Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu
Land Claims Report for February 2011
Te Hui Tōpū o Te Hiku o Te Ika (Te Hiku Forum) disbanded as other four iwi formally exclude Ngāti Kahu
Communications with Ngāti Kurī and Ngāi Takoto
Communications with the Crown
Work on Deed of Settlement continues
Te Ana o Taite – Change in counsel as Christian Whata is appointed to the High Court
Te Waka o Taonui (Taitokerau Iwi Chairs) hui – 4th February, Paihia
National Iwi Leaders Forum Hui – 5th February, Paihia
Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill
Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill
This is another lengthy report which includes several interim reports I have circulated over the past month.
On 2 February, contrary to advice from Ngāti Kurī and Ngāi Takoto last year, we received letters advising that Ngāti Kahu has been excluded from Te Hiku Forum. I have attached them to the end of this report. The letters advised that the other four iwi would settle their claims, including those that include Ngāti Kahu lands, without Ngāti Kahu. This has serious implications for agreements we had reached previously with those iwi. We have notified the Crown Forestry Rental Trust that Te Hiku Forum no longer exists and that funding must cease.
On 3 February we advised the Crown and on 5 February we advised the other four iwi that they cannot settle any claims to lands that Ngāti Kahu has claims to without Ngāti Kahu. We met the Minister on 5 February and he agreed, after noting the Waitangi Tribunal’s directions on such matters. We advised the negotiators for the other iwi before speaking to the Minister. Unfortunately their reactions were verbally violent in the extreme. Te Kani has met with the Crown since to ensure that Ngāti Kahu’s position is protected.
We advised both the Crown and the other iwi that we aim to complete our draft of our Deed of Settlement by 31 March and are maintaining a work schedule to meet that deadline.
Christian Whata, our counsel for Te Ana o Taite against Carrington Farms, has been appointed as a judge in the High Court. He will be replaced by Paul Majurey.
We attended both Te Waka o Taonui and the National Iwi Chairs Forum hui held in Paihia on 4 and 5 February.
Māori opposition to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is widespread although few decided to make submissions to the select committee. There have been several calls for another hīkoi in order to try to persuade the Māori Party to withdraw its support. Attempts by the Māori Party and the National government to close down Māori opposition to the bill have resulted in our Taitokerau MP, Hone Harawira, being suspended from caucus and facing an official complaint seeking his expulsion from the Māori Party.
1. Te Hui Tōpū o Te Hiku o Te Ika (Te Hiku Forum) disbanded as other four iwi formally exclude Ngāti Kahu
Early in December we were advised informally that the other four iwi had decided to settle their claims, including lands belonging to Ngāti Kahu, without Ngāti Kahu. During December both Ngāti Kurī and Ngāi Takoto advised that they did not support that action. They assured us that we would not be receiving a letter confirming our exclusion from the Forum. We were therefore very disappointed to receive the two letters that are appended to this report that confirm our exclusion. They came in on 3 February, one was to Te Kani Williams, our counsel, and one was to the Rūnanga, both signed by Haami Piripi, the chair of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa.
We immediately notified the Crown Forestry Rental Trust (CFRT) that Te Hiku Forum now no longer exists and as such can no longer receive funding - especially given that the Forum has spent all of that allocated for Ngāti Kahu within the Forum over the past year.
The next day I received a call from Pat Snedden, the Chief Crown Negotiator, asking me to meet Chris Finlayson while we were at Waitangi. After some discussion with those of us attending the National Iwi Leaders Forum (Anne, Reremoana, Hully, Podge) and Lloyd and Te Kani, we decided that I would meet first with the other four iwi chairs (or their reps) to inform them that they could not settle any claim to anything we have an interest in without us, to specify what those areas are, specifically, Te Aupōuri Forest, Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē, Kaitāia, Rangiāniwaniwa, Te Make (Sweetwater), the replacement of our Ngāti Kahu Statutory Board with a Conservation Board made up of five iwi, the incomplete mana whenua process and many other issues, without Ngāti Kahu. I was to advise them that I would be telling Chris this later in the day. I would also tell them that we'd advised CFRT that Te Hiku Forum no longer exists and to stop any funding.
