Pressed Pause for Maoridom
Pressed Pause for Maoridom
September 10, 2011
I have come across very few concise stories thus far concerning Nga Puhi treaty settlements as most still fail to identify and convey the key facts.
As this issue is made out to be complex, journalists often skim the service, telling a story but missing the real story.
I have seen them come into a hui, take pictures and do a piece to camera. After lunch, the facts start to come but the cameras have gone.
I felt the only way to do my people justice was to embed myself amongst them for a time, so I did.
At first glance it seamed as though Nga Puhi were at war with each other, that they had no choice but to rush towards a settlement as we near the Treaty of Waitangi settlement cut off date of 2014.
In the wider New Zealand communities, no one seams to notice that this politically set cut off date is in breach of New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi.
It is then interesting to observe how well this fits with the crowns offer for each Maori tribe to sign settlement.
What most people don’t understand is that this is not just about settlement. This document includes a clause that extinguishes the Treaty rights of those who sign.
By international law, this is the only way the crown can destroy the Treaty, by Maori signing it away.
The sad fact is that due to the time constraint, nine tenths of Maori tribes have signed already but not Nga Puhi.
Through the Waitangi Tribunal so far, Nga Puhi have completed 5 weeks of stage 1 hearings to address the breaches of the 1835 Declaration of Independence and the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.
The Tribunals final report on this is due out in June 2012.
The Waitangi Tribunal has indicated in a memorandum that Stage 2 hearings are now underway to allow Nga Puhi claims to be heard.
The Tribunal has also stated in this memorandum that this is an enquiry like no other.
Nga Puhi are the largest ever enquiry district in New Zealand, in terms of the number of claims, and the size of the claimant communities.
The majority of Nga Puhi leaders and claimant communities are in support of the Tribunal processes before any settlement is to be considered, if considered at all.
Mean while, the crown has allowed a charitable trust to seek a mandate to negotiate settlement for Nga Puhi. This charitable trust is called Tuhoronuku.
Contrary to what the media are saying, Tuhoronuku does not actually have the majority support of the leaders and claimant communities of Nga Puhi.
Tuhoronuku have been selective on who they invite to their meetings and have elected themselves from within the trust itself, making it appear as if they have wider support.
The actual majority of leaders and claimant communities of Nga Puhi are speaking out against Tuhoronuku but the media are being lazy and no one is covering this or they convey it as if Nga Puhi is just fighting amongst its self.
On the 12th of August 2011, the crown supported Tuhoronuku to go for mandate to negotiate full and final settlement for all of Nga Puhi. This mandate closes for voting at 12 Noon, Wednesday the 21st of September 2011.
Nga Puhi don’t want help towards final settlement, they want help for their claims to be heard.
The majority of informed Nga Puhi people are not after the money, they want their mana restored.
There is one simple solution that rests with the crown.
Will the crown fulfill its treaty obligation and fund the Waitangi Tribunal adequately?
Will the crown fulfill its treaty obligation and drop its arbitrary cut off date of 2014?
In time, history will tell the true story.