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Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Claims Settlement Bill

Hon Dr Pita Sharples

Minister of Maori Affairs

15 November 2012


Third Reading Speech: Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Claims Settlement Bill

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

Ka timu te tai, ka pari te tai ki Takaparawhau, e tū whakahī ana. Ōrākei!

Tūkuna rā tō karanga kia areare mai ngā taringa, kia hiki i te wairua. Ōrākei!

He tohu maumahara ki ngā whawhai o ō koutou nā kuia koroua i tū pakari ai mō te iwi. Ka kore e warewaretia.

As the waters ebb and flow against Takaparawhau, I recall the kuia and koroua of Ōrākei. I recall their long, heartbreaking battles for their people. Today, their determination, conviction and mana brings their children to New Zealand’s House of Representatives.

Haruru mai ana a Tumutumuwhenua i ngā moemoeā o āna uri.

Tū tonu mai rā koe hei whakaruruhau mō ngā tamariki mokopuna o Tūperiri, arā, ko Te Taoū, ko Ngā Oho, ko Te Uringutu hoki.

Tīhei mauri ora.

Mr Speaker.

I welcome the sons and daughters of Tuperiri to New Zealand’s House of Representatives.

Through their manaakitanga they have enabled the creation and growth of this nation’s biggest city.

I tuku whenua

I arai hoariri

Kia tipu pai te taone mo tauiwi

Akarana Akarana Akarana e!

They gifted the land, they protected the inhabitants, they grew the city of Auckland so Maori and Pakeha could go forward together.

Through their manaakitanga they have welcomed the world to our lands. From last year’s Rugby World Cup – to the arrival and powhiri for the future King of England only last weekend.

Through their eyes they have seen hundreds, thousands, millions settle upon the lands of their tipuna.

Mr Speaker, I pay tribute to the Ahi Kā families of Takaparawhau.

The ink was barely dry on the Treaty of Waitangi when the Crown first failed to honour this covenant. These actions would be repeated through generations of families and across more than 170 years, rendering Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei virtually landless. By 1898 the Native Land Court had divided the bulk of the Ōrākei block into individual title and extinguished communal ownership.

Fifty years of failed court battles later, barely five years after their men had returned from fighting in World War Two: Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei were evicted from Ōkahu Bay.

Their marae, homes and buildings pulled down, burned to the ground.

Maminga te taone ki Ngati Whatua e

Panaia ki wao aue

Tahuna nga whare kainga e

Whakatorotoro turakina

Aue purari paka e

They were left with a quarter of an acre of land: land for an urupa. Intense industrialisation soon saw pristine kaimoana beds and streams polluted by years of raw sewage as Auckland’s population boomed.

And so Mr Speaker, the children of Ōrākei have grown up only able to look on at the waters their grandparents used to swim in and live off.

By the mid seventies the Ahi Kā people of Ōrākei, the tangata whenua held less than one hectare of whenua themselves.

So when plans were unveiled for a high-end housing subdivision at Takaparawhau the people of Ōrākei, elders, children, families and supporters returned to their whenua under the leadership of the Hawke whanau. Ngati Whatua o Orakei took a stand at Takaparawhau.

Their message was simple.

We are tangata whenua.

We are not trespassers.

We will not leave.

Mr Speaker, on the morning of Thursday the twenty fifth of May nineteen seventy eight, Auckland woke to the sounds of an army convoy moving through the suburbs, past exclusive Tāmaki Drive and on to Bastion Point. The government had mobilised the largest peacetime force of Police and Army in recent history and they were heading for Takaparawhau. That day more than six hundred army and police personnel forcibly removed protesters, elders, men, women, children and families. More than two hundred were arrested. Temporary buildings, gardens and a meeting house were pulled to the ground.

The eviction of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei families was an appalling chapter in New Zealand history.

And yet the determination, conviction and mana of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in the face of longstanding legislative and physical aggression was also a landmark moment in our nation’s history.

All those things lost due to the actions of the Crown can never be totally replaced. And yet the people of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei wish to settle their grievances with the Crown, with honour and with mana.

When the great rangatira Te Kawau likened the coming of the Treaty of Waitangi as a great wind from the North, his prophecy of massive change was, as we know, fulfilled.

As with the rest of Aotearoa, the world changed for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei after eighteen forty.

However, the aspirations of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei?

Those have never changed.

Those aspirations were the same in eighteen forty when Te Kawau signed the Treaty.

The same in nineteen seventy seven when whānau bravely confirmed their mana whenua by reoccupying Takaparawhau.

The same in nineteen eighty eight when they lodged one of the first historical claims heard by the Waitangi Tribunal.

Those aspirations are the same as those held today by the people of Takaparawhau who have come today to see justice carried out in their name, in the name of their ancestors and in the name of future generations.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei still seek the right to take ownership of their own destiny, to determine their own economic and social wellbeing.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei still seek the right to uphold their mana motuhake, to exercise their own rangatiratanga.

Their members have visualised the future for their children; a future where their people are healthy: physically, economically, culturally, spiritually: eternally.

And so, Mr Speaker, these are good days to see our people kuia, koroua, rangatahi, mokopuna joining us in the House of Representatives.

You know behind these people walk their tūpuna.

In front of these people walk their future generations.

And alongside these people today stands the Crown.

Together, the Crown and Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei will see justice come to pass for the descendants of Tuperiri.

Mr Speaker. I am proud of the history we are making today.

And in the words of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei, from their own strategic plan for the coming year.

Mā tō tātou whanaungatanga e whakataki i te ritenga tika

By our kinship we strive to meet our present and future needs.

And in closing may I congratulate Ngati Whatua’s International industrial award for the design of the Waka Maori which hosted thousands during the rugby world cup!

Mr Speaker, I am honoured to commend the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Treaty Claims Settlement Bill to the House.


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