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

 

Final Part of Waitangi Tribunal’s Te Urewera Report Released

Final Part of Waitangi Tribunal’s Te Urewera Report Released

The shocking poverty experienced by Te Urewera Māori was in large part caused by the Crown’s many breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, the Waitangi Tribunal has found in the sixth and final volume of its Te Urewera district inquiry report.

The volume, released today, responded to claims made on behalf of the hapu and iwi of Te Urewera and contains three chapters covering environmental, social-economic and other issues. The panel was headed by Judge Patrick Savage, and consisted of historian Dr Ann Parsonson, lawyer Jo Morris, and kaumātua Tuahine Northover, who sadly passed away before the report could be completed.

In the environmental chapter, the Tribunal concluded that the Crown’s Treaty promise to protect Māori forests included all the forest flora and fauna. They found that it failed in this duty, in particular by allowing the bird life of Te Urewera to be ravaged by introduced species. The Crown also failed to recognise the tino rangatiratanga of Te Urewera hapu in relation to conservation management, and failed to adequately protect the wahi tapu (sacred places) in the Whirinaki Forest.

The environmental chapter also highlighted the confusion surrounding river ownership in Te Urewera. For many decades the Crown has behaved as if it owned all or most of the Te Urewera rivers, when in fact its own law officers could not establish who legally owned which waterways.

The second chapter in the report deals with ‘specific claims’ which could not be addressed elsewhere in the chapter. These involved public works, rating, taonga tuturu (artefacts), and school lands. In relation to rating, the Tribunal found that Māori land in Te Urewera should only have been rated if it was profitable, or if the owners received services in return for their rate money.

The report concludes with a chapter on socio-economic issues. It shows the shocking poverty experienced in most Te Urewera communities throughout the 20th century. Evidence is presented of children dependent of charity for food and clothing, families living in shacks and caves, and communities forced to eat rotten potatoes for want of other food.

The chapter explores the extent to which the Crown was responsible for these conditions. The Tribunal found that causes of poverty included massive land loss and failure to provide adequate assistance. More recently, the privatisation of the timber industry in the late 1980s led to massive job losses and severe poverty in the west of the inquiry district, which had previously been relatively prosperous.

The Tribunal acknowledges that the Crown did provide some aid and services to Te Urewera communities. However, it found that these were never near enough to counter the massive disadvantages holding back those communities. Sometimes they were actually harmful. State schools punished Māori children for speaking their own language, and made them feel that their culture was inferior and worthless. Crown officials believed that they knew what was best for Māori, and would not let hapu and iwi determine the form or content of social services.

Many Māori from Te Urewera were compelled to leave the area in search of jobs, education, healthcare and better standards of living. Today only a minority of Te Urewera tangata whenua live in the area. Many witnesses in the inquiry spoke about the pain of being separated from their ancestral lands, and how they could not return because there were no jobs and no housing.
The Tribunal found that the poor socio-economic standing of the peoples of Te Urewera, in health, education, housing, and wealth, was in large part a prejudice arising from the Crown’s many breaches of the Treaty.

The full report can be downloaded here: Te Urewera: Pre-publication Part VI

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Marsden Pipeline Rupture: Report Calls For Supply Improvements, Backs Digger Blame

The report makes several recommendations on how the sector can better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from an incident. In particular, we consider it essential that government and industry work together to put in place and regularly practise sector-wide response plans, to improve the response to any future incident.

Most significantly, we found that Auckland’s jet fuel supply is currently not sufficiently resilient, when assessed against the specific resilience standards we developed during our work, and from a public interest perspective. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... the charge was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>

ALSO:

'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>

ALSO:

Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>

ALSO:

Budget Process: Wellbeing To Be Enshrined In Law

Legislation has been introduced in Parliament to ensure every Government considers the wellbeing of New Zealanders when creating future budgets. More>>

National In China: Bridges Praises CCP, Meets Law Enforcement Head

A recent trip to China has raised questions over who the Opposition leader Simon Bridges met with and why... Anne-Marie Brady, a Canterbury University professor and expert on Chinese politics, has described Guo Shengkun as the leader of the Chinese secret police. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels