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Tribunal ignored testimony and defames ancestor

Media Release
For Immediate Release 14 Nov 2014


Iwi leader says Tribunal ignored testimony and defames his ancestor

The Ngapuhi leader David Rankin (a descendent of the nineteenth century warrior chief Hone Heke) says that the Waitangi Tribunal report on Maori sovereignty, which is released today, defames his famous ancestor.

Mr Rankin gave evidence at a Waitangi Tribunal hearing which led to this report. His testimony included details of the oral history of the treaty signing and how the rangatira [chiefs] at the time regarded political developments that were occurring:

“When our tupuna, Hone Heke, signed the Treaty of Waitangi, he did so because he know it was the only option in terms of having a relationship with the British Crown. But the tribunal is now telling us that all those chiefs saw the Declaration of Independence, which a few had signed in 1835, as being the basis of their relationship with the British. That is a lie and that is not what the tribunal was told.”

Mr Rankin says the Tribunal report defames the memory of Hone Heke, and of his whanau’s oral histories, and that if the tribunal refuses to alter the report to reflect the testimony he provided at the hearing, he will lodge a Treaty claim against the tribunal itself, which will be a first in Treaty history, for prejudicial effect.

ENDS

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