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Minister must listen to growing Iwi requests

Minister must listen to growing Iwi requests not to sign Marutūahu Collective Settlement

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust is calling on Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Hon. Andrew Little to listen to the growing calls from Iwi not to initial the Marutūahu Collective Settlement.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust Deputy Chairman Ngarimu Blair says the Trust is responding to the latest public statement from Ngāti Paoa, the largest Iwi within the Marutūahu Collective, who have requested that the Minister does not initial the settlement.

“A number of Iwi have raised their concerns around this proposed settlement with the Minister since he took office, and he’s failed to listen.

“We now have the largest Iwi from within the Marutūahu Collective itself requesting that the Minister does not sign the settlement.

“That should tell Mr Little something - he must listen and must not not sign the deal,” Mr Blair says.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei recognises Ngāti Paoa as the only iwi within the Marutūahu Collective with any mana whenua interests in Tāmaki.

This was the basis of a Kawenata agreement signed between Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Paoa in 2017 that recognised the Iwi’s respective interests in Tāmaki and commitment to resolving any differences in a manner that is tika and pono (doing the right thing the right way).

Mr Blair says the latest comments from Ngāti Paoa follows their support of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in its Supreme Court hearing last week where it challenged the Crown’s proposed settlement on the basis of its failure to recognise Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s mana whenua status and requests for a tikanga-based approach to resolve overlapping claims.

“We agree with Ngāti Paoa that the Crown is not appropriately weighing interests when it is constructing settlements and that it’s current approach is creating new grievances.

“As Ngāti Paoa has identified, the Marutūahu Collective Settlement grants mana whenua rights to Iwi who are not entitled to them at the direct expense of Iwi such as Ngāti Paoa and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. This is simply wrong.”

Mr Blair says that despite Minister Little making a number of public statements expressing support for a tikanga-based approach to resolve overlapping claims, he seems determined to ignore his own words when it comes to the Marutūahu Collective settlement.

“We know that a tikanga-based approach will ultimately deliver a more robust settlement and avoid creating further grievances for Iwi. That sort of resolution is in all our interests, including the Minister.

“We therefore ask that Mr Little not sign the Marutūahu Collective settlement, and instead stay true to the Government’s commitment to help facilitate kōrero amongst Iwi as per the tikanga-based approach that Iwi and, apparently, the Minister want,” Mr Blair says.


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