Cullen: Signing of Agreement with Turanga
29 August, 2008
Address at signing of Agreement in Principle with Turanga
Speech notes prepared for delivery at Mangatu marae, Whatatutu
Thank you all for your warm welcome here today for the signing of the Agreement in Principle.
This is an important day, not only for those of us gathered here today, but for those who have gone before us and those who will follow in our footsteps.
I would like to acknowledge the people of
Mangatū Marae, and all of you here today, especially those
who have travelled from across the East Coast and from as
far as Wellington and other parts of the country to take
part in this important occasion.
The signing of the Agreement in Principle today is a major milestone for Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, for the Crown, and for the relationship between us.
The Agreement in Principle
I am delighted to be here with my colleagues the Minister of Māori Affairs and the Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, to sign the Agreement in Principle with Tūranga.
The Agreement in Principle is the
culmination of the dedication and commitment of the Crown
and Tūranga to reaching a settlement, the leadership and
support of the negotiators, the mandated bodies and their
staff, as well as the support of the iwi, hapū and whānau
of Tūranga who have, as part of this process, made some
significant decisions that will have a major influence on
the future of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa.
I particularly wish
to recognise the members of Tūranga Manu Whiriwhiri, who
have come together to front this phase of the negotiations
on your behalf. I have no doubt that the clarity, drive and
determination with which they have negotiated this
settlement package has only been possible through the hard
work and support of their respective iwi, hapū and whānau
groups, and of the people of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa. It is
because of this support that we are all gathered here
I think it is important to recognise that the
way in which Tūranga and the Crown have reached this
Agreement in Principle has been unique in the history of
Treaty Settlement negotiations. You have come together not
as a single iwi, but as a collective of neighbouring
claimant groups, each separate and independent, but all with
a common interest in moving your claims forward. This
approach has not always been easy, and has required
flexibility and a will to innovate on the part of both
Tūranga and the Crown. But I think the fact that we are
standing here today tells me that this new, collective
approach has been a successful one.
months, iwi from the Far North right through to the South
Island have made a great deal of progress in Treaty
Settlements. And as they have enjoyed that progress we have
seen a calm, mature discussion of our nation’s history and
the significant place of injustice in our national
narrative. The news of success in Treaty Settlements has not
been greeted with a backlash or by petty political
I think it is also fair to say that the
great majority of New Zealanders have taken pride in being
able to celebrate the progress in settlement as well. The
efforts to create renewed division between Maori and Pakeha
that seemed a serious threat just four years ago have been
held at bay.
But even as we celebrate collective
progress for Maori, we must be careful not to lose sight of
the individual histories that are so important.
history is one of great resilience, strength, and pride. But
it is also a tragic history; a history of state violence,
confiscation of land, and stigmatisation within your own
As the result of Crown action your
people have at times suffered poverty, famine and
significant hardship. This history was vividly explained
when the iwi, hapū and whanau of the Tūranga region came
together at the Waitangi Tribunal hearings in 2001 and
Those who attended the hearings heard a story
of both harrowing loss and strength in the face of
adversity. They heard how, as a result of the Crown’s
actions, Tūranganui-a-Kiwa suffered the loss of much of
their lands, and considerable loss of life. They heard
especially of the Crown’s 1865 attack on Waerenga a Hika
pa, the subsequent detention without trial of more than a
hundred Tūranga Māori on the Chatham Islands for over two
years, and the execution of unarmed prisoners by Crown
forces at Nga Tapa, which the Waitangi Tribunal’s Tūranga
report described as “a stain upon the history of this
country”, one that it was long past time for it to be put
But the hearings also showed how your people
have fought throughout to hold on to your land, your
language and your culture. In coming together collectively
for the first time as part of the Tribunal’s new regional
approach, your people showed a pioneering spirit of
co-operation that has continued into the negotiation of this
Agreement in Principle.
In summary, you are a people who have suffered significant injustice. But you are also a people who have in the face of that injustice strengthened your culture and kept moving forward together.
we take a new step forward, and present to the iwi, hapū
and whanau of Tūranga and to the public of New Zealand, a
settlement package that I believe meets the interests of
The Agreement in Principle is a non-binding document that outlines the Crown’s proposed redress package to Tūranga that will be used as a basis for a Deed of Settlement.