The four iwi did meet with me, along with Podge, Reremoana and Anne. As soon as I told them that as a result of Haami's letter we were left with no choice but to advise that they couldn't settle anything we had an interest in, the screaming started. Haami swore profusely, loudly and at length at me. Michelle Wī just screamed at me. Cat Davis tried desperately to make them listen. However the deputy chair of Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa, Katie Murray, took swift control of Haami, silenced him and made him stay and listen when he tried to leave.
I finished what I had to tell them and asked for responses. Cat said Ngāti Kurī did not want the four iwi plus Ngāti Kahu and if that was how the letter is interpreted it is not Ngāti Kurī's position. Rangitāne was extremely angry that we indicated an interest in Te Make (Sweetwater) and made disparaging comments about Te Pātū and Ngāti Kahu. Te Aupōuri said they refused to be held to ransom by Ngāti Kahu and fully supported Haami's letter. Katie Murray said Haami did not have a mandate from Te Rarawa to sign the letter. I then asked how far any of them had progressed their Deeds of Settlement and got no response except from Rangitane saying something like the Crown will determine theirs. I told them there was nothing further to be said and we left them very abruptly to return to the National Iwi Chairs hui.
We met later that day with the Minister (see below) and after that I found each of those negotiators and told them the outcome of that meeting.
2. Communications with Ngāti Kurī and Ngāi Takoto
It is worth noting that despite Ngāti Kurī’s denial of support for the letters and Te Rarawa’s alleged lack of mandate, we have received nothing since to indicate that the letters we received are not the positions of each of the four iwi. Instead we have received a call from Ngāti Kurī asking us to attend a negotiations meeting over the valuation of the State Forest (which cannot proceed without Ngāti Kahu) and an email from Ngāi Takoto asking us to attend a meeting about Rangiāniwaniwa (which similarly, cannot be determined without Ngāti Kahu). We have not agreed to any meetings with negotiators from other iwi – our priority remains the completion of our Deed of Settlement.
In respect of Rangiāniwaniwa, several months ago Ngāi Takoto’s negotiators undertook to get those lands (both the Kura and airport lands) back without having to pay for them. We heard nothing other than that they would like to talk to us about it once we have completed our Deed of Settlement. Last week we received an urgent request from Ngāi Takoto for a meeting. They were responding to the Crown and the Far North District Council wanting to sort out the airport lease immediately and expecting us comply with those demands. Someone has involved the media who have demanded to know why Ngāi Takoto should have any say in the lands (the media have not yet worked out that Rangiāniwaniwa is actually already in Ngāti Kahu’s Agreement in Principle). Our team will discuss the matter next week.
But it is important to note that Ngāti Kahu’s name is appearing in documentation relating to the settlement of claims without our permission. Pat Snedden has provided us with a proposal that would result in our Statutory Board being replaced by a five iwi advisory committee to the Department of Conservation. He also provided a very unclear table in respect of Te Oneroa-ā-Tōhē that seems to suggest in part that the five iwi would be part of a committee with the Far North District Council and the Northland Regional Council to advise on the management of the beach.
This documentation implies that we have agreed to these proposals when in fact we have said very clearly we do not.
3. Communications with the Crown
The day we received the letters from Te Hiku Forum, Lloyd, Te Kani and I had scheduled to meet with Pat Snedden. The meeting started well with Pat apologising for any perceived bullying on his part but again he was pushing us to go back to the Forum to do the Crown's bidding. We repeated that we will complete our Deed of Settlement. We told him we had been removed from the Forum. We then made it very clear that there could be no negotiations with the Crown that reached settlement on anything that Ngāti Kahu has an interest in. It was agreed that Pat would keep in touch with Te Kani in an attempt to keep Ngāti Kahu informed.
Two days later at Paihia, Chris Finlayson was one of a number of cabinet ministers who met with the National Iwi Chairs Forum. Reremoana, Anne, Podge and I met immediately after with Chris who was joined by Paul James (OTS). The Minister agreed it would be totally counter-productive to pursue settlement of areas that Ngāti Kahu has interests in without Ngāti Kahu and gave an assurance that he would not do so. We did say he can keep talking to the other iwi but cannot reach any settlement on these matters.
