Ngāti Ranginui descendants want Crown policy changed when it comes to the overlapping of Iwi claims. A large contingent of the iwi left from Tauranga today and will march onto parliament tomorrow to oppose cross-claims from Hauraki iwi.
Ngāti Ranginui Iwi are opposing cross claims into their region after the Crown initialled a Deed of Settlement for another Iwi into the area.
Patrick Nicholas of Ngāti Ranginui says, “At the moment we have a Hauraki Collective claiming into Tauranga using a Ngāti Ranginui whakapapa, something that belongs to Ngāti Ranginui. They are claiming Ngāti Ranginui urupā. I have no problems with people claiming but if you claim Ngāti Ranginui whakapapa you should come under Ngāti Ranginui not some other iwi collective”.
Nicholas this week lodged a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in the hope of changing Crown policy regarding cross-claims. “One of the problems the Crown is [creating] is encouraging Iwi to claim as individual, if iwi claim as Iwi there will be no cross claims if they just stuck to their own whakapapa”.
Iwi like Ngāti Ranginui have been told that the Crown's policy is to say it has no interest and no role in determining tribal boundaries.
The Hauraki Collective represents twelve iwi in the region. Spokesperson Paul Majurey says the collective has rights that stretch from Matakana north of Auckland to Matakana Island in the Tauranga harbour.
“When you try to come in with a foreign whakapapa, under a foreign iwi structure, that's a problem, that is a big problem and that is why we are marching,” says Nicholas.
Te Kaea contacted Hauraki spokesperson Paul Majurey for comment but he is yet to respond.
Ngāti Ranginui along with Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Pukenga will voice their opposition at parliament tomorrow.