Māori never ceded their sovereignty to the Crown. It’s what the chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi maintained despite not being heard.
However today their words were confirmed as true by the Waitangi Tribunal in its report on stage one of the Ngāpuhi claims.
It’s a report that acknowledges the Māori version of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its English version.
Te Waihoroi Shortland says, “It’s of utmost importance that we realise our sovereignty and we all need to move down that road for the benefit of the nation.”
The report by the Waitangi Tribunal is said to tip 174 years of jurisprudence on its head.
According to Hokimate Painting, “Our ancestors wanted to sit as equals with the redcoats to create law for one and all, not just for the benefit of one side.”
Pita Tipene says, “The hapu are right so what will the Crown do now? They need to talk with our future generations to change the way this country is managed and controlled.”
“It’s not about settlement but a process that ensure that Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the enduring document envisaged as part of the partnership. Until then nothing will ever be full and final,” says Erima Henare.
Today tribes nationwide now have a new precedent to revisit their settlements.