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May 2009

Submitted by admin2 on Thu, 21/05/2009 - 10:29am

Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngati Kahu

Land Claims Report for

May 2009


In this report:

  1. Te Hui Topu o Te Hiku o te Ika (Te Hiku Five Iwi Forum)
  2. Meeting with Minister and Prime Minister to discuss settlement process 22 April
  3. Strategic planning hui 18 April 2009 and follow-up hui in Auckland
  4. Review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act - Otiria Marae, 15 May
  5. On-going problems with Carrington Farms
  6. Ngāti Kahu Attendance at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Annual Meeting 18-29 May 2009


This report comes to you from the floor of the United Nations annual meeting of the Permanent Forum

for Indigenous Issues in New York. I've been away from home since 28th April, but I have kept in touch

by email and a conference call with our land claims issues. So this report covers several hui which

took place in the days before I left and those matters that have been brought to my attention during

my absence.



  1. Te Hui Topu o Te Hiku o te Ika (Te Hiku Five Iwi Forum)
    1. The Crown has unilaterally suspended our negotiations pending the delivery of the government's budget. We have been informed that Cabinet has refused to consider any further papers which involve financial expenditure until after the budget has been delivered in late May.
    2. The displeasure of the Forum was conveyed to the Chief Crown Negotiator, Pat Snedden, on a teleconference on 30 April. This delay impacts directly on Ngāti Kahu because we have a deadline of 18 months (to March 2010) to complete our settlement in order to preserve our AIP. It is now extremely unlikely that we will achieve our Ngati Kahu settlement within that time frame while the Forum negotiations are holding us up.
    3. Te Kani made it clear to Pat that this delay is entirely of the Crown's making and that we cannot therefore be held to the March 2010 deadline.Another teleconference with Pat has been scheduled for 6pm May 19.
  2. Meeting with Minister and Prime Minister to discuss settlement process 22 April
    1. Te Kani Williams and I attended this meeting and found it very frustrating. Once again it was the Crown telling us what it was going to do. However for the first time, and at the behest of the Maori Party, they've asked for our opinion on what they told us.
    2. Several hundred representatives of iwi, hapu and whanau (not just iwi as we had been instructed) attended. We spent one and a half hours listening to the Crown. We were then given less than an hour to develop responses by region. The Crown appointed Sonny Tau as the spokesperson for Te Taitokerau (and, oddly, Hauraki), a move which drew loud criticism from me given that Ngapuhi has only just started pursuing its claims against the Crown and has very little experience of the settlement process.
    3. Te Hiku o te Ika had caucused the night before about what we would say and made several strong demands that the Crown first apologise to all Maori and then completely overhaul its settlement policy so that it complies with, among other things, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Te Taitokerau's discussions were very short and covered only a few issues.
    4. Over lunch Sonny attempted to cobble together a response with the advice of Titewhai Harawira but I intervened to make sure it reflected at least part of what Te Hiku had demanded. I doubt that much notice was taken of what was said even though Sonny presented several of our points. We were asked to also provide written responses. The Forum asked Te Kani to draft a response and we are now working on completing that by 29 May.
    5. I am unable to report that the new government appears to be taking its Treaty of Waitangi responsibilities more seriously than previous governments. The Maori Party has been able to get them to talk to us about their settlement process but there was no indication at all that they would take any notice at all of what we said or any further responses we may make.
  3. Strategic planning hui 18 April to be led once again by Wayne Walden and Kevin McCaffrey and follow-up hui in Auckland
    1. Our third strategic planning hui to determine how we are going to manage our settlement was held at the Northerner Hotel in Kaitaia on 18 April. Once again it was an excellent hui and we made significant progress. Unfortunately there were far fewer whanau, hapu and marae representatives in attendance this time.
    2. There was a very robust discussion on the structure of the body that will receive the settlement proceeds (the post settlement structure) and carry on from the Runanga. Lengthy debate took place on whether we should simply restructure the Runanga so that it is able to receive the settlement assets, rather than setting up a completely new organisation. It was noted that the Runanga has a very robust and well organized and run structure.