Last week Pat met with Te Kani, who continues to try to get us to work in with the other four iwi. He provided the copy of the proposal for a five iwi advisory body to the Department of Conservation that would replace our Statutory Board if it went ahead. Te Kani was clear that that cannot happen. On Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē there was the local councils plus five iwi committee mentioned above. Again Te Kani said no because the beach is ours and we have a Māori Land Court decision confirming that. On the State Forest he tried to get us to engage in negotiations over the valuation. That was declined until our Deed of Settlement is completed. On Kaitāia he was advised that Ngāti Kahu will insist on the mana whenua process being completed now that Ngāti Kahu has been excluded from Te Hiku Forum. None of the other iwi have been able to substantiate any claim to Kaitāia and were using the Forum to force Ngāti Kahu to forgo our rights there. Now that we are no longer in the Forum, determination of mana whenua will sort that problem out.
4. Work on Deed of Settlement continues
The negotiations team has continued working on our Deed of Settlement and has set a date for the completion of the first full draft of 31 March. The draft will be sent to the Minister and he will be given a fixed period to make submissions on it which we will then consider.
5. Te Ana o Taite – Change in counsel as Christian Whata is appointed to the High Court
Christian Whata, our counsel for Te Ana o Taite, has been appointed a High Court judge, following in the footsteps of Justice Edie Durie and Justice Joe Williams. It's a huge honour in the legal world and his whānau, and Ngāti Pikiao are immensely proud of him. However, it means we lose our counsel for Te Ana o Taite. Christian rang me about it before it was announced. He told me that Paul Majurey (Marutuahu, Hauraki) has agreed to pick it up. I'm extremely grateful to Christian for arranging that.
6. Te Waka o Taonui (Taitokerau Iwi Chairs) hui – 4th February, Paihia
The turnout for this was better than previous hui. Reremoana, Ann, Podge and I were there for Ngāti Kahu. Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Whangaroa, Ngāi Takoto (Mangu), Ngāti Hine and Ngāti Wai were there. Only Te Aupōuri and Ngāti Kurī were absent.
Naida Glavish (Ngāti Whātua) chaired the meeting and had several of her own items around health and CYPS.
i. District Health Boards: 5 representatives of Te Taitokerau to serve on the three boards (Northland, Auckland and Waipereira). Naida asked that each iwi nominate people to be on the group of five representatives of Te Taitokerau who would serve on the three Taitokerau District Health Boards (the five would all serve on the three boards - seems like a full-time job).
I asked for absolute assurance that it would not be a waste of our people's time - which Naida gave. Do we have anyone we should nominate?
ii. Working Party on Bringing CYFS children back to iwi: Naida asked for nominations to a Taitokerau working party on this. Again, do we have anyone we should nominate?
iii. Te Waka o Taonui: There was a long discussion over why this body has this name, mainly for the benefit of new-comers. The name comes from Aperahama Taonui who played an active role in Te Tiriti o Waitangi and warned against allowing the Pākehā to take over as they would diminish the mana of the tangata whenua.
iv. National Iwi Chairs Agenda: I was to be nominated to chair a Working Group on Treaty Settlements policy and process (we never got to it in the National Iwi Chairs Forum hui).
v. Mining: The Far North District Council is sponsoring the fly-over for a survey for minerals. Some iwi have been advised but none have been consulted.
vi. Education: Iwi are developing their own plans for education in their rohe. Pat Tauroa considered their mana motuhake was being respected in the process and they were developing plans and curricula based on their tikanga and traditions and not being directed by MoE. I asked her to send through a copy of where they were at to see if we could reconsider participating.
We went through the other issues raised at the last National Iwi Chairs Forum which are supposed to come up the following day.
7. National Iwi Chairs Forum 5 February Paihia Pacific Resort
Fifty seven iwi were represented which is a big turnout, although not all were chairs. The venue did not allow many observers but, like us, Ngāti Whātua had been unable to secure the Copthorne venue. Naida Glavish, chair of Ngāti Whātua, was the chair. Sonny Tau (Ngāpuhi) and I assisted her with the other Taitokerau iwi who attended the day before in support. Ngāti Kurī and Te Aupōuri also attended this hui. Reremoana, Ann, Podge and I were there for Ngāti Kahu.
