Iwi warn about over lapping settlement process

By Mere McLean
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Three North Island tribes met in Tauranga to discuss the government's approach to settling treaty claims with overlapping interests. Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Ranginui believe the Crown's approach is wrong and protocols around Māori customs and land ownership should be included.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei have come to share their experience regarding the government's approach to settling overlapping interests in treaty claims.

Ngāti Whatua ki Orakei spokesperson Taiha Hawke says, “Iwi should be worried. Those iwi who have settled their claims, those iwi who have not yet settled because if we had not won our case before the Māori Land Court, all would have suffered.”

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei met with representatives from Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui.  Ngāi Te Rangi intends on battling Hauraki iwi for their rights to Tauranga Harbour despite an initialled Deed of Settlement agreement between Hauraki and the Crown. Ngāi Te Rangi chairman Charlie Tawhiao says discussions around cross-claims should not involve the Crown.

“The right thing to do is to let us discuss with other tribes regarding Tauranga.  We do not agree for the Crown to facilitate those discussions.”

The iwi here agree the process is flawed and the cross-claims policy is setting up distrust within iwi. 

“Without a doubt, this issue has the potential to affect all iwi around the country.”

Ngāi Te Rangi hopes to meet with Waikato-Tainui next to generate more discussion around the issue.

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