Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngati Kahu
Land Claims Report for October 2009
- Crown meeting 22 September
- Meeting with Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri and Ngai Takoto concerning Kaitaia 16 October
- Meeting of Te Hui Tōpū o Te Hiku o te Ika (Te Hiku Forum) 16 October
- Meeting with Ministers concerning Karikari marae
- Strategic Planning meeting for the Ngāti Kahu negotiations team 22 October
While the usual work of answering whānau queries about our land claims and reporting progress on our weekly radio show has continued (except for last week’s radio show) progress on reaching agreement over the interests we share with other iwi has slowed considerably in the last month. Drafting an Agreement in Principle with the Crown is progressing but there is still resistance from Crown officials to what we have verbally agreed to with the Chief Crown Negotiator. And within Te Hiku Forum the process of determining mana whenua in respect of Te Aupouri Forest and Te Oneroa-a-Tohe has now been agreed but hui to determine who holds mana whenua have yet to be scheduled. Mana whenua issues in respect of the Kaitaia area came into sharp focus this month.
1. Crown meeting 22 September
This meeting was called by the Crown at the airport in Auckland. We were not advised of the purpose of the hui and were unable to find out what it was. As such Ngāti Kahu did not attend in a formal capacity although some of our team attended with a watching brief.
In the meeting the Crown was reportedly seeking certainty that inter-iwi discussions were proceeding satisfactorily and that there would be no inter-iwi disputes following the signing of an Agreement in Principle with the Crown. The Crown, of course, has no right to impose such conditions on Māori and it is none of the Crown’s business how we choose to talk with our neighbours. The Crown’s on-going patronizing attitude is proving unhelpful and they will need to change it if any progress is to be made towards settling our claims.
The meeting also traversed areas of the Agreement in Principle (AIP) with the Crown following the verbal agreements we had reached with Pat Snedden (the Chief Crown Negotiator). These were in respect of the Statutory Board which will be responsible for Te Oneroa-a-Tohe (90-mile beach) and the need for it to follow the Orakei model; the “Social Accord” for delivering government services to Te Hiku o te Ika – around which there is so much uncertainty and lack of agreement that it seems little other than a very general statement can be included in the AIP; the revaluation of the seven big farms down to $24m with consideration included in here for Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa not having allowance for interest on their quantum in their AIPs (which Ngati Kahu does have). It was agreed that our counsel, Te Kani Williams and Bernadette Arapere, would work with the Crown on drafting an acceptable AIP.
At this (Crown) meeting Te Aupouri indicated that it considers it has interests in Kaitaia, a matter they had not raised with us even though we have been in discussions with Te Rarawa on this matter for nearly two years.
2. Meeting with Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri and Ngai Takoto concerning
Kaitaia 16 October
This meeting was requested by Te Rarawa and Ngai Takoto with Te Aupouri indicating it would attend the day before the meeting. Our Ngati Kahu team met the evening before and discussed what appears to us to be everyone but Ngati Kuri trying to lay claim to commercially valuable properties in Kaitaia.
I reported in December 2007 after our first hui with Te Rarawa that no-one but Te Paatu and Ngai Tohianga had demonstrated mana whenua in Kaitaia and the surrounding areas. That has remained unchanged during the existence of Te Hiku Forum (since June 2008) with the Forum yet to convene any hui to determine who holds mana whenua anywhere. As such our team agreed that on-going encroachment by other iwi into our territories had to stop and that therefore we would stand our ground and fight to protect our territories if need be.
The meeting on 16 October was fiery and brief. Initial talk was about commercial value of the Kaitaia properties and the need to share them. Ngati Kahu reminded the hui that all claims throughout Te Hiku o te Ika are mana whenua claims, not money claims. One individual claimed that Patukoraha were a hapu of Ngai Takoto and that no-one but Ngai Takoto could speak for Kaitaia. That prompted a very strong and sharp response from us stating that Patukoraha are a hapu of Ngati Kahu not of Ngai Takoto, and that until hapu other than Ngai Tohianga and Te Paatu can prove mana whenua in Kaitaia, it remains with these two hapu of Ngati Kahu.
We instructed that a stop be put to what we see as avoidance behavior in respect of determining who holds mana whenua where, not only in Kaitaia but throughout Te Hiku o te Ika. We also insisted that hui to determine mana whenua be scheduled immediately. We noted that Te Rarawa and us had made considerable progress on addressing these issues for Kaitaia, having agreed that only those hapu with mana whenua would appear on the title to these lands, and we considered that Ngai Takoto’s and Te Aupouri’s attempts to claim mana whenua at this late stage to be disingenuous in the absence of proof of mana whenua. Agreement was quickly reached that mana whenua had to be determined and done so in a separate hui called specifically for that purpose.
Ngati Kahu caucused after the hui to debrief and confirm that we would not be changing our approach in respect of Kaitaia.
