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Ngapuhi claims independent report published as e-book

Press release
17 June 2014

Ngapuhi claims independent report nears 2000 sales, published as e-book

An independent report on Stage One of the Ngapuhi claims regarding the Declaration of Independence and Te Tiriti o Waitangi is nearing sales of 2000 hard copies.

The report presents previously unpublished Maori evidence about the intentions of rangatira for the Treaty agreement and He Wakaputanga, known as the Declaration of Independence (1835).

First published in 2012, Ngapuhi Speaks has this week been released as an e-book on New Zealand site meBooks.co.nz.

The 400-page report by an independent panel of Maori and Pakeha academics has been steadily selling while Ngapuhi still awaits a report from the Waitangi Tribunal itself on the claim, WAI1040.

One of the reasons the Kuia and Kaumatua of Ngapuhi commissioned the independent observers to produce a report was the expectation that the Tribunal and the Crown would have a great deal of difficulty in producing a timely report. In the meantime the independent report has been tabled at the United Nations.

There has been a legal move this year to take the Tribunal to task over the lengthy delay in producing its report. In a 30 May High Court decision, Baker vs The Waitangi Tribunal and the Attorney-General, (CIV-2010-404-6619 [2014] NZHC 1219) Judge J Toogood says:

“I accept the plaintiff’s submission… that the Tribunal has failed in its duty to inform the plaintiff and other claimants adequately about progress in the preparation of the Stage 1 report, and that they have been adversely affected as a result.
[6] In the directions issued at [60] below, I have directed the Tribunal or the Attorney-General on its behalf to file and serve on the plaintiff and Mr Andrew, amicus curiae, by 30 June 2014, an affidavit which:
(a) describes and explains what stage the Tribunal has reached in the preparation of its Stage 1 report; and (b) contains a realistic estimate by the Tribunal of the likely release date of the Stage 1 report in Wai 1040, based on the assumptions that the Tribunal’s resources remain as they are at present and that no new matters having greater priority because of urgency or importance will require a further redirection of Tribunal resources away from Wai 1040.”

The Tribunal now expects its report to be published in October this year.

Ngapuhi Speaks is referenced in the March-April 2014 issue of NZ Geographic, in an article entitled A Sovereign Act, on the WAI claim. It has also become a textbook for several university courses, with members of the panel presenting seminars throughout the country.

Commentary on the book published in the Catholic newspaper Welcom was this year the subject of a complaint to the Press Council, which was not upheld.

Publishers Te Kawariki and Network Waitangi Whangarei are investigating the publication of a resource book for school students on the documents, based on the evidence given at the hearing by Ngapuhi experts.

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