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


Te Urewera Pre-Publication Part III Released

Te Urewera Pre-Publication Part III Released

12 pm, Tuesday, 22 October 2012

The Waitangi Tribunal today released the third part of its report on claims in the Te Urewera district inquiry.

In this part of its report the Tribunal looks at the origins of Te Urewera National Park, created in 1954 and greatly extended in 1957. An uncomfortable history, the tribunal says, lies behind the creation of the park.

The origins of the park lie in the Crown’s broken promises to the peoples of Te Urewera. In 1896, it had passed special legislation, the Urewera District Native Reserve Act, to establish a self governing native reserve for Tūhoe. Tūhoe and Ngāti Whare leaders had negotiated with Premier Richard Seddon in the hope of a new beginning in their relationship with the Crown. But their hopes were shattered.

The Crown failed to deliver on its promise to ensure that strong committees were set up to run tribal affairs. It failed to deliver on its undertaking to buy land only from the tribal body, and instead conducted a predatory and at times illegal purchasing campaign that targeted individuals living in poverty.

The Tribunal found that the alienation of 75 per cent of the Urewera Native Reserve mainly through ruthless Crown purchasing, on top of earlier extensive land loss in the rest of Te Urewera, was in breach of the Treaty, and caused significant prejudice to the peoples of Te Urewera. In the 1920s, the Crown acquired even more land from Māori owners to pay for needless surveys, since the people never got the titles they were promised, and for arterial roads (to service their scattered settlements), which were never finished.

Tūhoe cannot get past these facts, the Tribunal said, while other New Zealanders are simply unaware of them.

The creation of Te Urewera National Park, the Tribunal found, gave a unique opportunity. No other national park was designed to enclose significant Māori communities and Māori land within its borders or buffer zone. But the needs of those communities – ongoing customary use of the resources of the area and ongoing economic benefit from their much reduced remaining lands, so that they might survive – were utterly contradicted by the Crown’s land to create a national park.

Tūhoe were not opposed to a park, and protection of the forests, but they wanted to remain on their last lands in the heart of Te Urewera.

A park in itself did not breach the Treaty, the Tribunal found. The national interests and Māori interests in their ancestral lands could both have been provided for. The Crown tried briefly to assist Tūhoe mill some timber on their lands, but from the 1960s denied Māori owners the use of their forests. For two decades, it tried to secure the surrender of all Māori land in or adjacent to the park. It failed, but greatly limited what Tūhoe could do with their own lands. By the 1980s, all Tūhoe lands had become ‘virtual national park’.

For the peoples of Te Urewera, especially Tūhoe, the national park has come to symbolise their dispossession. The Tribunal’s findings vindicate the claimants’ long-held grievance over the defeat of their aspirations for self-government in their own reserve and the loss of their ancestral lands.

Title-return and joint management arrangements have been carried out successfully for national parks in Australia, and could also be carried out in New Zealand. ‘We can think of no more appropriate situation’, the Tribunal said, ‘than that of Te Urewera National Park’.

The report is available from these links:

Preliminary pages

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Bid

Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic nomination is taking on an air of inevitability, and that likelihood has been met with elation by some people, and feelings of dread in others. Is the Vermont senator the party’s best hope of motivating and leading an inspirational movement to defeat Donald Trump in November, or would he be the easiest opponent of them all for Trump to stigmatise, isolate and defeat? Is Bernie Sanders a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform America, or a once- in-a -generation calamity who is likely to entrench in power the worst President in American history? No pressure, people. More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


NZ Government: 18,400 Children Lifted Out Of Poverty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, ... More>>


Vaping: Government To Regulate Products

No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>


UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels