Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu
Land Claims Report for May – June 2012
1. Judicial conference of Waitangi Tribunal 5 June to arrange hearings for binding
2. Objections to Te Rarawa’s and Ngāi Takoto’s Deeds of Settlement filed.
3. United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues meeting 7-18 May, New York.
4. National Iwi Chairs’ Forum hui, 24 May, Heretaunga.
5. Moana Jackson and the Independent Constitutional Transformation Working Party returning to Te Hiku o Te Ika in July.
1. On June 5 the Waitangi Tribunal convened yet another judicial conference to
determine, among other matters, a timetable and venue for the upcoming
hearings. The Crown continues to battle to stop the Tribunal making binding
recommendations but the Tribunal has indicated it will proceed to do so. We are
now waiting on the Tribunal to issue a memorandum determining a number of
issues covered in the conference.
2. We have now filed three applications for an urgent hearing to object to Te
Aupōuri’s, Te Rarawa’s and Ngāi Takoto’s deeds of settlement focusing on the
forest lands up to Hukatere, Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē, Sweetwater farm, Rangiāniwaniwa
among other matters. Ngāti Kurī has withdrawn its objection to Te Aupōuri’s
deed and re-entered negotiations with the Crown.
3. Podge Housham, Moana Jackson and I spent one week in New York at the 11th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Issues
covered were the Doctrine of Discovery, the World Intellectual Property
Organisation and issues raised in the Pacific caucus. I have reproduced my full
4. Ven. Timoti and Vera Flavell, Podge Housham and I attended the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum in Heretaunga on 24 May where several reports were received and three presentations were made.
5. Moana Jackson is planning to revisit Te Hiku o Te Ika in July to further discuss the constitutional transformation issue.
1. WAITANGI TRIBUNAL AGREES TO HEAR OUR APPLICATION FOR BINDING RECOMMEDNATIONS:
Following the Waitangi Tribunal’s decision to hold hearings for both binding recommendations and ordinary recommendations for Ngāti Kahu’s claims, a judicial conference was held on 5 June in Wellington to determine the principles they would use when determining what relief they would order and recommend. Arrangements were also to be made for the hearings to be held. Because of the unacceptably high cost of travelling to Wellington and the reluctance of the Crown’s legal aid agency to pay for our legal counsel, Te Kani and I were the only ones who attended for Ngāti Kahu. However there were several Crown servants present. Te Aupōuri was present but only Te Rarawa’s lawyer turned up, and once again asked the Crown to talk for them.
The conference covered a number of technical issues. The Crown kept trying to cut back the lands that could be ordered to be returned. They spent some time trying to persuade the Tribunal to look at the Crown’s “good, generous, fair and pragmatic offer to Ngāti Kahu” rather than considering binding recommendations saying that the Crown had “acted genuinely and fairly” and that it was Ngāti Kahu’s fault that
negotiations had failed because we had been “stubborn and intransigent”. When the Tribunal was clearly not impressed they tried to say that it could not order the return of “private land” with 27B memorials on the title (a 27B memorial warns the buyer that the Crown could be ordered to buy back the lands if the Tribunal upholds a claim over them). The Tribunal was clear that all buyers knew what they were getting into when they bought the land and were duly warned. Then there was talk about how upset current “owners” would be about being notified that they could be losing “their” private land without being allowed to be heard by the Tribunal (that is the requirement of the Act). While they will probably complain bitterly and kick up a huge fuss I had no sympathy given that Ngāti Kahu was not even notified when most of our lands were stolen and were certainly not paid, as these “owners” will be.
The Tribunal has asked for evidence on a number of issues including the prejudice suffered by Ngāti Kahu such as exactly how much land was lost, socio-economic statistics, valuations of the lands to be resumed (even though Ngāti Kahu’s view is they are worth $0 and the Crown wants the market value rather than its own government valuation), mana whenua evidence for shared lands and so on.
On a hearing date, at present it is looking like the end of August or the beginning of September. For a venue we offered either Kenana marae or Kareponia marae. We said the hearings had totake place in Ngāti Kahu’s territory. We are hoping the Tribunal will issue a memorandum confirming this soon because this will then release funding from the Crown Forestry Rental Trust to do the research required.
On Ngāti Tara, who did not turn up, we pointed out that the claim appears to be a whānau rather than a hapū claim given that from what we have been able to ascertain, most Ngāti Tara know nothing about the claim. Furthermore some Ngāti Tara, at least, do not consider that Ngāti Tara, as a hapū, has mana whenua in Rangiputa. The Tribunal noted that Ngāti Tara was piggy-backing on Ngāti Kahu’s claim and asked for the minutes of the meeting that recorded Ngāti Kahu’s agreement that Rangiputa would be shared by all Ngāti Kahu.
