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August 2017

Submitted by admin2 on Mon, 22/01/2018 - 10:11am

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

1. Preparation for Tribunal hearings for binding recommendations continues
2. National Iwi Chairs Forum 3-4 August 2017, Mānuka Tūtahi marae, Whakatāne
3. Third annual cultural exchange to Shanghai
4. Progress with publication of the Ngāti Kahu book
5. Repossession of Kaitāia Airport – appeal to High Court

• Arrangements for a judicial conference in early October and research to be conducted for the full hearing next year are now underway.
• A strong contingent from Ngāti Kahu attended National Iwi Chairs Forum hosted by Ngāti Awa in Whakatāne. We presented on constitutional transformation and monitoring the government’s compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Forum agreed that I present the preliminary findings of the research on claimant views of the treaty claims settlement process to the next Forum meeting in December.
• The third annual cultural exchange to Shanghai leaves on 31 August and returns on 8 September.
• For our book, Ngāti Kahu: Portrait of a Sovereign Nation, Huia Publishers has advised that they will be sending the final typescript any day now. Once I have checked it the book will be printed.
• The full hearing of the appeal to the High Court against the decision of the Kaitāia District Court on the repossession of Rangiāniwaniwa will take place on 13 September in Whāngārei.

1. Preparation for Tribunal hearings for binding recommendations continues
We have been in discussion with the Waitangi Tribunal about organizing a judicial conference to be convened in early October. The judicial conference will deal with preliminary matters in preparation for the full hearing and it will take place in Ngāti Kahu’s rohe. The full hearing is now likely to take place early next year.

The Tribunal has directed that several preliminary matters be dealt with. This includes clarifying how much of the land originally available to Ngāti Kahu through binding recommendations is still available. The Tribunal needs this information because the Crown sold large areas of Ngāti Kahu’s lands to other iwi. We have been advised that the memorials that were on the titles to those lands have been removed and the Tribunal can no longer deal with them. We are now examining a list provided by the Office of Treaty Settlements to identify exactly which of our lands they have sold to other iwi. We are also identifying several other blocks of land in our rohe that they have removed from the original list and maps we provided in 2012.
2. National Iwi Chairs Forum 3-4 August 2017, Mānuka Tūtahi marae, Whakatāne
A contingent of eleven kuia, kaumātua and marae representatives attended the Forum meeting hosted by Ngāti Awa. There was a large turnout for it. As usual I reported on the on-going constitutional transformation work and the monitoring of the government’s compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration).

Increasing numbers of community groups, including Pākehā, are showing interest in Matike Mai Aotearoa’s report on constitutional transformation completed in February 2016 and it is now being used in universities and wānanga throughout the country.

The 2017 Monitoring Mechanism’s report was delivered to the United Nations Expert Mechanism on Indigenous Peoples in Geneva in July by Tui Shortland of Ngāti Hine. It sets out areas where the government has made some progress and several areas where there are still serious problems with lack of compliance with the Declaration. These included the need for constitutional transformation; Māori being denied participation in decision-making on matters affecting us; Māori being denied the exercise of self-determination over lands and resources; New Zealand’s Climate Change Performance Index having been internationally assessed as “poor”; and inequalities and discrimination continuing to plague Māori particularly in health, education, justice, employment, income and the protection of children.
Following discussion at the last Rūnanga hui, I raised the issue of the preliminary findings of my research on claimants’ views of the treaty claims settlement process. I have conducted interviews with more than 120 claimants and negotiators throughout the country and everyone has spoken about the damage and destruction the settlement process has caused. They do not consider the settlements to be full and final mainly because they are so unfair, and very few have been able to describe any benefits that they have delivered.

The Forum agreed that I present the preliminary findings of this research at the next Forum meeting in Wellington in December. Researchers from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage who have been crafting the government’s story of the settlements, were present when I spoke about my research. They approached me afterwards and asked to work with me. I declined telling them that I have undertaken to tell the claimant’s stories in the way that the claimants want them told, not how the government wants them told.

Other issues dealt with by the Forum included
• the need for an alternative way of dealing with overlapping treaty claims;
• the need for a Māori Biosecurity Forum (following the myrtle rust infestation);
• a strong push for local Māori history and te reo to be taught in all schools;
• a strong push for Māori to have free, unfiltered access to Māori statistics through Statistics New Zealand and the Social Investment Agency
• the Housing Iwi Leaders Group continue to direct the Crown on housing issues affecting our whānau;
• support for school children to be trained to gain drivers’ licenses in schools and more resources for the wider community to gain drivers’ licenses;
• encourage the Crown to work with Māori on Free Trade Agreements;
• several upcoming international events that Māori will play significant roles in such as a China-New Zealand Year of Tourism led by Māori in 2019; Māori participation in the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019; the World Expo 2020 in Dubai; Māori inviting the world back to Aotearoa in 2021 for the America’s Cup.

3. Third annual Cultural Exchange to Shanghai
The 2017 Cultural Exchange delegation leaves for Shanghai on 31 August and returns on 8 September. I will head it again and will be accompanied by our commercial team of Anahera Herbert-Graves, Bardia Matiu, Te Kani Williams and Tony Walden, and by social and cultural ambassadors Te Ikanui Kingi-Waiaua, Shannon Warwick and Deanne Wolferstan. Jackson Hu, our Mandarin tutor from Shanghai Cred, will be accompanying us as our interpreter. The itinerary for the visit is similar to those of previous years.

For items 4 and 5, please see the summary above.
Professor Margaret Mutu
19 August 2017