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March 2009

Submitted by admin2 on Thu, 23/04/2009 - 1:08pm

In this report:

1.            Te Hui Topu o Te Hiku o te Ika (Te Hiku Five Iwi Forum)    

2.            Minister’s visit 23-24 February 2009

3.            Strategic planning hui 21 February 2009

4.            The Ngati Kahu show on Te Reo Irirangi o Te Hiku o te Ika 18, 25 February and 4, 11 March 2009

5.         Review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act


1.         Te Hui Topu o Te Hiku o te Ika (Te Hiku Five Iwi Forum)

The only Forum activity in the last month has been the visit of the Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Chris Finlayson on 24th and 25th February (see below).


Our lawyer, Te Kani Williams, has been having informal discussions with the Crown to try to reach agreement about how the Landcorp and Doc farms that other iwi are seeking return of (Te Paki, Te Raiti, Sweetwater, Cape View, Te Karae) are to be valued for settlement purposes. Treasury continues trying to impose artificially inflated values on the five iwi, to prevent the iwi using the lands as they wish once they are returned and to prevent the other four iwi being able to use the same valuation method that we used for Rangiputa. We continue to argue that the Crown

  • does not have clear title to those lands and therefore does not own them,
  • owe us back rent for the past 150 or so years they stayed on them and profited from them at our expense
  • cannot apply one valuation method for one iwi (Ngati Kahu) and then not allow that method to be used anywhere else.

There is some way to go to get agreement on this with the Crown.


The next Forum meeting is on Tuesday 24 March at Toka Tumoana in Kaitaia commencing at 9.30am. Pat Snedden will be reporting back from the Minister’s visit at that meeting and progress on the valuation issue.


2.    Minister’s visit 23-24 February 2009

The Minister’s visit went exactly as planned with very few hiccups. On arrival at Kaitaia on 23 February, he visited Te Rarawa briefly before being powhiri’d briefly at Te Uri o Hina marae, Pukepoto, at 7pm. He was accompanied by Hone Harawira, Pat Snedden, John Clark and the usual staff from the Office of Treaty Settlements. About twenty five Ngati Kahu marae representatives attended, making up well over half of those attending. The Forum’s negotiations team did a joint five iwi presentation for Hone and Chris explaining very briefly the basics of how we want our claims settled. Both Chris and Hone responded. Chris told us that settling all five iwi claims in Te Hiku o te Ika is his top priority for the country and he’s aiming to have that done by July. Hone told us about the Foreshore and Seabed Act review that will be starting soon.


On Wednesday, 24 February, each iwi met with him for two hours. He met us at midday at the Kaitaia airport and Lloyd and I accompanied him and Pat Snedden by helicopter to see our marae and papakainga.  Hone Harawira did not turn up so Bardia took his place when we stopped at Takahue.


A fortnight prior to this Vicky Thomas (Tania’s sister and our professional photographer) accompanied by Karaka Karaka (Hully Clark), Podge Housham and me had travelled to each of our marae and papakainga and photographed them. Vicky then compiled a stunning photographic portfolio which we gave to Chris, with copies for Hone and Pat, at Pukepoto so that he could study it before we took the flight.


It was a fine day so we were able to get very good views of all our papakainga. We started out with the background to Rangianiwaniwa (the airport and the surrounding lands) and then flew over Te Mataara marae, Oturu. We circled round Henry Kiwikiwi’s house and the old homestead by the school.


We then headed off to Pamapuria and the old Tobin homestead in Fairburn Rd and old Jessie Ryder’s home on State Highway 1. We then headed up to Takahue and landed on the football field by the marae. Boy Yates and his whanau, Hully Clark and several others were there. Boy took us round the marae and then over to the very flash community centre (which is hardly used). Chris asked lots of questions which were all answered. Boy asked when their marae and papakainga would be built. Chris’s answer was “It’s my top priority”.


We were there about 20 minutes and then headed off to Mangataiore, circled the marae site and then headed off towards Peria. The very high quality of the farms here and in Victoria Valley and Takahue were very obvious from the air. We flew over Te Kauhanga marae and went to the top of Maungataniwha to see the very clear boundary between us and Ngapuhi. From there we could see Hokianga and Whangaroa and we explained how we shared our claims with all these iwi in respect of Maungataniwha.


We came back from Maungataniwha and headed to Toatoa, circling it a couple of times. The photos of the housing there had shocked Chris and he could see it from the air. We then flew over Parapara. We let Chris know we do not have a mandate to represent Parapara at present but despite that they had still asked us to fly over their marae. We then headed to Taipa and showed the stark difference between the luxury Pakeha housing at Taipa and the marae with no papakainga. The sewerage ponds on the Taipa farm look awful from the air.


We then headed over to Aputerewa, circled the marae and headed to Kenana. We circled Kenana several times to show the beautiful marae but very poor housing. We then headed to Waiaua and landed there. We had warned Chris before we reached Waiaua that those who had violated Kareponia marae at the signing of the Agreement in Principle, had then been evicted by Landcorp from Rangiputa and then violated Kenana marae at our January hui, had been threatening the kuia of Waiaua about his visit. Reremoana Renata had asked for the police to be there and Chris was a little taken aback at their very visible presence.


In the event the visit to Waiaua went very well. Reremoana, her brother Winiata (the chair of Waiaua marae), Atihana Johns, Anne Batistich and others were there and spoke with Chris about the urgent need for a marae. He was impressed by the gentleness and humility of their plea. He was stunned that they were unable to come home to retire and that several of them had travelled very long distances to be there for his visit.


