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Ngāti Rangiwewehi Claims Settlement Bill

Ngāti Rangiwewehi Claims Settlement Bill

Tapuika Claims Settlement Bill
(formerly the Ngā Punawai o Te Tokotoru Omnibus Bill) Third Reading Speech

Mr Speaker, I move that the Ngāti Rangiteaorere Claims Settlement Bill, the Ngāti Rangiwewehi Claims Settlement Bill, and the Tapuika Claims Settlement Bill (formerly the Ngā Punawai o Te Tokotoru Omnibus Bill, be now read for the third time.

Today we welcome sons and daughters of the great Te Arawa waka.
I am honoured to welcome the people of
• Ngāti Rangiwewehi
• Ngāti Rangiteaorere
• Tapuika
for the third reading of Ngā Punawai O Te Tokotoru Omnibus Bill.

Iwi eternally bound by whakapapa, forever bound by history and today in this house, finally bound by justice.
We remember their tūpuna who millennia ago set off from the sands of Whenuakura.

Today, their journey reaches Parliament as Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Rangiteaorere and Tapuika once again work together for the future of their people.

Mr Speaker, Ngā Punawai o Te Tokotoru is a large natural grouping of these three iwi of Te Arawa whose members are based in and around Te Puke and Rotorua. While they have negotiated some aspects of their settlements as part of Te Tokotoru, they have signed separate deeds of settlement. They have shown whanaungatanga as well as rangatiratanga.

The Ngā Punawai o Te Tokotoru Omnibus Bill gives effect to aspects of all three Deeds of Settlement signed by the Crown between 2012 and 2013 with all three iwi, and will settle all outstanding historical Treaty of Waitangi claims for Ngāti Rangiteaorere, Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Tapuika.

Mr Speaker, ko Tiheia te maunga, ko te Awahou me Kaikaitahuna ngā awa, ko Tarimano te marae, Ko Puhirua me Orangikahui ngā takatoranga o ngā tūpuna, ko Rangiwewehi te iwi!

The Crown brought war to Tauranga in 1864, and after Ngāti Rangiwewehi supported their traditional allies: 290,000 acres of lands were confiscated. All customary interests in lands returned were compulsorily extinguished.

Mr Speaker, 100-years-later, 1966 and in our lifetime Ngāti Rangiwewehi’s land loss continued with the enforced Crown acquisition of whenua at Ngongotahā. A pump station was built over the ancestral Taniwha Springs which remains to this day.

The Crown breached the Treaty of Waitangi in its dealings with the descendents of Ngāti Rangiwewehi. Over generations lands were lost, lives were taken and potential eroded. We now focus on the future.

I acknowledge the Ngāti Rangiwewehi 2040 strategy “The advancement of Rangiwewehi people as Rangiwewehi” which captures the essence of what a Treaty settlement should be – to focus the energies into the future while considering the social, economic, cultural and spiritual growth and activity that affirms and maintains ‘mana and tino rangatiratanga’ over Ngāti Rangiwewehi resources and mātauranga of Ngāti Rangiwewehi.

Mr Speaker, he wai koriporipo nō Waiohewa, ka ū ki Mataikotare, ka koinga te titiro ki ngā uri o Rangiwhakaekeau, te whakapakari nei, ki te pupuri i ngā taonga tuku iho, ko Ngāti Rangiteaorere: Ka ora e!

The 1800s saw Ngāti Rangiteaorere drawn into the New Zealand wars, with huge consequences. The Native Land Court’s land policies left the Crown with lands that were flat, fertile and easily accessible by road. Ngāti Rangiteaorere? They were left with lands that were fragmented, steep, inaccessible, and uneconomic.

50-years ago, the Tikitere geothermal field – prized by generations of Ngāti Rangiteaorere for its medicinal, spiritual and economic benefits – was taken by the Crown with the Geothermal Energy Act of 1953: the compulsory takeover of an ancestral wāhi tapu.

A whakataukī from a Ngāti Rangiteaorere kuia captures the challenge of this new Treaty settlement era. “Kaore I hangaia te kupenga hei hopu ika anake, engari I hangaia kia oioi I roto I te neke neke o te tai”; “The net is not fashioned purely to catch fish, but also to be flexible so that it may flow with the tide”.

Mr Speaker, mai i ngā pae maunga ki te toropuke e tū kau mai rā ki te awa e rere mai ana, waiho te whenua ko te takapū o taku tamaiti a Tapuika!

This ancient claim defining the boundaries of their homelands was made by the tipuna Chieftain Tia aboard the Te Arawa waka.
However the arrival of the Crown in this rohe soon brought war to Tia’s people, and his ancient claim - along with the promises within the Treaty of Waitangi - were broken.

A series of claims made by others to Tapuika ancestral lands culminated with Crown land alienation policies that was akin to raupatu: punishing Tapuika for taking up arms against the Crown in the 1860s. The land loss was widespread and severe. Tapuika’s loss would lead to the alienation of Tia’s people from their ancestral lands. Deprived of economic, spiritual and cultural autonomy: generations of Tapuika families have suffered incalculable loss. This settlement sought to address historical grievances which included wars in the Bay of Plenty; the Native Land Court; the impact on Tapuika of management, modification and degradation of the waterways within Te Takapu o Tapuika, public works takings, and the loss of Tapuika identity. Today Tapuika can move forward in a positive Treaty relationship to rebuild, restore and once again thrive. The Tapuika Reo revitalisation strategy is an example of what is already taking place.

Mr Speaker, all these things the peoples of Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Rangiteaorere and Tapuika have suffered: can never be forgotten.
And yet these iwi wish to settle their grievances with the Crown with mana and dignity: they honour us all with their incredible generosity.
Ngā Punawai o Te Tokotoru has enabled all three iwi to collectively negotiate with the Crown and to also help each other with their individual claims.

The spirit of whanaungatanga and rangatiratanga demonstrated by Ngāti Rangiteaorere, Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Tapuika has enabled the resolution of claims across these three tribes.

This cooperative approach is already being replicated across Aotearoa. I thank Ngā Punawai o Te Tokotoru for leading by example.
So many of those who have made this day possible are no longer with us but with this bill’s passing their mahi and their mana will forever be honoured in the laws of Aotearoa New Zealand and in the hearts of their descendants.

Today is a day to remember those who have passed on, to resolve grievances with those who are with us today and to plan for those yet to be born.

From the sacred marae of Taputapuatea, to the beating hearts of Te Arawa, to the New Zealand House of Representatives:

Te Arawa E!
Mr Speaker, I commend this Bill to the House.


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