The agenda was a bit of a shambles and while working groups had provided written reports, we were all a bit confused as Naida tried to call for "Iwi Issues" when they'd already been set out at the last hui. As a result most of those were not dealt with. There was also a lot of confusion about what would be said to the Prime Minister and Cabinet when they arrived. We finally settled down to take the various Iwi Leaders Group reports.
i. Freshwater: Ngāpuhi reported that a national claim has been lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal over the ownership and control of freshwater. Several iwi are involved. There is to be a freshwater summit in March to follow on from the series of working groups that our Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group has been working with. The national Land and Water Forum has been successful with strong tangata whenua acknowledgement. However the National Policy Statement on Freshwater has removed the recognition of tangata whenua values and interests and this is a major concern. It is hoped that the report of the Land and Water Forum will fix this.
ii. Public Private Partnerships (PPP): Mark Solomon (Ngāi Tahu) reported on a major PPP in the education sector (building schools) being negotiated. Tainui expressed strong interest in iwi moving jointly to bid for State Owned Enterprises, such as Mighty River Power, should the government look to sell them.
iii. Aquaculture: The government is trying to complete the aquaculture settlement by offering iwi small monetary payments if we forego the 20% of allocated space we are guaranteed. Iwi want aquaculture space rather than money. I reiterated that no-one will allocate any of Ngāti Kahu foreshore and seabed but Ngāti Kahu.
iv. Whānau Ora: Tuku Morgan reported. This programme is meant to be a whole of government matter with all government departments participating. The only ones doing so are Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kōkiri and Health. It is essential that Education, Housing and Corrections are in there but they are refusing - or dragging their feet.
v. Mining: Taranaki is taking the lead (having the most experience through their petroleum resources) and has called a national summit for April.
Te Whānau a Apanui are still vehemently opposed to mining in their seas and urged that a national framework for dealing with mining based on te Tiriti be developed by the Forum. Mike Smith asked that iwi leaders not trip them up when they mount nation-wide mobilisation against mining.
vi. Constitution: I reported as the Constitution Group (convened by Moana Jackson, chaired by me) was meeting at the same time - Hully attended that hui for us. The Working Group has met twice and has our best contributing to and advising it. A timeline was suggested:
· 2011 for research and development of the discussion process (which started on 6 February with an excellent presentation and discussion in the Political Forum tent at Te Tii, Waitangi)
· 2012: On the road to take the debate around our people and encourage dialogue with community groups
· 2012: Prepare report for National Iwi Chairs Forum, to be disseminated to iwi and given to Crown as the model for the country's constitution.
Iwi who had not nominated representatives were urged to do so. Members being co-opted for their expertise in tikanga or constitutional matters should be endorsed by their iwi so they can be funded. The problem of funding iwi representatives to attend these hui came up again and both Te Arawa and Taranaki gave assurances they'd pay for theirs.
vii. Foreshore and Seabed: Mark Solomon didn't get far through this report before the Māori Party leadership arrived. Only 22 submissions came in from iwi to the select committee. It was supposed to be reported to the house on 25 February (Pita Sharples confirmed this but in fact it was reported back on 9 February - presumably to take advantage of the Māori Party turmoil which could result in it pulling out of supporting it). The outstanding issues are (a) ownership (which is ours) (b) the tests being far too high and unachievable (c) the requirement for continuous occupation since 1840 on lands contiguous (abutting) to the foreshore and seabed to qualify for customary rights and title.
viii. Climate Change: Api Mahuika (Ngāti Porou) did not attend for long, gave a brief report along the lines "everything is going fine", there will be a hui in April and we should work with scientists, and refused to take questions.
ix. Māori Party and then later, National Party visit: Tariana Tūria, Pita Sharples and Te Ururoa Flavell came from the Māori Party. They came about two hours before John Key, Bill English, Chris Finlayson and about five others came from National. We signaled our concerns over all the issues reported above. Both parties responded on each matter raised with the Māori Party being much more understanding but unable to achieve all we required because they are too small. National either simply acknowledged the concerns or dismissed them. The Māori Party repeated that they are the Crown.
The responses worth noting were:
Pita and Tariana said they had tried very hard on the foreshore and seabed but had not been able to get what we have insisted on. They were particularly weak on our ownership/tupuna title, saying simply that National won’t agree so they gave in. Likewise on the tests. It was very disappointing. Chris Finlayson basically said he could justify everything that was in the bill and was somewhat dismissive.
