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Ngāti Manuhiri Claims Settlement Bill: Third Reading


Hon Dr Pita Sharples

Minister of Maori Affairs

15 November 2012

SPEECH

Ngāti Manuhiri Claims Settlement Bill: Third Reading

Thursday 15 November 2012

Mr Speaker, I move that the Ngati Manuhiri Claims Settlement Bill, be now read for the third time.

From the shores of Whangaparaoa in the south, Paepae-o-Tū in the north.

From the western tides of Kōritotī, Ōtakamaitū, through the currents of Te Awa o Hōteo, flowing on to Kīkītangiao, Hauhanganui to the Pā of Te Arai o Tahuhu.

The children of Manuhiri, the people of Moekaraka Waka.

Ko Tamahunga te maunga

Ko Ngā Poito o te Kupenga o Toi te Huatahi te moana

Ko Ngāti Manuhiri te hapū

Ko Ōmaha te marae

From the house of Te Kiri to the New Zealand House of Representatives.

Nau Mai, Haere Mai.

Mr Speaker, it is in times like this when you look out from the steps of parliament and see kuia, koroua and mokopuna heading into these buildings.

When you see wheelchairs, walkers and prams being wheeled into these buildings.

When this is the sight that greets you on a grey Wellington morning?

Then Mr Speaker, you know the journey these people are on has taken generations, sacrifice and grievance to reach us today.

Their journey has seen many loved ones pass on.

Their journey has seen unimaginable, economic and social loss carved into generations of families.

Their journey has seen great courage and conviction shown by generations of families.

But by the end of this day Mr Speaker, their journey will finally see justice for the people of Ngāti Manuhiri.

Mr Speaker.

Early contact with European settlers led to epidemic disease or rewharewha, decimating the families of Ngāti Manuhiri.

Around 1840 Ngāti Manuhiri held customary, mana whenua rights over two hundred and fifty thousand acres.

Fifty years later? Ninety per cent of their lands? Gone.

Lost forever.

Today Ngāti Manuhiri land holdings total a mere thirteen hundred acres, fragmented and multiply owned.

In two thousand and twelve Ngāti Manuhiri are all but landless in their own homelands.

The Crown’s alienation of Ngāti Manuhiri lands began soon after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.

The forced Mahurangi and Ōmaha purchase saw thousands of hectares lost. Crown policies saw those lands they were left with individualised, fragmented and uneconomic. Laws were passed that overnight turned Ngāti Manuhiri descendents into trespassers on their own whenua. Aue taukiri e -

As dawn broke on the twentieth of January eighteen ninety six, Police officers, artillerymen and government officials landed on Te Hauturu O Toi Island and forcibly evicted the rangatira and families of Ngāti Manuhiri.

The impacts arising from the Crown’s breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi have been carried over many years, by generations of Ngāti Manuhiri people.

Without the land and resources to take ownership of their own destiny, generations of Ngāti Manuhiri people’s right to determine their own economic and social wellbeing was denied.

This land loss, this landlessness, meant the right of Ngāti Manuhiri to uphold their own mana motuhake, to exercise their own rangatiratanga, was denied.

As we stand together this morning, the Crown alongside Manuhiri: we look back through time and see injustice and suffering.

All those things Ngāti Manuhiri families have lost due to the actions of the Crown can never be totally replaced.

And yet, Mr Speaker, the people of Ngāti Manuhiri are here today to settle their grievances with the Crown with mana, with honour.

The people of Ngāti Manuhiri are looking ahead towards their future and it is a bright one, Mr Speaker.

It is a future that will focus on restoring the economic, environmental, social and cultural health of ngā uri o Ngāti Manuhiri.

From this day on, Ngāti Manuhiri seek the right to take ownership of their own destiny, to determine their own economic, social and cultural wellbeing.

With the support of the Crown, Ngāti Manuhiri seeks the right to uphold their own mana motuhake, to exercise their own rangatiratanga.

To quote the Ngāti Manuhiri whakataukī that encapsulates their mana whenua, mana moana bonds to their rohe.

He whā tawhara ki uta

He kiko tāmure ki tai

From the flowering kiekie on our lands to the flesh of the snapper deep in our waters: our fortune, our future forever.

Mr Speaker, I commend this Bill to the House.

ENDS


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