Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Hapū protest over Whanganui river claims process

Hapū protest over Whanganui river claims process


The hapū cluster of Uenuku wants to delay the treaty settlement process for the Whanganui river claim because of fears their interests are not being represented.

An Uenuku delegation is heading to Parliament on Tuesday, the day before Whanganui iwi negotiators initial the Whanganui River Deed of Settlement with the Crown.

The deal is being negotiated by the Whanganui River Māori Trust Board on behalf of Whanganui iwi, but Uenuku hapū, whose rohe are covered by the negotiation, say they have not been given a voice. The cluster of hapū, whose lands have historically extended from the mountains of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu to the sea, has not seen the Deed of Settlement.

Attempts to initial the deed in February were stalled when Uenuku called for an urgent hearing of the Waitangi Tribunal to delay the signing until hapū were properly consulted.

“Our hapū still haven’t seen the deed. We still don’t know what’s being signed off here,” Uenuku chair Aiden Gilbert said.

“Initialling the deed signifies agreement in principle to the proposed settlement, and Uenuku – which comprises 26 hapū – wants to know what’s in that agreement before it is initialled. We need to know that the voices of our hapū are not being silenced under this agreement, and that they will retain kaitiakitanga of the waterways and lands to which they belong.”

At a hui in Raetihi on Saturday, the iwi resolved to send Tuesday’s delegation to Wellington in an attempt to again delay initialling to give hapū time to consider the proposed deed. On Friday Uenuku will lead a protest in Whanganui from Pakaitore to the Kingsgate Hotel in Victoria Avenue where Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson will meet with iwi to continue settlement discussions.

“The river trust board has only ever had the statutory right to negotiate with the Government for claims relating to the Whanganui River. It is a narrow brief and there is no evidence that the boundaries of Whanganui or their people extend to the korowai (cloak) of Uenuku, or supercede the manawhenua of other hapū,” Mr Gilbert said.

Mr Gilbert said that over the years the original claim for the Whanganui River had widened, absorbing all the tributaries ‘from the mountain to the sea’. Potential settlement included Crown-held land reserves which could be vested as part of settlement in the name of Te Awa Tupua, the legal entity that will be created to receive settlement assets.

“When the river trust board was created for the purpose of dealing with the Whanganui River claim, the Crown created a statutory body to represent three hapū of Whanganui – Tama Upoko, Hinengakau and Tupoho. Uenuku is not identified as one of those hapū. Our boundaries, rivers, streams and lakes go through lands that are not in the rohe of Whanganui – so how will we be heard, and how can we protect our kaitiakitanga of our tributaries, waterways and lands?”

Negotiators had not addressed another key concern that the proposed deal may allow Te Awa Tupua to absorb all hapū claims for land 200m either side of the river and its tributaries. Mr Gilbert said these issues must be addressed before negotiators initial the deed.

He said Uenuku was highlighting a national issue.

“The Crown is pressuring Māori to rush through the claims process. It is choosing to deal with select groups and leaving others out. It’s happening all across the motu. We’re one of the largest settlements left, and our issue is that our authority and identity has been usurped by others – and we’re not the only ones. Treaty settlements are being pushed forward because of political pressure but there are fundamental issues that need to be ironed out before settlement can be achieved.”

Mr Gilbert and Uenuku kaumatua Don Robinson have been invited to view the deed on Monday (today) but this left no time to inform Uenuku people about the deed’s contents let alone discuss any concerns before initialling on Wednesday.

“The Crown and Te Awa Tupua negotiators say hapū will have the opportunity to see the deed during the ratification process which follows, but that is shutting the door after the horse has bolted. Agreeing to the deed in principle pre-determines the outcome. We ask for the right for our people to scrutinise the proposal, to speak and to be heard before anything is agreed.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Greens Proposal To Gradually Lift The Minimum Wage

Heading into the election home stretch, voters have a clear choice about the best way to help low and middle income New Zealanders. They can do so by gradually lifting the minimum wage (as the Greens propose) or by a small tax cut, as the government seems about to announce.

The minimum wage boost – by 75 cents an hour to $15 in December, and then by gradual annual increments to $18 an hour by 2017 – that the Greens are talking about is just one part of a packet of employment measures that would include scrapping youth rates and the 90 day trial period, introducing a redundancy package of four weeks, offsetting any abatement effect of the policy package for those receiving Working For Families, and finally… ditching the exception made by the government (during the Hobbit negotiations) for workers in the screen industry, which denies them normal workplace safeguards and entitlements. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September. More>>

ALSO:

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news