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December 2019 - February 2020

Submitted by admin2 on Thu, 20/02/2020 - 11:25am

Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu
Land Claims Report for December 2019 – February 2020

1. Waitangi Tribunal – judicial conference 24 February 2020
2. National Iwi Chairs Forum – meeting 4, 5 February, Waitangi

• The Waitangi Tribunal has scheduled a judicial conference for Monday 24 February at Ramada Resort, Taipā.
• Some Iwi Chairs met with the Prime Minister in December. The Forum met at Waitangi on 4 – 5 February.

1. Waitangi Tribunal – judicial conference 24 February 2020
The Waitangi Tribunal has scheduled a judicial conference for Monday 24 February at Ramada Resort, Taipā. It will be mainly a discussion between the judge, Carrie Wainwright, and the lawyers representing the various parties about how the full hearings will address various issues. The judge has issued a memorandum asking lawyers to answer the following questions at this judicial conference:
(a) how many claims throughout Muriwhenua still have active claimants;
(b) the extent to which they may have been settled;
(c) of the claims that straddle the Te Paparahi o Te Raki and Muriwhenua
a. inquiry districts, what remains to be inquired into in this (Muriwhenua) district?;
(d) which claims have been partially inquired into, and which parts of those
a. claims are still to be inquired into; and
(e) the amount of research already done to make out the claims.
Of the parties who are already actively participating in this inquiry, the Tribunal still need to know:
(a) Whether Te Rohe Potae o Whangaroa (Wai 1832) have any interests beyond those settled in the Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa Claims Settlement Act 2017;
(b) Under what claim(s) are the Haititaimarangai Marae 339 Trust seeking to be
a. recognised?; and
(c) What was the nature of the matters heard by the Maori Land Court review of the Haititaimarangai Marae 339 Trust referred to in counsel's recent memorandum (Wai 45, #2.690) and what was its outcome?

2. National Iwi Chairs Forum – meeting 4, 5 February, Waitangi
Several iwi chairs attended the meeting with the Prime Minister on 11 December. We told her of our frustrations and the lack of progress in addressing many issues negatively impacting on Māori. She asked her Ministers to make progress and to meet again in January. That meeting didn’t happen.

More than twenty Ngāti Kahu registered and attended the Forum hui on 4 and 5 February at Waitangi. Over three hundred people attended including more than fifty chairs of hapū and iwi organisations. The February hui of the Forum has the largest attendance of the four Forum hui held each year, with people coming from around the country to observe and listen.

Ngāpuhi hosted the hui but tensions around the new leadership of their Rūnanga were apparent in the hui. Many presentations were made that were not on the agenda – several but not all of those were inappropriate. As a result, we ran out of time to do the strategic planning that was supposed to take up most of the agenda. The four Pou managed to report on most of the work they are doing.

For the work of Pou Tangata, the Forum endorsed the Māori-led report into Oranga Tamariki. The Data Sovereignty group continues doing good work on data, statistics and information for iwi. The Rangatahi-ā-Iwi asked for resources to take the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to rangatahi and to work on Vision 2020. We also endorsed Te Mōwai Ahuru, a group of cancer specialists working to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment for Māori.

For Pou Tikanga,
(a) it was agreed that a Māori Constitutional Convention to discuss people’s thinking on the Matike Mai Aotearoa Constitutional Transformation report be held in November on the day before the Forum hui in Taranaki.
(b) Rangatahi-ā-Iwi members, Safari Hynes and Janelle Dymus-Kurei, produced an excellent report on rangatahi views on how to implement the UN Declaration. But Nanaia Mahuta has still not met to discuss the report of the working group she appointed on implementing the UN Declaration that was led by Claire Charters.
(c) The new Office of Māori-Crown Relations is continuing to ignore the agreement we reached with Kelvin Davis on how to engage with hapū and iwi and is adhering instead to the Doctrine of Discovery rather than He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti. So, we reiterated the need for the Prime Minister to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery.
(d) We agreed to review the government’s 1998 Customary Fisheries Regulations, noting that Māori approved the 1995 Kaimoana regulations but not the 1998 government ones.
(e) And iwi caught up in the Marine and Coastal Area Act debacle in the High Court will meet to support each other.

For Pou Taiao the ownership of freshwater remains as a huge issue that the government continues to refuse to discuss. The Prime Minister advised the Forum that this does not prevent Māori from taking the matter to the courts. And Climate Change is making some headway with the government providing funding for this Iwi Leaders Group to run hui around the country to prepare our people to cope with the impacts of climate change such as unprecedented sea level rise, storms, flooding, fires and so on.

For Pou Tāhua, the Forum rejected a motion that said we should forego any court action against the government about the ownership of fresh water in exchange for money, better access to water and funding and support for the development of Māori land. It was clear that most iwi chairs would not trade our legal rights. The motion was amended to remove any mention of foregoing our rights and was passed by a small majority with many abstaining.

The next hui of the Forum will be held in Ōtaki on 7 and 8 May.

Professor Margaret Mutu
13 February 2020