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May 2019

Submitted by admin2 on Thu, 06/06/2019 - 5:02am

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu
Land Claims Report for May 2019

1. Waitangi Tribunal - judicial review decision
2. National Iwi Chairs Forum – met at Ōtaki on 2 and 3 May

• The High Court declined our application to judicially review the Waitangi Tribunal for the process it wants to undertake to make binding recommendations. We recommend returning to the Tribunal.
• Highlights of the National Iwi Chairs Forum hui at Ōtaki were discussions on the National Plan of Action to implement the UN Declaration, the Tiriti Framework, Whānau Ora, failure to collect Māori statistics in the 2018 census, fresh water, the climate crisis, housing, loan sharks and mānuka honey.

1. Waitangi Tribunal - judicial review decision
In April, the High Court issued its decision declining our application that it judicially review the Waitangi Tribunal for the process it wants to undertake in making binding recommendations in response to the Ngāti Kahu remedies application. We have now received legal advice that we should continue with the Tribunal’s process.

The Tribunal is in the preliminary stages of deciding what needs to be done in respect of binding recommendations. The previous Tribunal decided not to make binding recommendations and as such never did any of the work needed so that it could decide who the lands should be returned to. This Tribunal now needs to do that work and the legislation says that anyone who has an interest greater than that of the general public can be heard about who the land is to be returned to. The Tribunal has asked all parties how it should go about doing that.

We will continue to argue that the lands be returned as directed by the hapū many years ago when we conducted a series of planning and consultation hui. Those hui determined the structure of the body to whom the lands would be returned. A diagram of that structure has been included on the last pages of your mailout for several years now.

2. National Iwi Chairs Forum – met at Ōtaki on 2 and 3 May
The hui was held at Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki. I was accompanied by our kuia Reremoana Rēnata, Claire Stensness, Ani Mānuera, our CEO, Ānahera Herbert-Graves, Anthony Housham and our Rangatahi-ā-Iwi representatives, James Holt and Cassandra Carroll.
I have attached to this report the list of resolutions passed at the hui. [REPORT CAN BE READ ON THIS LINK - ]

Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Māori Development, asked and I agreed that she make a presentation to the Forum as part of my report. We have made considerable progress in getting the government to agree to a National Plan of Action to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and she spoke about that. Following the visit of the United Nations Experts, I have asked her to correct legislation from “the principles of the Treaty” to “Te Tiriti o Waitangi”.

On the Tiriti Framework, I was disappointed that Kelvin Davis, as Minister of Māori-Crown relationships, came to the hui requesting a change to an agreement our technicians had been working on with his officials. While the chairs of the working group had approved it, it turned out that officials had incorrectly advised us that Kelvin had too. The Forum approved it the day before Kelvin arrived and will not reconsider it until our August hui.

On Whānau Ora, Pēni Henare, Minister of Whānau Ora, unilaterally disestablished the Whānau Ora Partnership Group that oversees the Whānau Ora delivery programme. He did not discuss it with the iwi chairs on the Group and they were rightfully incensed.

On the 2018 census, our Data Iwi Leaders Group warned Statistics New Zealand not to conduct the census the way they did. They are now pursuing them and the government to fix up the lack of information collected on Māori. As usual, the chief statistician expected to talk to the Forum directly, no doubt to berate us as she had done at Waitangi last year. She was told that only Ministers talk to the Forum. She can speak with our technicians or our advisors.

I was pleased to see the Education Iwi Leaders’ Group is now refusing to speak to the Ministry of Education and that they will speak only with the Minister. The chairperson of this Group was replaced in 2018.
The Freshwater Group is still struggling to get the government to discuss Māori ownership of water.

Mike Smith (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa) is playing a very active role in leading the Climate Crisis work, challenging the government to take substantive steps to reduce carbon emissions.

Nanaia Mahuta, as Associate Minister of Housing, is working with several iwi to build 270 houses as soon as possible. We asked that the resources to do this be transferred directly to iwi so that they can by-pass expensive and time-wasting councils.

The Forum agreed to ask government to cap interest rates charged for loans. We agreed that loan sharking and retail trucks were causing great harm and had to be stopped.

The Forum opposed the government redefining the chemical makeup of manuka honey to exclude most of the honey produced in Te Hiku o Te Ika. It will severely damage the Manuka honey industry in our territories.

Professor Margaret Mutu
19 May 2019