    3. Current discussion in our planning hui is about a "Matua Trust" set up with Trustees nominated from the marae. There would be a separate Land Trust that actually holds the land so they can't ever be sold or lost. The Matua Trust will lease land from the Land Trust. The Matua Trust would be responsible for everything that comes back.  We would have a Commercial arm, a Social arm and a Cultural arm. It looks a lot like the Runanga, except the Runanga doesn't have a land trust to hold the land.  The assets the Runanga hold at the moment are the Mortgage Services Company, the Fishing Company and the Corporate. 
    4. Wayne Walden and his son, Tony, explained the analysis they had completed on the economic potential and needs in relation to Rangiputa station. It appears that the station is more viable than we initially thought although it will need careful and expert management.
    5. We had a follow up hui in Auckland on 27 April to report on the progress of our strategic planning hui. Unfortunately those who had travelled from Kaitaia to support the hui outnumbered those who attended from Auckland. Despite this, we had some really good discussions and a lot of very good questions were asked.
  4. Review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act
    1. We prepared an in depth statement for the Review Committee and a large Ngati Kahu contingent travelled to Otiria marae on 15 May to support Te Kani Williams who was presenting it as our Acting Chief Negotiator in my absence. We provided an analysis of the Act giving reasons for the urgent need to repeal it. We also stated that our mana whenua in respect of our foreshores and seabed had to be recognized in accordance with our tikanga, and not through the onerous and inappropriate mechanism of the Maori Land Court which would probably end up tying us up for years.
    2. When our group arrived at Otiria marae, they discovered that some unknown government bureaucrat had left Ngati Kahu off the list of presenters for the day. Attempts to correct their error failed and we were instructed to wait until after everyone else had presented. Several presenters went well over their allocated times with the result that Te Kani had to leave some time after the scheduled conclusion without having presented our statement.
    3. However our kuia and kaumatua indicated that it had to be presented and so our CEO, Anahera Herbert-Graves, presented the statement to the committee asking that they take special note of the legal argument and recommendations it contained and that they find time to consult with Te Kani about them at a later date.
    4. As a result of the communications technology that Bardia set up for me before I left for overseas, I knew about this bureaucratic debacle within the hour. I was very relieved to find out the next day that Anahera had managed to at least be heard. I was also pleased to hear that Justice Durie had later informally expressed particular interest in our statement and undertook to study it closely.
  5. On-going problems with Carrington Farms
    1. Protection of the very large waahi tapu, Te Ana o Taite, from desecration and destruction by Carrington Farms is an on-going issue. We met with the Historic Places Trust at Te Ana on 16 April and they advised how we could register it as a waahi tapu. This was a much more helpful meeting than the previous one with the Far North District Council. As a result we have commissioned the original archaeologist who surveyed Karikari under the instructions of Patana Matiu, McCully Matiu and Tuhoe Manuera in the 1970s and 80s to carry out the necessary work. She expects to commence work in June. 
  6. Ngāti Kahu Attendance at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Annual Meeting 18-29 May 2009
    1. Early in 2007 the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues accepted our Runanga as a member of its Forum which entitles us to attend its meetings each May in New York. I am attending for the first time this year and intending to bring to the attention of the Forum the on-going breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi that the New Zealand government is committing against Ngati Kahu, including voting against the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP). Cat Davis, representing Te Rarawa, is here with me and we are drafting joint Ngati Kahu-Te Rarawa statements. We will also work with other Pacific countries to draw up statements.
    2. Only four governments in the world voted against the DRIP in 2007, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. There has been considerable comment here at the United Nations Forum about these countries voting against the DRIP. It has been noted that Australia has now signed it. American Indians are encouraging the President, Barack Obama, to have the USA sign it. The lower house of government in Canada supported signing it but it has not been supported in the upper house. The Maori Party is encouraging our government to do so. But thus far it appears that the USA, Canada and New Zealand are the only countries still opposing the DRIP.


Professor Margaret Mutu

18 May 2008