Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu
Land Claims Report for February 2015
1. Appeal to the Supreme Court on Te Ana o Taite – ceremony to mark settlement 7 February
2. Ngāti Kahu Trust Board Litigation Against Ngāti Kahu Mortgage Services
3. Offer from Crown to fully and finally extinguish Ngāti Kahu’s claims
4. Māori Affairs Select Committee considering Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill: hearing 2-3 March
5. National Iwi Chairs Forum, 4-5 February 2015, Kerikeri, Ngāti Kahu hosting
6. Further Report back on Constitutional Transformation project – 5 possible options for a new constitutional arrangement for the country
7. Progress with Deed of Partial Settlement
The ceremony to mark the agreement we reached with Carrington Jade to settle out of court was held at Te Ana o Taite on 7 February. Carrington Jade also sponsored the National Iwi Chairs Forum hui in Kerikeri.
At our January hui we accepted the Ngāti Kahu Trust Board’s proposal to vary the proposed out of court settlement for its action against Ngāti Kahu Mortgage Services subject to a number of conditions. They were sent to the Trust Board.
A final decision on the Crown’s offer continues to await the response of two marae.
The Māori Affairs Select Committee hearing on Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill will take place on 2-3 March in Kaitāia.
I spoke briefly with the Federation of Māori Authorities about the government moving to steal our forestry rentals.
National Iwi Chairs’ Forum took place at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri on 4-5 February hosted by Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Hine. It was a very successful hui and large numbers attended.
Matike Mai Aotearoa convened by Moana Jackson has proposed five possible options for consideration as new constitutional arrangements for the country.
Work on finalizing our Deed of Partial Settlement is on-going.
1. Appeal to the Supreme Court on Te Ana o Taite – ceremony to mark settlement
A ceremony to mark the occasion of the signing of the out of court settlement and cooperation agreement with Carrington Jade (which is owned by Shanghai CRED) took place at Te Ana o Taite on 7 February. The head of Shanghai Cred, Mr Gui, delayed his travel arrangements to attend. It was a beautiful and moving ceremony as we thanked Shanghai CRED for ensuring that Te Ana o Taite is permanently protected and undertaking to take good care of Te Whānau Moana’s lands. Mr Gui emphasized his wish to see us work together and for everyone to benefit from their development. The ceremony was followed by a meal at Carrington Winery. Some of our delegates and a large number of Te Whānau Moana attended.
For the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum hui held at Kerikeri Shanghai CRED/Carrington Jade was one of several sponsors. They gave each chairperson of an iwi a set of porcelain Kylin (Chinese divine creatures) as talismans of good fortune in wealth and protection of health.
2. Ngāti Kahu Trust Board v Ngāti Kahu Mortgage Services Ltd – amended proposal for consideration
At our Rūnanga hui in January we discussed the Ngāti Kahu Trust Board’s request to change the interim trustees. We agreed to their proposal for the Board and the Rūnanga to appoint equal numbers of interim trustees rather than the chairs of each marae being the interim trustees. However we placed a number of conditions on these appointments:
1. That the number of trustees be reduced to two appointed by each party.
2. That all interim trustees must be from the mana whenua hapū.
3. That all interim trustees must sign post-dated resignations.
4. That the mandate of the interim trustees must be clearly restricted to lodging an application in the Maori Land Court for an Ahu Whenua Trust to be established over the land.
5. That the term of the trustees must be until the job is done, or for six months, whichever is shorter.
6. That there is to be no independent chair of the interim trustees.
7. That the chair of the permanent trustees must be mana whenua.
(See the minutes of the January hui.)
The Ngāti Kahu Trust Board lawyers were advised of this decision on 2 February. We are awaiting a response.
3. Offer from Crown to fully and finally extinguish Ngāti Kahu’s claims
Two marae have not yet decided what to do about the Crown’s offer.
4. Māori Affairs Select Committee considering Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill: hearing
The hearing for this select committee will take place on 2 March at Te Ahu Centre in Kaitāia. We have not been told what time we are scheduled to appear but will circulate the time as soon as we know.
