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Turia: Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill

Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill
Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party
Thursday 9 December 2010; 4.30pm

On behalf of the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, I move that the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill be now read a third time.

E nga rahi o Nga Waiariki/ Ngati Apa; tatou nga uri whakaheke o te waka o Kurahaupo; nga tuku iho o nga maunga tupuna; nga kaitiaki o nga awa o Rangitikei, o Whangaehu, o Turakina, o Mangawhero; Ngati Apa. Tena tatou, tena tatou, tena tatou katoa.

Apahapaetaketake nana i tapiki te takiritanga o te ata.
This is a day that Ngati Apa has been waiting for, for many generations and many decades of time.
Today we come together, Crown and Ngati Apa, to reflect on a journey that started in 1899, 110 years ago.
At that time, the Premier, Richard Seddon, sat with our tupuna to hear their anguish; to understand the sense of disillusionment and despair amongst them.
Their pain flowed from the effects of the Turakina-Rangitikei transaction some fifty years earlier in 1849.
In that transaction, the Crown purchased the 260,000 acre Rangitikei-Turakina block for 2500 pounds (a little under tuppence an acre).
That one act resulted in the mass alienation of our lands from us and is the original source of our grievance; it was a transaction that resulted in poverty, not partnership.
And worst of all, our identity as mana whenua, literally the people of the land, was removed from us, in one swipe of the pen.
Mr Speaker, I refer back to these events because as uri of Nga Wairiki/Ngati Apa, the sense of travelling a journey with my ancestors is constantly with me.
Today our journey takes a new turn, establishing a strong foundation to restore and enhance the well-being of Ngāti Apa/Nga Wairiki.

And while we look forward to the transformation we can never forget – and nor should we – the injustices that shape our history.

It was a history that Ngati Apa entered into, in the genuine desire to establish a positive two-way relationship with the Crown.

The first major engagement between Ngāti Apa and the Crown took place on 21 May in 1840, when three members of Ngāti Apa signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Tawhirihoe Pā.

Eight years later the Crown purchased over 400,000 acres of land in which Ngāti Apa had interests. But it was the impacts of the Rangitikei-Turakina block purchase that left the deepest wounds.

The korero from the Crown at that time, encouraged our tupuna to believe that they would reap substantial economic advantages from the growth of European settlement around them.

And so our people agreed to the transaction in the hope that settlement would bring with it peace, protection and prosperity.
As one of our rangatira is recorded to have said in 1849, “We have married our land to the Europeans and entirely given our greatest property to the Europeans.”

Mr Speaker, it is one of tragic facts of our story that our ancestral aspirations for a positive two-way relationship never eventuated in their time.

The Crown didn’t properly protect the 35,000 acres of reserves from the Rangitikei-Turakina sale. The operation of the native land laws, in particular awarding land to individual Ngāti Apa rather than to iwi or hapū, made our lands more susceptible to partition, fragmentation and alienation.

And so when Premier Seddon came to the marae our elders spoke to him about the erosion of their access to mahinga kai and their dwindling tribal estate.

They shared with him their grief at the decimation of traditional tribal structures based on collective tribal and hapū custodianship of land, and the alienation of nearly all of Ngāti Apa’s remaining land.
And they recommended the Crown pass an Act of Parliament to protect their lands.
But the Reserves for Ngati Apa Act never eventuated.
Mr Speaker, yesterday when the Maori Party and the National Party announced the establishment of the very significant process of constitutional review, there was a fascinating insight made by a young man on the street who remarked that we simply don’t do enough to look at ourselves as a nation, to know our history. And never a truer word was said.
For the hapu collectives that make up Ngati Apa, we have deliberately joined together, to learn our history, to familiarise ourselves with our land interests stretching from Mötū Karaka, south to Omarupapako and inland to the upper Rangitikei area.
And so we proudly claim the statutory acknowledgements that have been recognised over sites within our rohe. Through this Bill, Deeds of Recognition and place name changes will recognise Ngati Apa’s traditional, cultural and spiritual relationship with their area of interest.

The area known as Mount Curl will now be known as Parae Karetu. The Round Bush Scenic Reserve will be known as Omarupapako/Round Bush Scenic Reserve.

Another recognition of our relationship with places and sites within the area of interest, is that twelve Crown sites totalling 214 hectares will be transferred to Ngati Apa.

But it is the prospect of cultural revitalisation that probably fills me with the greatest sense of anticipation.

The settlement provides for:

• The gifting of five papakainga properties being AgResearch Lands, Parewanui School, part of the Santoft Forest and the Lismore Sands Forest and the Kauangaroa School;

• funding to assist in preparing and implementing a cultural redevelopment plan. This includes marae development and investment in programmes and initiatives covering areas such as te reo, the arts, and taonga or mātauranga.

• Settlement funding to assist with compiling a comprehensive historical record and clearing two papakainga sites located within licensed Crown forest land.

Alongside all of these developments, the financial redress part of the settlement package will help Ngāti Apa re-establish and grow their economic livelihood.

Financial redress includes:
• A cash payment of $16 million,
• The ability to purchase licensed Crown forest land and receive associated rentals;
• The right of first refusal for fifty years to buy four Crown properties if they are declared surplus to requirements, and
• the Runanga has also agreed to provide Whanganui iwi with an option to buy 50% of that land around Whanganui prison.

Mr Speaker I come back to the journey that we are on.

I stand to honour our four outstanding young leaders who have championed our settlement: Chairperson Adrian Rurawhe, Toko Kapea, Pahia Turia and Toroa Pohatu.

It is no coincidence, that three of these named are affiliated to tupuna which travelled the world to take their petition to ratify Te Tiriti o Waitangi to King George. It is in our whakapapa to continue the search for resolution.

My own grandfather, Hamiora Uru Te Angina, my adopted father, Tariuha Manawaroa Te Aweawe, my mother’s two sisters, Ripeka and Mihiterina also travelled with Tahupotiki Wirema Ratana to get the Treaty ratified.

Tahupotiki Wirema Ratana asked the Labour Party to ratify the Treaty of Waitangi. They could not and did not honour that agreement. I hope that the constitutional review that we embarked on yesterday, takes our journey forward in such a way as to honour our tupuna as he deserved.

Mr Speaker, when the Deed of Settlement was first signed, I remember my nephew Adrian speaking of the amazing gift of generosity given by iwi to the nation. He was referring to the fact that iwi, through the course of negotiations, give up the right to claim up to 97% of what they are entitled to – and such is the extent of the manaakitanga that they bring to this nation.

How hard it is to listen to some of the redneck rhetoric that is espoused by some who are unable to accept the noble generosity of spirit expressed by tangata whenua in the treaty settlement process.

Our struggle for justice over successive generations has today come to fruition.

And I weep for those who are no longer with us; I am in awe of the leadership of our young, and I say to Nga Wairiki / Ngati Apa, that we can celebrate that all this work was not in vain.

I commend this Bill to the House.


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