Both Tariana and John Key said they had to work harder to get Education, Housing and the other ministries to work with Whānau Ora.
On Climate Change, Bill English went on about not backing away from the Emissions Trading Scheme because it had taken too much work to get where they'd got.
On the constitution, Pita was very supportive and encouraging of our Working Party, as was John Key. They said they were setting up their own working party soon. Bill English was dismissive saying it would be three years of interesting talk and then nothing would happen as a result. (Mā te wā on that one - I suspect that Māori may well come up with our own solution for ourselves knowing how inadequate and oppressive the existing system is and how it discriminates against us and marginalises us.)
John Key saw the iwi as logical investors in public-private partnerships and state owned enterprises accepting our argument that we will never take ownership of the resources off shore.
John Key commented that every time something Māori comes up, people go berserk, a very odd statement given that he did not say what should be done about such racism. He then made a most arrogant and patronising statement on the need for Māori to get "properly educated" - I'm sure he felt me bristling beside him.
At least this time they didn't close the hui when the government left. We went on to discuss a secretariat for the Forum, given that Ngāi Tahu is currently funding a lot of the professional costs of preparing papers for the national hui. A lot of questions were raised in our papers on how the secretariat would work and Ngāi Tahu undertook to prepare another paper on this.
Ngāti Kahungunu will prepare a paper on local government for the next hui. Hopefully we can cover wāhi tapu in there.
Venues for the next five National Iwi Chairs Forum hui were decided:
· May 2011, Taranaki
· August 2011, Hopuhopu
· December 2011, Waipounamu
· February 2012, Waitangi
· May 2012, Pūkawa
8. Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill
Māori opposition to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is widespread although few decided to make submissions to the select committee. Mark Solomon (Ngāi Tahu) reported only 22 submissions from groups representing Māori. That is not surprising given the lack of publicity given to the submission process and the general lack of confidence in the select committee being able to make a difference. In the event the select committee reported back to the house two weeks early and recommended no changes.
There have been several calls for another hīkoi in order to try to persuade the Māori Party MPs to withdraw their support. Various groups have been reported trying to organize a national hīkoi. The advice of the National Iwi Chairs Forum was that the current provisions in the bill that must be opposed include
a) not recognising Māori ownership or tupuna title,
b) setting tests at a level that are unattainable
c) ignoring the confiscations of lands abutting the foreshore.
The Māori Party leaders reported at the Forum hui in Paihia that they would support the bill despite not agreeing with aspects of it. To date they have refused to take heed of the extensive Māori opposition to the bill. Without the support of the Māori Party the government will not have the numbers to pass it into law.
The Māori Party leadership has appeared desperate lately to close down Māori opposition to the bill, citing repeal of the 2004 Act and access to the courts as sufficient to require their support for the entire bill. However the replacement that this bill provides for the 2004 Act still
· confiscates all the foreshore and seabed from Māori, but protects Pākehā titles in the same area
· discriminates against Māori by depriving only Māori of the property rights in the foreshore and seabed
· claims that no-one owns the foreshore and seabed and yet arbitrarily determines that the Crown will control what happens there
· furthermore, saying that “no-one owns it” says no-one was here before the Pākehā – in other words – the tangata whenua of this country, according to this statement either do not exist or we are non-people. The legal term for this is “terra nullius” – land of no people. For the Māori Party leaders to accept that Māori are non-people is stunningly incomprehensible.
Attempts to have the Māori Party MPs represent Māori wishes accurately have thus far been unsuccessful. Instead, they have chosen to support the National government and have lashed out at the one MP, our own, Hone Harawira, when he insisted on opposing the legislation and refused to remain silent on the matter. Hone has been suspended from caucus for criticizing the more recent performance of the Māori Party in parliament and faces an official complaint seeking to expel him from the party. The Prime Minister, John Key, has been voicing his wish that Hone be removed from the Māori Party for over a year now and did so most recently on Radio Waatea last week. However Te Taitokerau has made it very clear to Hone that he is to remain in the Māori Party and continue to voice our opposition to this bill and other issues that are hurting our people.
Hone has been an excellent MP and there is widespread hope that the Māori Party is strong enough to withstand the pressure from John Key and National government.
Professor Margaret Mutu
19 February 2011