The Crown acknowledges that this settlement can never fully compensate for the loss and prejudice Tūranga have suffered. However, due in no small part to the pragmatic and dedicated approach taken by your negotiators, we have agreed a package that includes:
• an historical account of the relationship
between the Crown and the iwi, hapū and whanau of Tūranga
and the events that gave rise to the breaches of the Treaty
of Waitangi. This document, together with the Crown
acknowledgments of its breaches of the Treaty, is an
important step in restoring the Crown’s relationship with
Tūranganui-a-Kiwa and the honour of the Crown. I want to
acknowledge the considerable amount of effort that your
negotiators have put into discussing and negotiating the
text of the historical account, particularly over the past
few days. There is already a great deal of consensus between
the Crown and Tūranga on many aspects of our shared
history, and both parties are committed to continue working
together in the spirit of compromise to resolve those areas
where we disagree;
• a quantum of $59 million which can be used to purchase licensed Crown forest land, along with the accumulated rentals associated with this land. The Crown has also offered to gift 16 properties from the Office of Treaty Settlements’ Gisborne landbank to Tūranganui-a-Kiwa. In addition, you will have the opportunity to purchase, within two years, 18 further Crown-owned properties;
• the return of a number of wāhi tapu sites, including Young Nick’s Head Historic Reserve, to allow for the restoration of your manawhenua and reconnection with the lands and waterways throughout your rohe; and
• the proposed gifting of two Gisborne District Council properties in central Gisborne, in recognition of longstanding grievances regarding land transactions over those sites.
The package also includes redress that focuses on cultural revitalisation which aims to address Tūranga’s cultural relief framework expressed through Popo (paw paw).
This redress provides for:
• recognition of ownership and kaitiakitanga of Te
Hau ki Tūranga, the carved meeting house currently held by
Te Papa Tongarewa/Museum of New Zealand;
• $1 million for the preparation and implementation of a cultural revitalisation plan;
• the gifting of 6 further properties from the Office of Treaty Settlements’ Gisborne landbank for use as a cultural base by the constituent groups of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa; and
• $100,000 for a memorial to those Tūranga Māori who lost their lives as a result of past Crown actions.
This signing of the Agreement in Principle is a significant milestone for both Tūranga and the Crown. It is the culmination of a number of years of hard work by many of your people, including the numerous hours of preparation for, and attendance at, the Waitangi Tribunal hearings, and the intense period of negotiation over the last twelve months.
Engagement in the
settlement process requires a tremendous amount of
commitment and courage and involves some difficult
trade-offs to be made both personally and professionally by
those who are intimately involved. I wish to pay tribute to
the leadership of your negotiators, who came together to
form Tūranga Manu Whiriwhiri. You have all worked
tirelessly to bring Tūranga to this historic point.
I also wish to acknowledge my colleagues, the Associate
Minister, Hon Mita Ririnui, Hon Parekura Horomia and the
Minister of Conservation for their support, and all the
Crown officials who have contributed to this significant
achievement. I want to especially acknowledge the assistance
that the Crown Forestry Rental Trust has offered to the iwi,
hapū and whanau of Tūranga, both during the mandating
process and in negotiations to date. I also want to thank
the Mayor of Gisborne, and the Councillors and Chief
Executive of the Gisborne District Council, who have shown
tremendous support for these negotiations.
The next step for Tūranga and the Crown is to translate the Agreement in Principle into a draft Deed of Settlement, for ratification by the iwi. Now that the proposed settlement package has been made public, both parties will embark on a process of consultation. Particular focus during this time will be on the resolution of overlapping interests of neighbouring iwi. The Agreement in Principle was developed with these interests in mind, and much work has already been done.
Given the seriousness of these issues, discussions will take time. But both parties are committed to achieving a Deed of Settlement within a year of this signing, which is an ambitious, but achievable task ahead of us.
I thank you all again for welcoming us here in such large numbers today. I am honoured to be here today on behalf of the Crown to sign this Agreement in Principle with Tūranga.
No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou kātoa.