Ngāti Tamaoho in “high spirits” at final claims reading

By Talisa Kupenga

The final reading of Ngāti Tamaoho's Treaty settlement claim marks history for the iwi.  Representatives say they are in high spirits now the iwi has reached this milestone.

A song by Ngāti Tamaoho warms the paliamentary chamber, bringing politicians to their feet.

Ngāti Tamaoho Trust Chairman Dennis Kirkwood says, "One of our old koroua (elders), he composed that, Toko Pompey.   He was called Sammy D in his day…the song talks about our ancestors and thanking them for their strength and their gifts."

The iwi-Crown relationship was positive but the Crown failed to retain acquired land for Ngāti Tamaoho.  It branded the iwi "rebels" and also exacerbated tensions between Ngāti Tamaoho and neighbouring iwi.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says, "Despite Ngāti Tamaoho never having been in rebellion, Crown troops burned buildings and looted property at the Ngāti Tamaoho settlement at Pōkeno prior to the invasion of Waikato."

The iwi receives $10.3 million redress and $590,000 for a cultural revitalisation fund, the return of cultural sites including the joint vesting of Hunua falls with groups including Ngai Tai ki Tāmaki.

Labour’s Tāmaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare says "I acknowledge how quickly you've reached settlement.  A challenge perhaps for my own iwi of Ngāpuhi."

The iwi signed its Deed of Settlement April last year.

Kirkwood says, "One of the things we're mindful of is to not get too bogged down and to keep pushing along because we do want to be able to be around to help the next generation to move off on a good footing."

Ngāti Tamaoho areas of interest extend from the Awhitu Peninsula across Franklin District and the Hunua Ranges and also includes both Waikato wetlands and central Auckland.