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Opposition to Manfeild Park Bill justified

Opposition to Manfeild Park Bill justified

Tariana Turia, MP for Te Tai Hauauru 6 May 2008

The Maori Party is outraged by news that the Manfeild Park Board has sold part of the Kawakawa block in Feilding for private development – even though tangata whenua claim the land was unlawfully taken from them a century ago.

“Our opposition to the Manfeild Park Bill, and opposition by Ngati Kauwhata, has proven to be justified,” said local MP Tariana Turia.

“Here is another clear breach of good faith by the Crown. The Parliament passed that Bill knowing full well there were questions over the validity of the title.

“Ngati Kauwhata made submissions to the Select Committee, and told us about their petition to Parliament in 1932, which set out the basis for their claims. But that petition was destroyed by fire while in the care of Parliament, and nothing was done at the time to correct matters.

“The iwi have filed two claims with the Waitangi Tribunal in respect of this land. They asked for a delay so their claims could be investigated.

“The iwi made it clear that they did not oppose development of Manfeild – what they objected to was being prevented from having any involvement. There were solutions to be found, if only there was time.

“We spoke and voted against the Bill, but the House pushed it through, with only the Green Party and our 4 votes against, despite Ngati Kauwhata’s every effort. I cannot see how that shows good faith to Ngati Kauwhata,” said Mrs Turia.

Ngāti Kauwhata came forward with a model—a tangata whenua, tangata tiriti model—that could have been used to establish provisions for Ngāti Kauwhata to be included in the bill. The select committee rejected the model, and two years ago almost to the day, the Bill was passed.

“Now we hear part of the land has been on-sold for private profit. That just makes any resolution more unlikely.

“It is difficult to know what Ngati Kauwhata can do, except continue to pursue their claims through the Tribunal, as they seek justice. If history is any guide the maximum compensation they can expect is 2-3% of the value of what they have lost.

“This episode is one more indictment on the Crown’s behaviour,” said Mrs Turia. “It is totally unacceptable to ride roughshod over the views of tangata whenua, create huge injustices and grievances, and expect that an apology will be enough to fix it up.”


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