o Te Ika forest lands (previously known as Aupōuri forest lands). We were somewhat alarmed at the level of control being exercised over those iwi by the Crown.

1. Amended First Draft of the Ngāti Kahu Deed of Partial Settlement sent to Minister 19th May
We sent the amended first draft of our Ngāti Kahu Deed of Partial Settlement – Te Hakapūmautanga o Te Mana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Kahu to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Chris Finlayson, on 19th May. His submissions on the 745 pages it contains are due on 1 June.

Tidying Up and Revising Various Sections
Once we had couriered the first draft off we went back through it, tidying up and then revising some sections, and adding in more technical legal matters to do with transferring title once the Crown has relinquished its claims to specific areas of land. We continued to adding kōrero into each of the hapū sections as they come in and it has been really helpful to have hapū members checking and revising their own kōrero.

The more legally oriented sections (which we are going to try to translate into comprehensible English) cover Ngāti Kahu Statutory Board lands (ex-DoC lands not fully transferred), Te Hiku o Te Ika forest lands (previously known as Aupōuri State Forest lands), Rangiāniwaniwa (the kura and airport lands), the Ōtangaroa forest lands and Te Oneroa-ā-Tohe. For these we will have to have agreement from our neighbouring iwi before they can be finalized.

2. Hui-ā-iwi of Ngāti Kahu to discuss Ngāti Kahu Draft Deed of Partial Settlement 21st May
The hui-ā-iwi confirmed that our deed as drafted is the way Ngāti Kahu wishes to approach a partial settlement with the Crown at this time. We spent several hours going through each part of the document with the negotiations team fielding a large number of questions along the way. We then spent a couple more hours discussing where improvements could be made and areas where information was missing.

Key points noted included:
• details of the Māheatai lands currently occupied by the Taipā sailing club and the Mayle whānau need to be spelt out
• Rangitoto lands being sold need to be added for Ngāti Ruaiti hapū (who currently receive nothing from this partial settlement)
• There is still a lot of information that needs to be added to several of the hapū kōrero and particularly the interlinking hakapapa information
• The deed needs to be much more specific about how the environmental degradation throughout our rohe is to be fixed up
• On recovering our Ngāti Kahu reo, the Crown is to specifically expedite the establishment of our Kohanga Reo at Taipā (which is currently being held up by bureaucratic inactivity).
A great deal of information was traversed during the hui, including information that needs to be included in the deed. The hui was professionally recorded so that we can do that.

3. Next Rūnanga hui – 28th May
Last month I reported that the Minister would meet with us. He has agreed to attend our next Rūnanga hui so that he can hear for himself how Ngāti Kahu views our partial settlement. He wants to hear about why we have gone well beyond what is contained in our AIP and the Te Hiku AIP. He has also indicated that the whole issue around the settlement being partial is extremely problematic for the Crown. However there is acknowledgement that we have taken a very principled approach and he will be seeking an understanding of the iwi viewpoint before attempting to respond. The Crown does find our draft challenging, but appears to be willing to engage in it.

4. Meeting with Other Four Iwi about Te Hiku o Te Ika forest lands and then with Crown 16th May
After failing to arrange hui with the other four iwi to discuss the areas of shared interest, we indicated to the chief Crown negotiator, Pat Snedden, that we could not meet with him as one of the five iwi without first discussing our approach with the other iwi. Pat then asked those iwi to meet with us and they agreed – but restricted the meeting to one and a half hours. Several of us met with the other iwi to discuss the transfer of forest lands.

It was clear from the outset that the other iwi had no strategy that they could articulate. When we tried to suggest a strategy I was told I was being patronizing. When Pat joined the meeting it became clear what their strategy is in practice. Essentially it is to follow the Crown’s lead and let the Crown set and drive the agenda. It was both infuriating and very depressing to watch our whanaunga undervalue themselves and their iwi in this way.
I left the meeting in disgust at one point as a Crown official started telling us how we were to carry out their valuation process and that they had drafted the leases for the sale and leaseback of the schools and the Kaitāia Court lands – because “that’s what the Crown does”. The other iwi seemed happy for them to do so but Ngāti Kahu was not and we said so. For example, it is fairly basic commercial practice that the lessor (which will be us) writes lease documents – not the lessee (which the Crown will be once they relinquish those lands back to us).

Te Kani and I both had some fairly robust and strident arguments with Pat (we refused to engage with the officials) which made the other iwi visibly uncomfortable. They did not like me, in particular, being very blunt with the Crown. They seem to prefer an approach of being nice to the Crown and doing everything that Crown officials ask of them. The result is they spend an inordinate amount of time with a wide range of officials, each with their own requirements of those iwi. It is an unconscionable waste of iwi time and resources and we will not be engaging in it.

It is obvious that the other iwi could knowingly or otherwise undermine our partial settlement. As such we have instructed Te Kani to monitor their negotiations very closely and ensure that does not happen. A decision out of the Supreme Court last week does help us in this respect. In that decision the Waitangi Tribunal has been instructed to do its job and hear an application for binding recommendations over Crown forest lands. This is something the Tribunal has always avoided as a result of pressure from the Crown for it not to make binding recommendations.

Professor Margaret Mutu
23 May 2011