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Government Must Not Create Non-Existent Hapu

Media Release
17 February 2005

Government Must Not Create Non-Existent Hapu

New Zealand First says that the Government is about to trample all over tikanga Maori if it proceeds with the Ngati Awa Claims Settlement Bill, which includes two urban Maori bodies being defined as hapu (sub-tribes).

“Never before has a government attempted to take such an audacious step of legislating to create a hapu. This is a dangerous and unprecedented step with implications for all Maori,” said Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone.

“The inclusion of Ngati Awa ki Tamaki Makaurau and Ngati Awa ki Poneke, both urban Maori bodies, as hapu within the Bill is not in line with tikanga Maori and provides a totally unwarranted precedent for the Crown to be given authority to ‘create’ new hapu.

“These are issues that clearly must remain with the whanau, hapu and iwi Maori.

“These two urban groups must be removed from the Bill if the Act is to have any integrity, and with the government now delaying its passing, there is time to correct this anomaly.

“New Zealand First calls on the government to do so expeditiously,” concluded Mr Paraone.

ENDS

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