Topics: Kawe Kōrero, Politics, Treaty Settlements

Tamati Coffey saddened by public criticism of Pare Hauraki settlement

By Kawekōrero

Tamati Coffey, MP for Wairiki, has been at the brunt of public criticism following the signing of Pare Hauraki's Treaty settlement by his party.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little led the settlement.  However, Coffey has been advocating on behalf of his electorate but was met with criticism by some Tauranga supporters for his involvement in the clash between the two iwi.

The Waiariki MP told Kawekōrero today that he is saddened by some of the commentary from the public, not just on Facebook but threats from Tauranga threatening to burn marae down in Hauraki amidst sharing of misinformation.

"We need to set the record straight on quite a few of these things and the first thing is that this particular settlement was actually signed off, not under us but under the previous government.  I've been very late to the table- I had hoped we'd be able to put a pause on this until we were able to work through issues but unfortunately things were at a wee bit of a stalemate," says Coffey.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has signed the Hauraki Settlement to pave the way for Māori protocol to take its course, as requested by Hauraki.

Eighty percent of the Hauraki settlement Coffey says has nothing to do with anybody else but Hauraki. 

"There are issues down on the Tauranga border, there are issues up on the northern border but a lot of Hauraki wanted to get the show on the road because they wanted to see the eighty percent of their settlement that had nothing to do with anybody else," says Coffey.

The Waiariki MP is involved as an advocate for Māori in the area and a first-term MP. 

When asked by Kawekōrero's Heta Gardiner if it was unfair to be placing responsibility on him as an MP for Labour, Coffey agreed.

"For that reason, on Monday this time last week I had the CEO of Ngāi Te Rangi come over to my office in Rotorua, we had a sit-down, we had a conversation and we committed to finding a way forward through all of this," says Coffey.