Our message to Andrew Little: stop before you breach the Treaty of Waitangi

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Competing North Island iwi teams Tauranga Moana and Pare Hauraki had been on monitor to barter a tikanga course of for Treaty settlement talks – head to head, on the marae, no legal professionals. Then the federal government modified fingers and tikanga went out the window, writes Graham Cameron.

My daughter Hinengākau could have delayed your morning commute if you happen to had been in central Wellington on Tuesday morning. She was there with tons of from Tauranga Moana demanding a tikanga course of between Pare Hauraki and Tauranga Moana be settled previous to the signing of the Pare Hauraki Deed of Settlement.

They had been in Wellington as a result of three letters had been despatched from Minister of Treaty Negotiations Andrew Little to Tauranga Moana in April which all had the identical message: the minister meant to signal the Deed of Settlement with Pare Hauraki pending any new data from the three iwi of Tauranga Moana. The letters additionally talked about the tikanga course of, sniffily suggesting that any such course of might proceed post-signing.

That Pare Hauraki Deed of Settlement might see Tauranga Moana below new administration. It’s tough to make certain what’s in it, but when the beforehand signed Deed of Settlement is something to go by, it’s going to embrace the popularity of Pare Hauraki pursuits in Tauranga Moana harbour and land.

Let me step again a little bit approach that can assist you perceive what’s happening.

The individuals of Pare Hauraki are represented by a collective of 12 iwi. Most of us at house have considered these iwi as being positioned across the Coromandel and the Firth of Thames. They’re household with iwi bordering that space together with Tauranga Moana.

Tauranga Moana has three iwi: Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Pūkenga. We occupy Tauranga harbour and the encircling hills and ranges. We’re household with iwi bordering our space, together with Pare Hauraki.

Household relationships imply that many people have ‘pursuits’ exterior of our space. For instance, my Pirirākau hapū in Te Puna, north of Bethlehem, have ‘pursuits’ in some areas of Ngāti Hinerangi land, east of Matamata. However ‘pursuits’ are completely different to ‘rights.’

Right here’s the rub: the Pare Hauraki Deed of Settlement will overturn that understanding and equate ‘pursuits’ with ‘rights.’

If they’ve each pursuits and rights, then they’re mana whenua. If they’re mana whenua, then it’s legally required that they’ve a say over all useful resource administration and consent points in Tauranga Moana going ahead.

They’re doing this via Hauraki ancestors Taraia and Tukukino who married into Tauranga Moana. What’s disappointing about this declare is that Taraia and Tukukino at all times recognized themselves as Ngāti Ranginui once they had been in Tauranga Moana.

What Pare Hauraki argue is that the in-laws who’ve ‘pursuits’ by advantage of marriage, even have ‘rights’ to the land and harbour of their companions. The Chief Negotiator for Pare Hauraki, Paul Majurey, asserts that Ngāti Ranginui agreed to this in 2012.

Ngāti Ranginui negotiators did try to achieve settlement with Pare Hauraki. A kind of agreements was in regards to the Athenree forest bordering the north a part of the harbour. Pare Hauraki pursuits and rights had been recognised on this land that borders Pare Hauraki and Tauranga Moana, and a sensible break up 60/40 break up was agreed at that time. Different items of land have additionally been agreed to; these are fairly particular and relate to specific whānau from each Pare Hauraki and Tauranga Moana who had been occupying pockets of land in Tauranga Moana between the signing of Te Tiriti and the confiscations within the 1860s.

However we by no means agreed that Pare Hauraki are mana whenua in Tauranga Moana. Actually, we thought these agreements had been the honourable solution to acknowledge Hauraki pursuits and shield our mana whenua rights.

Extra idiot us.

So when the primary iteration of the Pare Hauraki Deed of Settlement went public and former minister Chris Finlayson mentioned he would signal it in early 2017, the entire of Tauranga Moana protested via each avenue. You could keep in mind we blockaded the harbour and the Wairoa bridge on SH2. Round all that had been many many conferences with politicians.

As a consequence of strain Chris Finlayson agreed in late July 2017 to delay the signing till a tikanga course of had been accomplished between Pare Hauraki and Tauranga Moana to settle the difficulty of pursuits and rights.

One hui was held at which it was agreed that every get together would return to their iwi and agree what that tikanga course of would appear like. We had the wānanga in regards to the tikanga course of right here in Tauranga Moana. The method – head to head, paepae tapu to paepae tapu, led by our pakeke and led by the hapū most affected, no authorized representatives, on the marae – was unanimously supported.

We didn’t actually hear something again. Then an election was held. And now now we have a brand new minister.

We’ve continued to ask Pare Hauraki to hitch us in transferring ahead within the tikanga course of. For instance, in the previous few weeks our main kaumātua Kihi Ngātai has gone above and past to ask Pare Hauraki to satisfy with us.

However their negotiating workforce can see a solution to keep away from a tikanga course of: a naive minister who will not be totally abreast of the problems.

Minister Andrew Little needs to get issues executed within the settlement house. So his intuition is to see issues that take time as obstacles. And the chief negotiator for Pare Hauraki has executed his greatest to place the case that Tauranga Moana try to disclaim Hauraki a simply settlement.

If the minister denies Tauranga Moana the appropriate to achieve a decision with Pare Hauraki utilizing a tikanga course of earlier than any signing happens, he could have willfully breached te Tiriti o Waitangi. He could have decided that our tikanga, protected below Article II, is topic to the authority of the Crown.

That is the precise nature of latest claims being ready in Tauranga Moana: the method that the Crown has utilized in reaching a Deed of Settlement with Pare Hauraki is a breach that has threatened the mana whenua of Tauranga Moana.

Tauranga Moana communicate with one voice on this matter: we wish a simply settlement for our whanaunga in Pare Hauraki. We is not going to settle for that the Crown must erode a simply settlement for Tauranga Moana to take action.

I imagine the minister is dedicated to justice for previous wrongs. He can display that when he exhibits himself dedicated to permitting tāngata whenua to prepared the ground to justice. He must articulate publicly that a tikanga course of should come earlier than he can finalise and log out the Pare Hauraki Deed of Settlement.

Graham Bidois Cameron (Ngāti Ranginui) is a commentator on social and political points regarding tangata whenua. He’s primarily based in Tauranga Moana.



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