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Nick Smith re-writes Ngati Paoa history

Nick Smith re-writes Ngati Paoa history
In an interview on Te Karere yesterday, Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith dismissed Labours alternative plan for Treaty settlement with Ngati Paoa saying “…Ngati Paoa is wanting to do housing on their ancestral land on the Point England site, remember Point England was one of the largest Maori settlement sites anywhere in New Zealand.”
Where does Minister Smith get his historical information from? The Minister appears to be confusing Point England/Te Whanake with Mokoia Pa and Mauinaina kainga at Panmure. In 1780, Ngati Paoa was gifted land (tuku whenua) by Ngati Whatua, called Tauoma, which included Point England and which the Native Land Court in 1866 stated “…was not the ancestral territory of Ngati Paoa”.
Even Ngati Paoa Iwi Trust doesn’t claim to have had a settlement at Point England. The Trusts online history of the iwi does not mention Point England/Te Whanake and in its 2016 Financial Report confirms “Mokoia and Mauinaina were the great bastions of Ngāti Paoa”.
It is disturbing that the Minister responsible for selling off part of Point England Reserve needs to invent historical occupation in an attempt to make it more palatable to the public. Point England Reserve is convenient for Treaty settlement with Ngati Paoa because of its underlying Crown title and because ancestral land in Panmure/Mt Wellington, which being in private ownership, is not available.
The use of Tamaki Regeneration Company (TRC) land (which includes part of Panmure) as suggested by Labour and Save Our Reserves for commercial redress to Ngati Paoa, is ironically closer to Ngati Paoa historic land than Point England Reserve.
TRC has residentially zoned land, slated for re-development, which is owned by the Crown at arm’s length. If there is the political will, this land could be used as commercial treaty settlement for Ngati Paoa to build housing instead of the much loved Point England Reserve.
Ends

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