We left after about 20 minutes and flew across Tokerau (Doubtless Bay) to Haititaimarangai marae. We circled the marae and Waiari/Whakararo papakainga a couple of times before heading over Parakerake and the Carrington farms development to Karikari beach. We headed over to Waikura and the Maitai Bay camp ground and came back over the site that has been cleared for Karikari marae. We circled the area a couple of times and then headed out to Waipapa to see the papakainga housing there. For some reason the pilot took us out to Whakapouaka (and the lighthouse at the Cape) before telling us we were low on fuel.


We struck a straight line back to the airport and flew back over Maraewhiti and the papakainga there, across Puwheke and Rangiputa station. Landcorp has not been looking after Rangiputa as well as it should have and parts of it have started reverting. The difference between Rangiputa and the very high quality farms around Takahue, Victoria Valley and Peria was starkly obvious from the air.


We did not have enough fuel to fly over Werowero but did fly over Kareponia marae on the way back to the airport. The whole trip took 1 hour 45 minutes and we handed over to Ngai Takoto 15 minutes ahead of schedule. As he left the helicopter Chris said that the photograph portfolio would be on the Minister of Housing’s desk the following day.


I am therefore disappointed that we have heard nothing back from Chris since his visit. The Crown appears to be concentrating on bringing Ngai Takoto and Ngati Kuri to the same level as the other iwi and leaving us to wait for those two iwi. All we’ve heard is DoC Kaitaia paying Karikari marae a visit and trying to threaten the kaumatua there and our staff in the Runanga office. DoC appeared to be very annoyed that the government has agreed to redraw the boundary of Karikari 2K block correctly so that the Karikari marae site and the papakainga housing there is on Te Whanau Moana of Karikari land rather than DoC administered land as DoC has been claiming. Pat has intervened and we asked him to tell DoC to stay off our lands and to stop threatening us. 


3.    Strategic planning hui 21 February led by Wayne Walden and Kevin McCaffrey

Our second strategic planning hui to determine how we are going to manage our settlement was held at the Northerner Hotel in Kaitaia. Once again it was well attended with several new faces that were not at the first hui in December last year.


The powerpoint presentation that Kevin prepared after the hui is attached to this report (REFER TO ATTACHMENT 3). We spent much of the day discussing the sort of structure that is needed to manage the assets returned in our settlement. The hui concentrated on a centralized model which will see all lands and other assets remain in a Ngati Kahu “Matua Trust” body. That body would have several subsidiary bodies, some to look after commercial aspects and to earn money. Others would be for social and cultural matters and would be funded from monies earned from the commercial bodies. Marae representatives were asked to go back to their marae to discuss the outcomes of the hui. Anahera and Bardia have been visiting marae and going over the presentation. If your marae would like a presentation please contact Anahera or Bardia at the office.


4.    The Ngati Kahu show on Te Reo Irirangi o Te Hiku o te Ika 18, 25 February and 4, 11 March 2009

Our Ngati Kahu show on the radio has been broadcast every Wednesday night for five weeks now. It broadcasts on Wednesday nights from 7-9pm on Te Reo Irirangi o te Hiku o te Ika at 94.4FM in Kaitaia. It is also available via the internet.


The format thus far is that Te Ikanui interviews me for the first half hour to give an update on our land claims and other issues and then he has interviewed a range of other people. Thus far that has included Canon Lloyd Popata, Tania Thomas, Anahera Herbert-Graves, Victor Holloway, Lisa McNab and several others. Then he asks people to ring in. The show seems to be doing well and there has been good feed-back.


5. Review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act

On Monday 9 March, our MP, Hone Harawira, convened a hui about the upcoming review of the foreshore and seabed legislation. There was a good turn out from Ngati Kahu and from all the other iwi. The three person review team of Justice Eddie Durie, Richard Boast and Hana O’Regan will be holding hearings throughout the country and it is expected that one will take place in Te Taitokerau.


People are asked to put their views to the review team on how the Foreshore and Seabed Act does or does not provide adequately for mana whenua, customary title and public interest in the foreshore and seabed. If it does not, what should be done about it? And if the Act is repealed what should be put in its place?


Ngati Kahu did huge amounts of work on this in 2003-4 and sent extensive submissions to the Select Committee hearing the matter. Our submissions were all ignored including those of the very small number of us who were invited to appear before the committee. We also mounted a comprehensive claim to the Waitangi Tribunal and submitted extensive evidence there.


We have never accepted the Foreshore and Seabed Act as valid law. Among its numerous shortcomings it violates the rule of law as well as Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty of Waitangi. Its fundamental problem is that it presumes that the Crown can confiscate the foreshore and seabed from Maori which it can’t.


My suggestion is that we dust off the submissions and evidence we gave in 2003-4 and give them to this review team rather than doing a whole lot more extra work. The team has been tasked with reviewing all submissions received by the Select Committee and the evidence presented to the Waitangi Tribunal.


As to what should replace that Act, I suggested at the hui that it not be any more legislation, or just leaving us to argue and fight it out before the Maori Land Court (which is, after all, a Pakeha court). Instead, the country needs to recognize the legitimacy of our tikanga and acknowledge and respect our practice of our mana and tino rangatiratanga in respect of all our lands, including the foreshore and seabed. To achieve that there must be constitutional change which entrenches Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the country’s constitution and recognizes our right to be and live as Maori in our own country.


It was therefore helpful at the hui that Hone told us that as part of its coalition agreement with the National Party, the Maori Party has negotiated a constitutional review that could address this issue. Hone indicated at the hui that that would be kicked off by a constitutional conference to be held at Waitangi on 4-5 February 2010. The National Iwi Chairs’ Forum has agreed to meet to discuss the country’s constitution at Turangawaewae in the coming months. We do not have the dates yet.


Professor Margaret Mutu

17 March 2008