Signing 'great relief' for Pare Hauraki

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Wellington

The Hauraki settlement was signed in parliament today but not without its objectors. Tears and grief meet Pare Hauraki whānau today as Tauranga Moana protesters came out in force on Parliament's forecourt.

Police were forced to step in when chaos began to mount as busloads of Hauraki kaumātua, kuia and pakeke arrived to witness the signing of a new milestone for their iwi.

Despite the protests, for Pare Hauraki it was a day of “great relief” signing their settlement after almost ten years of Crown negotiations. The total package worth over $250million.

Hauraki negotiator Paul Majurey says “It's been a long time coming and lot of work. We've lost a lot of our old people so a great relief and happiness and joy on people's faces that they've seen it happen."

Treaty Minister Andrew Little says "This is a group of reasonably small iwi, many of whom who have nothing and as difficult as it has been we have got to this particular point of signing the deed."

The Settlement includes the return of the ancestral maunga Moehau and Te Aroha to Pare Hauraki as well as Hauraki co-governance arrangements in the regions of Coromandel Peninsula, Hauraki Plains, Waikato, Hunua Ranges and Tauranga Moana.

Tauranga and Hauraki descendants Matai Ariki and Mapuna Turner were amongst the protesters. Ariki says he did not agree with Hauraki trampling on Tauranga tikanga.

“They do not have right through whakapapa. However the previous Government decided to place them in our region of Tauranga.”

Mapuna says “They have no whakapapa, they have no land and yet here they are signing away our land. That’s not on.”

However MP for Waiariki Tamati Coffey says he hopes the issues between the two tribes can still be settled through a tikanga process.

"For them [Pare Hauraki] it's a big day but for Tauranga Moana it's a big day as well."

Majurey says Pare Hauraki has reached out to Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti Ranginui to commence a tikanga process next week.