2. OBJECTIONS TO TE AUPŌURI, TE RARAWA AND NGĀI TAKOTO DEEDS OF SETTLEMENT:
We have now filed three applications for an urgent hearing to object to Te Aupōuri’s, Te Rarawa’s and Ngāi Takoto’s deeds of settlement focusing on our forest and other lands up to Hukatere, Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē, Sweetwater farm, Kaimaumau, Rangiāniwaniwa and attempts to impose those iwi’s agreement in respect of lands administered by the Department of Conservation on us among other matters. This has become extremely important after the Tribunal agreed with the Crown to restrict the area it would consider for binding recommendations for our claims so that it excludes many of the Ngāti Kahu lands that we share with Ngāi Takoto and Te Rarawa. These three applications are jointly referred to as the urgency applications and are quite distinct from our remedies applications (which are for binding and ordinary recommendations).
For these, there will be a judicial conference, probably in the week of 16 July and probably in Auckland, to consider whether these applications will be heard. Te Aupōuri’s lawyer complained bitterly that we were delaying their settlement.
The Ngāti Kurī Trust Board has advised that it has withdrawn its objection to Te Aupōuri’s deed of settlement after the Crown agreed to re-open negotiations in respect of key areas for Ngāti Kurī that the Crown was going to vest in Te Aupōuri.
Te Rarawa tried to argue that they would not only take lands in their deed of settlement but also any lands that Ngāti Kahu got that they claimed to share mana whenua with Ngāti Kahu. Essentially they are trying to double dip. The judge told their lawyer Te Rarawa could not do that. They had settled their claims and had not filed an application with the Tribunal so that was the end of the matter.
3. REPORT FROM THE 11TH SESSION OF THE INITED NATIONS PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES FOR FIRST WEEK 7 - 11 MAY 2012:
The following are the full reports I wrote while in New York at this meeting. Podge Housham, Moana Jackson and I attended under the authority of Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu. The only other Māori representatives present were four from Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa. Other Māori present included Valmaine Toki (Ngāti Wai) who is a member of the Permanent Forum, Tracey Castro Whare (Ngāti Kahungunu) who works in the United Nations and Anaru Eruiti (Taranaki) who works for Amnesty International.
There is strong representation here from indigenous peoples around the world. Over 1500 have registered and the quality of their contributions on the Doctrine of Discovery (and Domination) is superb. The opening session was the panel that Moana Jackson (Ngāti Kahungunu) was asked to participate in and several very powerful addresses were delivered on the racist, illegitimate, genocidal and completely abhorrent nature of the Doctrine in its various forms as it exists around the world. Moana's address was future looking and drew on the work of our Independent Constitutional Transformation Working Group to encourage all indigenous peoples to re-empower their own tikanga and take back control of their lives and territories. His contribution was very well received.
This discussion was followed by some superb contributions by representatives of indigenous peoples explaining how the doctrine had impacted so negatively on them - stealing their lands, waters, seas, livelihoods, dignity and in many cases reducing them to slavery to this day. Our case mirrors that of other indigenous peoples around the world.
However it is providing considerable discomfort for many of the states, including New Zealand. That delegation is headed by a young OTS official who gave a contribution which side stepped the Doctrine of Discovery - even though it was used twice in New Zealand - claiming everything was fine because NZ has the Treaty of Waitangi and is very proud of its Treaty settlement process. They are so used to lying to the United Nations they can't even refrain from it when we are there listening and when they know full well that we can now tell the United Nations that they are lying - through our Permanent Forum Pacific representative, Valmaine Toki (Ngāti Wai) who is a good friend and whanaunga of Ngāti Kahu.
Luckily, Moana was sitting near Valmaine and helped her craft a suitable and immediate response to the OTS official. As soon as that official finished Valmaine swiped at her saying that in order for there to be any trust and respect of Māori for the government, it had to recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the full constitutional status of Māori in its Treaty settlement process. She also took a swipe at them over lack of any proper and meaningful dialogue between rangatira and Ministers over mining, asset sales and freshwater.
The States' discomfort is manifesting itself in some pretty unsavoury behaviour that caused Moana and several others to take a real swipe at the UN organisers (the United Nations is the states/governments of the world). fFrom the start there have been serious problems with the UN not accommodating the meeting adequately. We found out when we arrived that because of major renovations being undertaken in the main building, only one person from each organisation would be allowed into the actual meetings and we were expected to share our one pass around our team. It was very fortunate that Ngāti Kahuhas a good ally in Valmaine Toki and she arranged for special invited guest passes for Moana Jackson and me, allowing Podge Housham to use the Ngāti Kahu pass. Nevertheless, we still asked her to fight hard to get everyone else in because Te Rarawa had four delegates and only one pass.
