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Government to launch contemporary breach of Treaty


Media Statement
For immediate release

Government to launch a contemporary breach of the Treaty of Waitangi

Kāwhia iwi Ngāti Hikairo is accusing the government of breaching the Treaty by changing its traditional boundaries by law.

The Māori Purposes Bill (No 2) 2007, due to be passed tomorrow, changes the boundaries of Ngāti Hikairo by extending Ngāti Maniapoto into their area without any reference to the mana whenua rights of Ngāti Hikairo.

“This legislation will undermine Ngāti Hikairo’s mana whenua and this government has decided that it is quite happy for that to happen” said Tony Spelman, Secretary Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo.

“The government has made no credible effort to address issues raised by us about Crown-imposed changes to our boundaries” he said.

After hearing public submissions, the Māori Affairs Select Committee asked Te Puni Kōkiri to seek the further views of those who opposed the Bill, including Ngāti Hikairo.

The Committee failed to ensure that Ngāti Hikairo views were included in the advice to the Committee.

Te Puni Kōkiri failed to investigate opposing submissions from Ngāti Hikairo. This is an unusual omission from a government department, particularly one staffed by Māori.

“It is not good enough that Te Puni Kōkiri officials failed to take into account the views of Ngāti Hikairo – it is our boundaries being changed by law,” said Mr Spelman.

The Bill has progressed through the public submissions process to the third reading without any amendment – the submissions and views of Ngāti Hikairo have been ignored.

The Crown, through the actions of Te Puni Kōkiri and its subsequent failure to ensure the protection of the rights of Ngāti Hikairo to our lands and taonga as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi, has behaved badly at a time that they are making very public statements to the nation that they are resolving Treaty grievances” said Mr Spelman.

The Ngāti Maniapoto website displays how their boundaries are being extended, shown by a dotted line around the blanket extension of their boundaries into Ngāti Hikairo territory:

http://www.maniapoto.iwi.nz/rmcrohe.htm

14 May 2008

ENDS

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