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Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Paoa agree to work together

7 December 2017

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Paoa agree to work together

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Paoa have reached an historic agreement to work together to establish and support each other’s lead interests in Tāmaki Makaurau and cease current litigation between them.

They have signed a Kawenata which assists both Iwi to identify and agree lead interests in Auckland and has supported the resolution of differences.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei spokesman Ngarimu Blair says the central Auckland hapū is pleased to work with Ngāti Paoa face to face and according to tikanga.

“Earlier this year, we came together as iwi inside our wharenui, and in front of our whānau we signed a Kawenata agreement to work together, so we are very pleased to reach this milestone,” he says.

“Today continues our work to build a positive relationship for both Iwi, where we can look to cultural and commercial opportunities across Tāmaki Makaurau. This is a chance for us both to celebrate.

“The agreement acknowledges that Ngāti Paoa has lead mana whenua interests in the east of Tamaki and over much of the North Shore, just as Ngāti Paoa has accepted our lead mana whenua in central Auckland.

“We will continue to discuss the nature and extent of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei interests on the North Shore as part of our ongoing relationship, and both Iwi are committed to engaging with others as to their North Shore interests.”

As part of the Kawenata, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Paoa have committed to act in a way that is tika and pono (doing the right thing, in the right way) and to respect each other’s mana.

Ngāti Paoa spokesperson and Chair Gary Thompson says the agreement signals a significant step forward.

“This agreement proves that we don’t need to take each other to court if we follow our own tikanga,” he says.

“It also means that we can now work together in wider Tamaki for the economic, cultural, environmental and spiritual advancement of both Iwi and the people of Auckland. We are closely aligned in these wider goals.”

Earlier this week, the Court of Appeal declined an application by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei for a case to be heard, where the hapū was trying to seek clarity over the Crown’s approach to overlapping claims.

The Court ruled that it would not interfere in Parliament’s business. However, it also stated that Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei did not sign away its mana whenua status by entering the Tāmaki Collective Settlement in 2012.

The agreement signed today enables Ngati Paoa to withdraw from ongoing legal action and clears the way for the Iwi to settle with the Crown.

In the meantime, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is currently making an application to the Supreme Court regarding the Crown’s negotiation process with the Marutūāhu Collective and its policy on overlapping claims.

“We have signed a Kawenata together so we can follow our own tikanga to resolve our overlapping interests,” says Mr Thompson.

“Hopefully, this is a sign to the Crown that iwi can work these matters out ourselves, so long as they are based on tikanga.”

Mr Blair says both Iwi are advocating, as a matter of principle, that a Tikanga-based process is a constructive, efficient and conciliatory way to resolve overlapping claims between iwi.

“This process allows both Iwi to work constructively with one another and with the Crown for the benefit of their people.”


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