Ngā Ruahine kaumātua supports independent governance of Māori land

By Leah Te Whata
  • North Island: West Coast

In light of recent events regarding the governance of Māori land in Taranaki, Ngā Ruahine Kaumātua Hori Manuirirangi has come forward in support of the independence of land owners in the management of Māori land.

An injunction has been in place at Te Kauae, a 97 acre land block just out of Manaia in Taranaki, since 1999 as an assertion of the tino rangatiratanga of Ngā Ruahine hapū Ngāti Tū.

Manuirirangi says, "We want our land back to make our own decisions for our own people, we don't want to be on the side-line of the charade that goes on, we know how to manage our own affairs but the system not dare give us that control."

Manuirirangi's hapu went to the extent of inviting gang affiliated family members to occupy their Te Kauae homestead in order to uphold the injunction on the land.

"If it were not for the support of our nephews who are part of the gangs the black power and the mongrel mob we wouldn't have been able to hold on to our rahui on the whenua as long as we did."

18 years later and the prohibition still stands, Manuirirangi says it will remain until a lease agreement with the Parininihi ki Waitōtara Incorporation can be established that reflects Ngāti Tū's ownership of the land.

"We're not going to stop until we get redress and be able to manage our own lands, our life is made up with going cap in hand to government agencies, that's not us we're supposed to be the tangata whenua and the other part in the treaty deal but no-one listens to us.

Te Kāea reached out to the Parininihi ki Waitōtara Trust who weren't able to give comment at this time.