On the matter of the government stealing our Crown forestry rentals, I spoke briefly with Traci Houpapa (FOMA) at the National Iwi Chairs’ hui and we agreed to meet to discuss this matter.
5. National Iwi Chairs’ Forum hui, 4-5 February 2015, Kerikeri, Ngāti Kahu hosting with Ngāti Hine
At our January hui we discussed difficulties arising because Ngāpuhi is in dispute with Ngāti Hine and did not want them co-hosting the hui. The matter was resolved by circulating a late amended agenda showing Ngāti Kahu chairing the hui. Ngāti Hine continued to co-host the hui. It was good to hear them tell all the other iwi chairs that they are an iwi and for Sir James Henare’s mokopuna, Rowena Tana, to also confirm what her grandfather had told her (and us) about Ngāti Hine being an iwi. We attended a tangi at Te Tii, Mangonui prior to the hui and while we were there they, as mana whenua in Kerikeri, advised us to carry on with running the hui.
Ngāti Kahu along with Ngāti Hine did Te Taitokerau proud in the way the hui was hosted and run. My deepest gratitude goes to the large numbers of Ngāti Kahu who turned out to work for and tautoko the hui and to make it a smoothly run and very enjoyable hui for all our manuhiri.
The cruise around Ipipiri (Bay of Islands) and out to Motukōkako (the Hole in the Rock) on the evening before the hui went extremely well. It was organized by Ngāti Hine and catered by Ngāti Kahu. About 85 people enjoyed the trip, mostly Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Hine but also a number of iwi chairs from around the country.
The banquet and the entertainment on the evening of the 4th were superb. Entertainment was provided by a Ngāti Hine whānau (Martin) string quintet, the Ngāti Kahu members of Muriwhenua Kapa Haka and Ngāti Hine’s singer, Russell Harrison.
The hui on 4-5 February was attended by large numbers of both iwi chairs and observers. The agenda was very full and we dealt with a large number of issues as well as meeting with about 12 government ministers and several other groups that chairs sponsored to talk to us. Because it was held at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri we were able to manaaki our manuhiri properly, with the RSA next door providing catering services.
The following is a brief summary of matters covered:
The secretariat (Te Kaahui o Rauru – Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi) reported that there are now 65 iwi chairs who are members of National Iwi Chairs’ Forum. A request for membership from the Māori Women’s Welfare League was declined because they are not an iwi.
On the Māori (hapū) ownership of freshwater Tā Tumu Te Heuheu reported that a work plan for discussing and resolving the issues involved with government had been agreed and he was hopeful that these would be satisfactorily completed by February 2016.
On climate change: a letter sent to the government undertaking to put all Māori land into forestry was withdrawn and the minister advised.
On conservation: the government has been reluctant to engage saying the minister is too busy to accept Tā Mark Solomon’s requests for a meeting.
On the Whānau Ora policy: Pahia Turia (chair of Ngāti Apa) and John Tamihere provided an update on implementing the policy in the North Island.
On Mātauranga – education: This group’s technicians continued to complain about the off-handed treatment they were receiving from various officials they tried to deal with. They were reminded once again that primary communication is through ministers, not government bureaucrats. Tā Toby Curtis was the chair presenting this time and will take a stronger line. Tā Mark Solomon reported on a visit to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) charter schools in the USA and the excellent results they are producing. Ngāi Tahu is looking closely at this model and was sharing the information with us.
On Constitutional Transformation: Pita Tipene (Ngāti Hine) presented a paper on the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal on He Whakaputanga me Te Tiriti – The Declaration and the Treaty. Iwi chairs were asked to invite Moana Jackson to lead discussions with their hapū and iwi on the five options for constitutional transformation (see below).
