Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu Land Claims Report for August 2010
- National Iwi Chairs’ Forum hui, Hopuhopu 19th August.
Your negotiations team continues drafting the Ngāti Kahu Deed of Settlement and is making good progress. Our Taumata Kaumatua attended the National Iwi Chairs Forum which received some excellent reports from Ngāi Tahu, Sir Eddie Durie, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Porou and Taranaki. Less welcome were government ministers’ interventions.
1. Preparing Our Ngāti Kahu Deed of Settlement – mapping and drafting continuing
Members of our Deed of Settlement drafting team have each continued working on drafting their parts of the Deed including working with whānau on mapping our territories. Our oral traditions team have now completed first drafts of the transcriptions of several of the interviews they have conducted with kuia and kaumātua. The rest of the team will now work on these to shape the statements from each hapū to be included in the Deed of Settlement. The interviews set out the territories and mana whenua of Te Pātū from Te Oneroa-ā-Tōhē through to Maungataniwha and those of Ngāti Ruaiti and Matarahurahu from Hīhī and Kēnana.
The legal section is on its seventh draft and is slowly shedding that dialect of English that only lawyers speak so that it becomes possible to translate it into our Ngāti Kahu dialect. The chapter on the history of the misdeeds and lawless behaviour of the British Crown and settlers in our territory is still being re-ordered to focus on the effects on each of our hapū. The mapping exercise is producing a wide range of different types of very impressive maps including satellite pictures of our territories. Our place names and wāhi tapu are being mapped onto them.
The current draft of our Deed of Settlement is now over 300 pages long (without any of the maps). Our next team meeting to work on it will be a two day one on 8-9 September in Auckland. As I reported last month, we are continuing to focus on writing this Deed of Settlement up so that it can be published as a book for the whānau and hapū of Ngāti Kahu (rather than it being a document primarily for the Crown) which
· describes who we as Ngāti Kahu are,
· where the territories of each of our hapū are,
· what our claims are, hapū by hapū,
· how our claims are to be fully and finally settled (our yellow book)
· what this partial settlement (as outlined in the Agreement in Principle) will deliver now
· what the Crown still has deliver in the years to come (please see my report of March 2010 for the list of contents).
We are therefore trying to avoid the legalistic and Crown-oriented language and approach that the Crown uses when it writes these documents.
We are aiming to make the Deed of Settlement a taonga of Ngāti Kahu which records what we want the following generations to know and remember about the claims against the Crown which have been pursued by every generation of Ngāti Kahu since the 1840s.
Don’t forget, we still need those photos of those involved in the claims who have now passed on. Can whānau please email the photos of their mātua, tūpuna, and rohe they would like included in the Deed of Settlement to Bardia at the office (email@example.com).
- National Iwi Chairs Forum – Hopuhopu, 19th August
Thirteen of our Taumata Kaumātua attended the National Iwi Chairs Forum hui at Hopuhopu this year. Waikato-Tainui has hosted the Forum for the past several years during its Kingitanga Koroneihana celebrations. Pressure of time meant they were unable to circulate the agenda papers beforehand and although Tainui’s chair discussed the agenda with me, time allocated (four hours) was too short and presentations by Ministers and government agents were an unnecessary and disappointing distraction.
a) Private Public Partnerships
Mark Solomon (Ngāi Tahu) opened the hui with a presentation on Private Public Partnerships (PPPs). He reported on a wānanga held at Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Wellington the week before to discuss iwi commercial collaboration and co-investment in infrastructure such as roading, schools, hospitals and so on. A set of recommendations came out of the wānanga including one to work towards an iwi consortium to bid for PPPs as well as self identify prospective investment opportunities. The Iwi consortium will
· Develop a kaupapa Māori model for Iwi commercial co-investment
· Actively pursue investment opportunities in infrastructure and public private partnerships.
The work is open to all iwi whether they invest now or may do so in the future. All the details of the work will be available on the National Iwi Chairs website at http://www.iwichairs.maori.nz/. The hui agreed to support the principle of such a consortium but formal tautoko needed to come from iwi once the chairs have reported back to them.
b) Fresh Water
Sir Taihākurei (Eddie) Durie delivered an excellent paper on a possible approach negotiating for recognition of Māori ownership of fresh water. It used a combination of tikanga Māori, Treaty and Human Rights jurisprudence (recently strengthened by New Zealand’s support for the United National Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) and English common law. He was recommending that before iwi and hapū around the country start any negotiations over their water with the Crown that a robust framework be established and that those negotiating are very clear what their position is and what outcome they are seeking before they enter negotiations.
This is very similar to the advice Eddie provided in the 1990s about negotiating the settlement of our land claims. He said then that we must be very clear before we start any negotiations about what our position is on the outcome of a settlement. It was on this advice that Ngāti Kahu spent considerable time drawing up our “Yellow Book” which set out what a full and final settlement of our land claims would look like.
Te Whānau-a-Apanui and Ngāti Porou, tautoko’d by Taranaki, delivered a presentation on the issue of mining and the mining licenses issued by the government on the East Coast to Petrobas, a Brazilian oil company. They had convened a national hui a couple of weeks ago in Auckland (when we were doing our final strategic planning at Waitangi).
The presentation highlighted the government’s arrogance at not informing let alone consulting with Te Whānau-a-Apanui and Ngāti Porou and their short-sightedness in dealing with a company with a very bad record of causing major environmental damage. The government is now considering issuing permits in the Raukūmaru forest (also in Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau-a-Apanui) and in Te Taitokerau. Refusal of the government to even acknowledge the rights Māori have over minerals is causing major concern amongst those iwi.
The Auckland hui came up with a “strategic road map” for dealing with this issue. In summary:
· Make this an election issue – focused on environmental issues;
· Iwi work together on this, being led by Te Whānau-a-Apanui and Ngāti Porou, and Te Taitokerau and engage with government on a principled basis;
· Information – need access to key, quality information and our technical analysis must be based on our values and priorities;
· Action and awareness – to assert our rights and our kaupapa.
Based on this report we expected the Forum to set up a Working Group to address the issue. However Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau-a-Apanui indicated that they were simply keeping iwi informed, so the presentation was just noted.
d) Government Ministers and Agents
Tariana Tūria, Sir Wira Gardiner, Paula Bennett and John Key were each allocated time to address the forum. Tariana was considered and respectful but both Wira and Paula tried to have resolutions passed, Wira on education and establishing a Iwi Leaders Working Group on Māori Education and Paula on Iwi taking responsibility for child abuse. Then at dinner John Key addressed us.
The founding kaupapa of the National Iwi Chairs Forum was that we come together to discuss our issues amongst ourselves. Talks with government are not meant to take place during Forum hui but outside it and by Working Groups delegated those tasks. Including Ministers and their agents in our hui severely curtailed our own discussions and we were unable to discuss the Foreshore and Seabed Working Party’s progress. Given the influence of the Forum, it is in the government’s interests to gain at least some control over it and if it can’t, to undermine it. I was very disappointed to see one, or perhaps it was some of our Iwi chairs compromising the Forum by allowing the government speaking time which undermined our agenda. I will be raising the matter with the Taitokerau Iwi Chairs.
There was no discussion about a Forum meeting in November. Ngāti Whātua, with the tautoko of the rest of Te Taitokerau, will host the February 2011 hui at the Copthorne Hotel in Waitangi.
Professor Margaret Mutu
24 August 2010