Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngati Kahu
Land Claims Report for June 2009
There is just one item this month:
The Crown offer in relation to shared interests and overlapping claims made to the five iwi of Te Hiku o te Ika on 11 June
Following the delivery of the government’s budget the Crown recommenced negotiations with the Five Iwi Forum and made an offer on 12 June relating to the shared interests of the five iwi. I have attached it to this report. I did not return from overseas in time for this hui but Te Kani Williams, Lloyd Popata and Anahera Herbert-Graves attended on our behalf.
The offer is a start but it will have to be improved considerably before it starts resembling what we had discussed with Pat Snedden, the Chief Crown Negotiator. Once it is improved, it can be taken out to the iwi for their decision on whether it is acceptable. The Forum Negotiations team met on Tuesday 16 June and decided we must meet with the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Treaty Negotiations to get it adjusted. A meeting with the latter two and the Ministers of Conservation and Welfare has been set down for Thursday 25 June in Wellington.
Whanau and hapu are expressing considerable interest in the progress in these negotiations. We have therefore scheduled three hui-a-iwi of the five iwi to report on the offer and seek feedback from the people. The first is in Kaitaia at the Community Centre at 10am on Saturday 4 July. The second and third are in Auckland on 6 July, at Mahurehure Marae, Pt Chevalier at 11am, and Telstra Pacific, Manukau City at 7pm.
Essentially the offer made last week focuses on a total monetary package for all five iwi's claims of $120m but in reality it's far less than $120m. First the government will deduct the "market value" for Te Aupouri forest - we estimate that at around $14m. So that takes it to about $106m. And then they take off another $50m for what they have arbitrarily decided was their (hugely inflated) valuation of the 7 Landcorp and Doc farms, some 14,650 hectares of Te Paki, Cape View, Te Raite, Sweetwaters, Te Karae, Rangiputa and Kohumaru stations. So that takes their "monetary offer" down to $56m. And then almost all of the rest of the money will also go back to the Crown to pay for other Crown land they’re insisting that we purchase if we want it. For Ngati Kahu we estimated last year that that would be about $11m of our $14m quantum if we could keep the valuations down. So with that taken out, the amount for the five iwi comes down to $45m. If the other iwi want some of their lands as well, they will have to buy it using this money and that figure will end up around $20 to $25m between the five iwi if we're lucky.
And yes, the land is ours and the Crown does not have clear title to it and yet it still expects us to pay for our own land. The negotiators are strongly adverse to us paying for our own land.
We have very roughly estimated that on the monetary side Ngāti Kahu would end up with about $5m in hand after we'd got about 5000 hectares of our lands returned plus further DoC lands. On top of that is our $7.5m for social revitalisation and the Statutory Board over the rest of the DoC estate.
Then in the rest of last week’s offer, for Te Oneroa-a-Tohe the Crown has not acknowledged our ownership. They have offered a "joint management" regime that will in effect give us little or no say over the beach and very little or no resources to do so. The overall offer is bereft of acknowledgement of our mana and rangatiratanga, as well as our tikanga and that is seriously problematic.
There are a few pieces of DoC land on the beach they have offered to return, as well as Te Rerenga Wairua which is very important.
So Ngati Kahu have to ask if being in the five iwi Form has helped - yes it has, by acknowledging our interests in Te Oneroa-a-Tohe and Te Aupouri forest and an increase on the monetary side for us to the tune of about $3m so far - a pittance but it would help us run Rangiputa.
It is of considerable concern to us that they've included Rangiputa and Kohumaru in the list of farms. Ngāti Kahu had been very specific that our farms were not to be included in the shared and overlapping interests because we've already covered them off in our AIP and there are no shared interests with other iwi.
There was considerable disappointment with the offer and it's certainly not something we could consider accepting in its current form. The negotiators made that clear to the Minister when he made the offer. There were all sorts of things included in there that we had never discussed in negotiations with Pat and which were quite unacceptable. Furthermore none of the other iwi has been offered the $7.5 million for social revitalization that Ngati Kahu has in our AIP. Nor have the other gains Ngati Kahu achieved on land valuations and a Statutory Board controlled by the iwi been offered to the other iwi. These were underlying principles we'd agreed to with the Crown at the start of the five iwi negotiations, that is, that Ngāti Kahu would be the benchmark for what everyone else would get. More worrying for us was that it appeared to set Ngāti Kahu up to be attacked by the other iwi because the others are not being offered what we are getting.
When the Forum negotiations team met on Tuesday 16 June we went back to underlying principles which had been lost and hence made the offer unacceptable:
1) that the offer is not better than what we can get in the Tribunal (there we are confident we could get the forest and the farms and other SoE lands returned at no cost plus between $111m and $158m in compensation - but no DoC lands) and
2) it is much less for each of the other four iwi than Ngāti Kahu has in our AIP.
The message we will convey to the Crown next Thursday is that the land does need to be returned but not at the cost the Crown is wanting. The $120m needs to be increased significantly in real terms with far fewer deductions made so that the iwi can have the resources they need to get some sort of start to re-establishing our economic bases. It is also essential that our mana and tino rangatiratanga are acknowledged. Our ownership of Te Oneroa-a-Tohe must also be acknowledged and that must be reflected in the management of the beach.
I will report the outcome of our meeting with the Ministers at our Runanga hui on 27 June.
Professor Margaret Mutu
18 June 2008