Waitangi Tribunal calls for the Crown to delay Hauraki settlement

By Te Ao - Māori News
Pare Hauraki singing in Parliament / Source - File

The Waitangi Tribunal has declared that the Crown failed in its duties to act honourably. It calls on the Crown to delay settling with Pare Hauraki until it can rectify its processes.

In their recommendations, they state that, “The legislation giving effect to the Pare Hauraki Collective Settlement Deed, and the individual Hauraki iwi settlement deeds, does not proceed until the contested redress items have been through a proper overlapping claims process.”

However Pare Hauraki released a statement saying “The Tribunal did not say that Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāti Wai have exclusive mana whenua in the contested areas, as they argued.

Pare Hauraki interpret the report to mean that all of these iwi, along with Pare Hauraki, have claims in Tauranga Moana.

“The Tribunal did not say that Pare Hauraki have no customary interests in the contested areas, as claimed by Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāti Wai. This is no surprise.

“For example, the Tribunal made findings in an earlier report that Pare Hauraki do, in fact, have long standing customary interests within Tauranga Moana.”

What makes this situation unique was the inclusion of kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) engagement with different groups, though a new “tikanga based” process.

“Such a process empowers the iwi to resolve matters themselves, exercising their tino rangatiratanga, rather than relying on a Ministerial decision,” the report says.

However tribunal did issue a warning for those would go down this path:

“…those seeking to engage in a tikanga process must act tika themselves. They must approach the process with a genuine desire to resolve the issue, through tikanga.

“An objecting group cannot use such a process as a ruse to try and delay or frustrate a settlement they do not agree with.

“Such an approach is not tika and the Crown would be justified in refusing to condone such tactics.”

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei trust deputy chair Ngarimu Blair says that the report has confirmed what Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have been saying for years.

“We have developed our own tikanga-based solution for overlapping interests with Ngāti Paoa, and it is working. But the parties need to act honestly and with integrity, which has not happened with Marutūāhu.”