On the Monitoring Mechanism set up to monitor the government’s compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, all 15 nominations were accepted to form a Monitoring Governance Forum. They are Professor Margaret Mutu (Ngāti Kahu) as chair, Tā Tumu Te Heuheu (Tūwharetoa), Maxine Moana-Tūwhāngai (Waikato-Tainui), Fred Te Miha (Ngāti Tama ki Te Tauihu), Moana Jackson (Ngāti Kahungunu), Aroha Mead (Ngāti Awa), Claire Charteris (Ngāti Whakaue), Carwyn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu), Dayle Takitimu (Te Aitanga a Māhaki), Chrissie Cowan (Ngāti Kahungunu representing Ngāti Kāpō – disabled), Maaka Tibble (Ngāti Porou – representing disabled), Pūāwai Kake (Ngāpuhi – representing rangatahi), Manuka Henare, Catherine Davis (Ngāti Kurī), Valmaine Toki (Ngāti Wai/Ngāti Rehua). Shane Bradbrook was nominated by Rongowhakaata to work with the technical team.
On Te Reo: Rāhui Papa (chair of Te Tekaumārua, Waikato-Tainui) called a hui for 18-19 February to discuss the steps that whānau, hapū and iwi think are necessary to save our language. Anthony Housham and I attended the hui where a range of possibilities were discussed. We were tasked to return home and ask for 10 commandments from each iwi that would save our reo.
On E Tū Whānau (prevention of family violence): This underfunded government programme has made considerable advances thanks to the support of iwi chairs and the Forum.
On a Strategic Plan for the Forum: Pita Tipene and Pahia Turia are leading this and an extra day will be added to the hui in Ngāti Apa (6-8 May) so that a day-long workshop can take place.
The Iwi Communications Practitioners (led by Ngāi Tahu and Julian Wilcox), Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga from the University of Auckland, the Federation of Māori Authorities and the Human Rights Commission all made presentations to the hui.
The annual meeting with the government, led by Prime Minister John Key, as usual attracted the most attention. I was pleasantly surprised that their attitude was much improved on past years’ performances and that they took the time to give considered answers to the matters put to them. However many of the answers were unsatisfactory and there remains a great deal of work to do before they will be compliant with either Te Tiriti or the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
6. Further Report back on Constitutional Transformation project – five possible options for a new constitutional arrangement for the country
As reported last month but not covered in the hui, we are now at a crucial point in our constitutional transformation project. Based on the information and views provided in the consultation hui, Matike Mai Aotearoa, the Constitutional Transformation Working Group has proposed five options as possible models for new constitutional arrangements that they are seeking feedback on. They are
• a possible Unicameral Model with one body made up of iwi/hapū and the Crown which makes decisions together
• a possible Bicameral Model made up of an iwi/hapū assembly and the Crown in two separate bodies
• three possible Tricameral Models:
1. an iwi/hapū assembly, the Crown and a joint deliberative body
2. an iwi/hapū assembly, the Crown and regional assemblies
3. an iwi/hapū assembly that includes urban representation, the Crown and a joint deliberative body
Moana’s comments on the discussions thus far on these options are that at this stage the bicameral model with the Iwi/Hapu Assembly and the Crown as two separate bodies seems the most preferred. Main discussion points to date are:
(i) Each Māori body chooses its method of determining representation so for example one Iwi may vote directly while another might have an electoral college type format.
(ii) There is fairly clear opposition to having Political Parties in the Māori body.
(iii) There is fairly substantial support for having an Iwi/Hapū/Urban mix.
(iv) There is considerable debate about whose tikanga would underpin the relationship between the Crown and Māori bodies – the consensus seems to be developing that tikanga should do so but there is no clear idea yet about how that would work.
(v) There is majority support for a “vetting” process for representatives - e.g. no abusers.
Moana stresses that no one model is an outright favourite at this point as there is support for each one. Much more interest seems to be around the values and tikanga that would make any Māori body different. Please can whānau, hapū and marae discuss these options and bring or send any comment you have on them.
7. Progress with Publication of the Deed of Partial Settlement
Progress with adding in all the changes requested so that the completed book can go to Huia Publishing has been slower than I would have liked. However I have now been able to work on it again and am aiming to send it off in the next month.
Professor Margaret Mutu
19 February 2015