Treaty claim status quo untenable - Ngāti Wai

By Raniera Harrison
  • Northland

The calls of Tauranga Moana are supported by Northland iwi, Ngāti Wai. 

They say that the Treaty settlement process is unfair.

"The only thing that will come out of the status quo is more Treaty claims" says Ngāti Wai spokesman, Aperahama Edwards.

Whakapaumahara Marae today hosted the continuation of settlement discussions between Ngāti Wai and Ngāti Hako from the Hauraki Collective. 

A Ngāti Wai spokesman says the government needs to listen to solutions regarding cross-claimants. 

"The government need to listen to the plea of the collective here for the statutory policy they continually pursue" says Edwards.

Ngāti Wai are no strangers to the pitfalls of cross-claiming in the modern Treaty Settlement process. 

Since 2011, the iwi have been locked over mana whenua status of Little Barrier Island, which was included under the 2011 Ngāti Manuhiri Deed of Settlement.

Edwards says, "We vehemently oppose these actions.  It isn't just the tribal groupings of Tauranga that have been affected by the cross-claims of the Hauraki Collective but also Ngāti Wai".

Tribal elders of Ngāti Wai stood in solidarity today, support that comes from past experiences. 

"Ngāti Wai is standing in solitude with Tauranga Moana and Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei and the majority of tribal groupings who have been affected," says Edwards.

Ngāti Wai say that the current system being followed only looks to "tick the box".

"The government are persisting in dangling a carrot to quickly settle these grievances," says Edwards.

Ngāti Wai say they will continue to offer their support to other iwi currently battling with what they say is an unfair Treaty settlement process.