Furthermore, at a large meeting of the Global Caucus of Indigenous Peoples on Sunday that we participated in indicated a very high level of anger especially after the kaumātua rangatira of the mana whenua seemed to have been ignored. He made a firm but very polite request that the UN not insult the more than 1500 representatives of indigenous peoples who had all travelled many thousands of miles at great expense and the Forum members and UN staff did not even respond to him. So I spoke to Valmaine later, warning her of the anger and we have all been allowed in to the first two days (and for the rest of the session).
Even so, we have no accommodation/rooms in which to hold our regional meetings such as the Pacific Caucus which is made up of Australian aboriginals (about 30 of them), the Hawaiians (about 20), French Polynesia (about 6 including a Rapanui representative living in New York), West Papua (3), Taiwan (1), us (7) and a couple of others. So we met outside the cafeteria and got severely reprimanded but UN security and ordered out just before we finished...not nice. But in the face of us ignoring them and turning up again, they did eventually find us a room. So all either extremely disorganised - or states making sure there is maximum discomfort and discouragement for us to stick around for the rest of the meeting.
However the Global Youth Caucus staged a peaceful demonstration asking that full participation be ensured and several were manhandled by UN security and had their passes taken off them. Some kaumātua who were not participating but standing nearby were also manhandled and their passes removed. We spoke with the Youth Caucus this evening and indicated that we would support them fully and take our own action if their passes were not re-instated. The Youth Caucus is made up of rangatahi from around the world who attend this Forum with their kaumātua in the same way we take our rangatahi to our hui so they can listen and learn. They had their kaumātua's tautoko for their demonstration and advertised it fully beforehand - so everyone knew what they were doing.
There is also huge anger over what the World Intellectual Property (/Piracy) Organisation is doing in stealing the intellectual property of indigenous peoples for commercial gain. This is of huge significance for us as this is what Wai 262, the Flora and Fauna claim, was all about. We deal with that on Thursday so it will be interesting to see what comes out of that.
UPDATE FROM THE UNPFII MEETING IN NEW YORK - SATURDAY 12 MAY 2012:
It has certainly been a very busy week here in New York with many meetings taking place at a range of levels.
In the Permanent Forum itself the session on WIPO (the World Intellectual Property (/Piracy) Organisation) on Thursday saw sparks flying as almost all Indigenous representatives attacked the Organisation. Although WIPO is made up of representatives of States, it is driven by multi-national corporates determined to take control and make money out of commodifying the cultures and knowledge of Indigenous peoples and perpetuating the heinous Doctrine of Discovery. The Wai 262 claim, led for us in Te Hiku o Te Ika by Saana Murray and Dell Wihongi, was about protecting Māori culture and knowledge, including our language, and so Moana Jackson prepared a very strongly worded statement attacking WIPO and supporting the walkout staged by Indigenous representatives at the last WIPO meeting in February. The statement also attacked the New Zealand government's on-going refusal to either adhere to Te Tiriti o Waitangi or to protect Māori intellectual property rights. It made recommendations about WIPO engaging with Indigenous peoples in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and resiling from the racist ideology that 'everything is commodifiable and ownable as property'; asking the Permanent Forum to encourage the New Zealand government to engage more honestly with Wai 262 claimants and to acknowledge their authority to protect their traditional knowledge and contemporary knowledge. The statement drew strong support from Indigenous representatives from round the world.
Many other Indigenous representatives made equally strong or even stronger statements. Many called for WIPO to be disestablished. The North American Indian representatives had 100 t-shirts made condemning WIPO as the World Intellectual Piracy Organisation and distributed them amongst the delegations to wear during the session. It made a very impressive sight as the proceedings were being televised to an over-flow room although there were, of course, nowhere near enough to go round and many missed out on them (the Māori delegation all wore them). The discomfort of WIPO and the States became clear as they tried to prevent some delegations speaking. Unfortunately it appeared that the States had been able to get to at least some of the Permanent Forum members. As a result, rather than them all supporting and representing us as they are supposed to, some of them were more concerned with WIPO being able to get on with its work.
Concern at infiltration by states and non-Indigenous people that has been simmering for several months now finally surfaced in the Pacific caucus yesterday. A Pākehā who has backing from some Hawaiians had been causing havoc in the Pacific caucus and so after long discussions with our Hawaiian whanaunga that I have known for many years, we decided to raise it yesterday. We were very pleased that the Rapanui representative was at the meeting and although the Pākehā had his Hawaiian backers attack us for questioning the Pākehā's involvement, in the end it was the Rapanui representative who made it very clear that the Pākehā's behaviour was totally unacceptable and made him apologise. However the debate also revealed infiltration from states and this is undermining the credibility of those participating in the Permanent Forum.
