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Ngapuhi Alliance Smashed Claims Maori Leader

18 May 2005

Ngapuhi Alliance Smashed Claims Maori Leader

An alliance between Ngapuhi and Ngati Hine, formed in 1844 by Hone Heke, has been broken over the fisheries settlement claims Heke’s descendent, David Rankin.

“Our ancestor, Hone Heke, formed a union with Kawiti from Ngati Hine. After 160 years, Ngati Hine have decided to break this union and go their own way. We, as Ngapuhi, respect their decision, but it’s still a sad day for Northland Maori”.

Mr. Rankin sees the root cause of the rift coming from the Sealord Deal in the early 1990s, when Douglas Graham, with the support of Graham Latimer and Tipene O’Regan reached a fisheries settlement which has left tribes fighting each other for over a decade.

“It seems to me”, says Rankin, “that these settlements, especially in Northland, can only achieve development for our people if we work in unity”. He points out that if the settlement money for Northland Maori was allocated to every Maori in the region, they would receive just $500 each.

‘Is $500 worth the division and all the acrimony that flows from that?’ asks Mr. Rankin.

ENDS

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