Clarification sought over Auckland claim

By Harata Brown
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Questions have arisen following King Tuheitia's announcement regarding a claim Waikato-Tainui intends to lodge over the wider Auckland region, as to whether the claim will affect other claimant groups who already have settlement agreements in region.

The claim will involve lands as far north as Mahurangi and will extend across to the Manukau Harbour and Pīha.

According to Waikato-Tainui executive member, Rahui Papa, the tribe's boundaries have existed for centuries, 'Waikato Tainui have been saying for nearly 1000 years, Mōkau is above and Tāmaki is below.’

But Labour MP Peeni Henare has concerns for those who have already reached settlement agreements with the Crown in the district.

‘There's the issue with that claim, many tribes here in Auckland and Tainui have already settled their claim (Raupatu 95). So, is this a new claim?’ says Peeni Henare .

Tame Te Rangi is one of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua's representatives on the Tāmaki Collective, made up from 13 iwi of Auckland who reached an agreement with the Crown that saw the ownership of 14 volcanic cones returned to Māori.

Mr Te Rangi says clarification is needed, ‘We of Ngāti Whātua do not dispute the claim that has come about, but we may need to discuss the issue with the Kīngitanga and the people of Waikato Tainui to clarify some areas and be in a position to determine where to from here’.

The Henare whānau have long served as advisers to the Kīngitanga, but the MP for Tāmaki Makaurau has concerns about the claims process.

‘My concern is that it must not be left to legal proceedings to determine, acknowledge and accept our various genealogical links’ says Mr Henare.

Ngarimu Blair of the Ngāti Whātua Orākei Trust said in a written statement, "Recognition of mere historical interests should be of concern to all those in previously settled regions." He also says that their focus "is on the Crown and its process".

Meanwhile it's understood Treaty Negotiations Minister, Chris Finlayson, has agreed to hear Waikato-Tainui's claims.