3. Meeting of Te Hui Tōpū o Te Hiku o te Ika (Te Hiku Forum) 16 October
This meeting followed immediately after the four iwi hui on Kaitaia at 11am, two hours earlier than the advertised start time.
(a) The Mana Whenua Process
The mana whenua sub-committee reported back on its determination of what that mana whenua process is to be. Its report was accepted in principle for reporting back to and acceptance by each iwi. That report is appended to this report.
While the report covers several aspects of the process well, the key aspect of deciding how mana whenua is finally determined is left unaddressed. This is a serious gap in the report. There are also some other problematic aspects and I urge everyone to please read the report and give us feedback either through your delegates or directly to the negotiations team or the office.
In respect of finally determining mana whenua, the elements that contribute to this are listed at section 7.1 of the report. They are take taunaha (right of discovery, naming of unclaimed whenua), take raupatu/ringa kaha (conquest), ahi kaa roa (continued occupation), take tuku (gifting by the hapu recognized as having mana whenua), and take tupuna (inheritance from tupuna having mana whenua).
It is fundamentally important to the success of this process that the relative weight of each of these elements is clear. For example take tuku alone is not a claim to mana whenua. Take tupuna accompanied by ahi kaa roa provides a strong claim and displacement from or confiscation of those lands by Pakeha/Crown does not diminish such a claim. Take taunaha accompanied by ahi kaa roa is also very strong. Take raupatu/ringa kaha is only strong if those defeated in conquest relinquished their mana whenua and no longer feature in any way in respect of those lands. There is much debate surrounding these various take so we need clear direction on how to apply them if this process is to be successful.
Another problematic area is clause 8.1(b) which excludes lawyers from participating. That is counter-productive. While lawyers should have no input into the determination of mana whenua as that must be done according to tikanga, they should be present to know how the final decisions were reached. That will be crucially important for the drafting of the final Deed of Settlement and the legislation.
Again I ask that everyone consider the report and get their comments back to us as soon as possible but by the end of November at the latest.
(b) Resource and Financial Subcommittee
There are on-going problems with the Crown Forestry Rental Trust not providing the funding they are contractually bound to pay to the Forum. Ngati Kahu has also started to experience these problems. It makes it extremely difficult for those employed and contracted by the Forum to keep working when they are not being paid. This includes the lawyers and the company administering the Forum, Manaaki Solutions.
(c) Progress on the Agreement in Principle with the Crown
Progress has been very slow with officials continuing to send back unacceptable drafts of the AIP. Following on from the meeting a strong message was sent to the Crown that unless there was a significant change in the Crown’s attitude, there would be no AIP. Pat Snedden has taken several key issues holding up progress and agreed to by-pass the officials and deal directly with the Minister. Our counsel have been continuing to try to make progress in getting the required changes but do not expect to be able to report sufficient progress before late in November.
(d) Final Distribution of Overall Quantum of $120m between five iwi
Calculations on how the quantum is to be used to gain transfer of lands back to each iwi have been developed along the lines agreed in Forum meetings. We are looking to increase our $14m quantum to include funds to manage the lands transferred back to us while preserving our $7.5m social revitalization fund for rebuilding our marae and papa kainga. We have managed to achieve a small increase although the amount has yet to be finalized.
3. Meeting with Ministers concerning Karikari marae
I had discussed the problems we were having with DoC over Karikari marae with the Minister of Conservation, Tim Grosser, in April and he asked then for a meeting which we agreed would include Pita Sharples as Minister of Maori Affairs and Hone Harawira as our MP. Pat Snedden was eventually able to organize a telephone conference but because neither Pita nor Hone was included it did not take place. Pat has not indicated when a properly convened teleconference or hui will take place.
4. Strategic Planning meeting for the Ngāti Kahu negotiations team 22 October
Our negotiations team had a very lengthy and helpful hui at Tatai Hono marae to plan the progress of our own Ngati Kahu claims. These have been left in limbo by the five iwi negotiations and we are anxious to get them restarted as soon as possible.
Our plans include providing training sessions in governance that our delegates and potential company directors will need so that we can look after the lands and resources returned to us as wisely as possible. The first of these is scheduled for 14 November at Taipa and the second for 5 December in Auckland.
As part of extending and diversifying our communications strategies to ensure that our people are as well informed as possible, we are planning consultation hui for those living outside of Ngati Kahu. We are hoping to be able to convene these in Auckland, Dargaville, Hamilton, Gisborne, Wellington, Christchurch, Invercargill, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane provided we can ascertain sufficient interest for such hui in these cities. We are particularly interested in communicating with our young people because it will be their generation who will be responsible for ensuring Ngati Kahu derives full benefit from our settlement.
Our research team is continuing to gather oral traditions from our kuia and kaumatua and will concentrate on collecting place name corrections that need to be made as part of our settlement from each marae and hapu. We are also very concerned to identify and map the many places of special significance to us (mainly our waahi tapu) so that we can ensure that they are protected as part of the settlement. Our research team will also be gathering this information.
Professor Margaret Mutu
2 November 2009