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Raukawa Claims Settlement Bill – Third Reading

Raukawa Claims Settlement Bill – Third Reading

Tena koe e Te Mana Whakahaere, a, tena koutou.

Nga kanohi o Raukawa i konei i tenei ra, me era o te wa kainga o Raukawa, tena koutou katoa.

I move, that the Raukawa Claims Settlement Bill be now read a third time.


This time has been a long day coming for the people descended from Raukawa.

This is the day the people of Raukawa have come to represent - to practice and maintain the tikanga that has been left for them to protect; to hold strong to the legacy of those who have passed on before them.

It is a day to celebrate and acknowledge the significance of their custodial role to practice mana whakahaere; kaitiakitanga and ahikaroa within through their rohe.

It has been five years since the Deed for the co-management of the Waikato River was signed in December 2009. The Raukawa Claims Settlement Bill completes the settlement of their historical claims.

It is then, right, to celebrate the culmination of so many aspirations and dreams woven over time, and indeed long before. This Bill gives effect to the undertakings by the Crown in the Raukawa Deed of Settlement and the Supplementary Deed.

The most significant milestone, however, is in this day marking a place to rest; to recover and restore the relationship that Raukawa has always had, mai rā anō, with the land and waterways in their rohe.

The Bill recounts the damage and destruction that was wrought upon the people through three major attacks on the human spirit.

The first attack was through war and confiscation. The Crown acted unjustly in sending forces into the Waikato in July 1863 and occupying land in the region. Crown forces penetrated throughout the rohe, at Rangiaowhia, Paterangi, ending at Orakau. Approximately 250 to 300 tangata whenua defended Orakau Pa against 1800 troops for three long days. During the war, Raukawa chief Te Paerata was killed. Over eighty of their people were slaughtered during the battle and when fleeing the pa. The loss of prominent leadership was intensely felt.

After the battle at Orakau, Raukawa participated in the battles of Gate Pa and Te Ranga and the later what was known as the Bush Campaigns. Loss of life was suffered when the Crown attacked Pukehinahina and Te Ranga. Kainga and cultivations were destroyed, forcing Raukawa to flee their homes.

If the loss of life and property because of war and raupatu wasn’t in itself severe, the Crown confiscated land that Raukawa had interests in. Before the confiscation was completed, the Crown reformed Māori land legislation, leading to the introduction of the Native Land Court within the Raukawa rohe in 1866.

And so the second tranche of confiscation was suffered as Raukawa land became susceptible to alienation.

Raukawa sought to retain control and ownership of Maori land within Te Rohe Potae by opposing the construction of roads, surveys and land court hearings until the early 1880s.

The third and final impact was experienced through the effective of systematic large-scale land speculation by private parties, resulting in rapid and substantial land loss in the late nineteenth century. Eighty percent of land within the Waikato basin was taken by private land speculation and the Crown before 1900. In the twentieth century the iwi lost further land through public works takings, including for hydro-electric projects.

And then in 1915, the Crown gifted twenty thousand acres of the Pouakani Block to an iwi with no ancestral ties in the area, which exacerbated the grievance that Raukawa continued to feel. Raukawa were rendered virtually landless.

Mr Speaker, this is a deplorable history; acts of injustice which lead to the economic, social and cultural impoverishment of the iwi.

But I want to reflect on the leadership of the late George Whakatoi Rangitutia; the chair of the Raukawa board who started this latest negotiation phase of their history. And I mihi to his whānau today.

At the first reading of this bill, I said that this is a settlement built on the vision of “honouring the words of our tupuna and building a strong foundation for our tamariki mokopuna.”

Me hoki whakamuri, kia ahu whakamua, ka neke.

The Future is behind us

And I cannot help but reflect too, on the karanga that came across the airwaves this last Saturday night, “kua wikitoria a Motai Tangata Rau!”

Motai Tangata Rau, led by Paraone Gloyne and Ngahuia Kopa, saw Ngati Raukawa win the Tainui Waka Kapa Haka Festival in the weekend.

It was perfect timing, to remind us of the dignity, the determination and the courage that has allowed this iwi to emerge 150 years after the wars to become a leading player in the recent Kakano forestry management regime, environmental restoration of the Waikato River and small business developments within Raukawa rohe.

The settlement is not about justice – it will never compensate for the attack on whakapapa; the loss of life; the destruction throughout the rohe. But it will allow the people to move forward, to utilise the settlement to develop their own economy; to develop their people and to restore their right to their Raukawatanga.

The Bill enables a cultural redress package designed around Raukawa’s aspirations to reinvigorate their relationship with cultural sites of significance, such as:
· Statutory acknowledgment of Raukawa’s association with 18 areas,
· Geothermal statutory acknowledgment of Raukawa’s association with seven geothermal resource areas
· Vesting of eight conservation sites including Te Tuki, Whakakahonui and Whakamaru Hydro Village site and five other sites vested as reserves;
· And the assignment and alteration of geographic names.

Over and above the quantum there is:
· A three million cultural fund to negotiate the sale of, or access to, sites of significance situated on private land within the Raukawa rohe;
· $5 million fund to explore commercial arrangements with Mighty River Power; and
· a $ 2 million lakebed fund

The commercial and financial redress package has been designed to contribute to the economic development of Raukawa now and for future generations.

It includes the:

· option to purchase part of Pureora North Crown Forest Licence land;
· the right of ‘deferred selection’ to purchase 35 Crown-owned properties for up to 5 years from settlement date;
· a right of first refusal for a period of 171 years from settlement date over 26 properties owned by the Crown and another 84 properties owned by Housing New Zealand Corporation, Waikato District Health Board and the Crown should they be declared surplus to requirements.

Mr Speaker, there is one final point I wish to make.

Raukawa often think of themselves as the most “overlapped tribe” in the process today; This settlement is about having had to foster relationships with Tuwharetoa, Rereahu, Maniapoto, Waikato Tainui, Koroki Kahukura, Ngati Haua, Ngati Hinerangi, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Whakaue, Te Arawa, Pouakani, Kauwhata.

The negotiations have required leadership, integrity; respect; and steadfast determination to do what was right, to allow the iwi to move forward.

I think of the leadership that resides within Raukawa – those at the negotiating table, those who have attended the hui, those who cared for the whanau while the talks went on.

I think about the vision your settlement represents, to keep the future behind you, to always be in pursuit of an opportunity to grow.
I know that already, Raukawa has started to experience the fruits of settlement through kaumatua health, marae upgrades, education initiatives and other projects.

The future is stretching out to the mokopuna to come and all of Raukawa must continue to demonstrate the unity of purpose that has got you through to this point to build a new tomorrow that you can all share.

Tena tatou katoa.

ENDS

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