In the Pacific Caucus, there is some very disturbing evidence emerging of the struggles and difficulties being experienced in Rapanui, West Papua, Kanaky (New Caledonia) and Tahiti. Each are calling for decolonisation - removal of Pākehā control and returning these countries to the control of their indigenous peoples. Aotearoa and Australia, where Indigenous peoples are grossly outnumbered by colonisers, are a long way from being able to take back control of our countries.
Another issue that is causing consternation is a proposed UN organised World Conference on Indigenous Peoples scheduled to take place in 2014. It has become clear that this will be a conference for states to discuss Indigenous peoples, rather than Indigenous peoples discussing their issues, and that the states intend to keep the Indigenous presence to less than a hundred people whom they will approve. Resistance to such a clear violation of the UNDRIP, which all states have now signed up to, has been building. Yesterday we met with part of the North American Indian caucus and resolved to call a series of World Conferences of Indigenous Peoples to be convened and controlled by Indigenous peoples and to be independent of the United Nations structures, including the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. I have noticed a marked shift in the level of confidence in the UN and the Permanent Forum since my attendance here in 2009. It is a pity but not unexpected given the intransigence of states like New Zealand to ever properly address the issues that Indigenous peoples have been raising in the UN for over 30 years now. Nevertheless I am still hopeful that the report that the Permanent Forum draws up from this meeting will support us, especially on the abhorrent and heinous Doctrine of Discovery that so many Pākehā states, including New Zealand have relied on to take over Indigenous lands, resources and lives. We have continued to work with Valmaine Toki (the Pacific representative member of the Forum) and I will be speaking with her before I leave for home tomorrow to ascertain whether the states have effectively hobbled the Forum members.
While the meetings and work here have been demanding, our whanaunga from Hawaii and North American have looked after us wonderfully. The North Americans treated us to a sumptuous feast of their traditional foods, including buffalo meat, to honour us as their guests. They also took us downtown to visit various places, including the National American Indian museum and an amazing bookshop. We are
hugely grateful to them. After a couple of days of hard work we went out to dinner with our Hawaiian whanaunga. We had a marvellous time catching up, laughing and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. It has been great for those of us who have worked with these people over several decades to catch up with old friends, and good to be able to introduce our Te Rarawa whanaunga to some of today's great Indigenous leaders and thinkers who have fought long and hard on the world stage for Indigenous rights.
4. NATIONAL IWI CHAIRS FORUM HUI, 24 MAY, HERETAUNGA:
Ven. Timoti and Vera Flavell, Podge Housham and I attended the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum in Heretaunga (Hastings) on 24 May where several reports were received and three presentations were made.
The reports on Oil and Mining, Housing and Climate Change all complained about the fact that discussions with government officials were getting nowhere. It did not seem to occur to those reporting that they should not have been talking to officials. As Iwi chairs, our kaupapa is that we work with each other to find solutions to issues and if we must talk to the Crown, we do so only to Ministers and more senior people than them – not their workers.
The two presentations, from the CEO of Federated Farmers and a BERL economist were patronizing. They came in for some sharp questioning.
The report on breaking the AFFCO dispute was the highlight of the hui. Ngahiwi Tomoana (Ngāti Kahungunu), Sonny Tau (Ngāpuhi), Fred Te Miha (Ngāti Tama ki te Tau Ihu) and Ken Mair (Whanganui) confirmed that it was these Iwi chairs, tautoko’d by Mark Solomon (Ngāi Tahu) and by Tuku Morgan (past Tainui chair) who put the Talleys owners in the same room as the whānau who were being hurt by the lock-out and stayed there until it was sorted. It was a good outcome, although Talleys remains the subject of much criticism.
The Crown is starting to infiltrate National Iwi Chairs’ Forum, with Haami Piripi conveying the repeated Crown demand that the Constitutional Transformation Working Group work with the Crown’s Constitutional review committee. I reminded Haami of the Working Group’s terms of reference which require us to gather our people’s views and report back to the Forum before speaking to the Crown.
5. MOANA JACKSON AND THE INDEPENDENT CONSTITUTIONAL TRANSFORMATION WORKING PARTY RETURNING TO TE HIKU O TE IKA IN JULY:
Following up on our meeting of 28 April with Moana Jackson, convenor of The Independent Constitutional Transformation Working Group of the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum, he will be visiting several iwi in Te Hiku o Te Ika and Te Taitokerau in July and would like to see Ngāti Kahu again. I am suggesting combining it as a Kuia Kaumātua o Te Hiku o Te Ika hui. Hōne Harawira has offered to organize hui at Te Hāpua and Te Kao, and in Ngāi Takoto, Te Rarawa and Ngāti Kahu.
Professor Margaret Mutu
6 June 2012