Protests rock parliament as Hauraki settlement signed

By Lynette Amoroa

The Pare Hauraki settlement deed at parliament was met with tears and anger by Ngai Te Rangi members including kuia and koroua.

As Hauraki supporters made their way on parliament's forecourt,  they were met by emotional iwi groups who say a proper tikanga process over the settlement had not been followed.

Overlapping interests in the Tauranga region within the deed have caused tension amongst groups which resulted in Tauranga iwi protesting to stop the signing at parliament back in May and again today.

Ngai Te Rangi are part of the Hauraki collective and they fear the settlement would give Hauraki iwi mana whenua status in Tauranga.

Last week, Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little announced Matakana Island will be excluded from the redress area of the Hauraki collective deed saying it is among changes that would be more palatable to Ngai Te Rangi and other Tauranga iwi.

Little says, "We've agreed to shift some of the boundary markings for some of the consultation areas, [for] fisheries [and for] conservation.  We've made sure that Matakana Island, which I think was a very controversial point, is not included in the redress area."

In a recent interview with Te Kāea, Ngai Te Rangi chairman Charlie Tawhiao said, "What the Crown and Hauraki want is for us to recognise that Hauraki have mana whenua in Tauranga which we refuse to do.  Secondly, we don't understand how this can happen given the number of submissions to the Waitangi Tribunal to stop the signing of the deed."

The government has chosen to go ahead with the signing of the Pare Hauraki collective redress deed, despite an injunction by Ngai Te Rangi and opposition by other iwi in the Hauraki collective.