Ngāti Hikairo Standing Firm On Mana Whenua For Treaty Settlement
Te Arawhiti is bypassing Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo to try and get Ngāti Hikairo claims included in the Ngāti Maniapoto Settlement.
Ngāti Maniapoto have set up two meetings in Kāwhia ‘with Ngāti Hikairo’ to consult on their Treaty settlements. The first meeting is on Sunday 16 August 2020.
The consultation hui have by-passed the iwi governance group Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo whose goal is to negotiate their settlement on behalf of their iwi.
Te Arawhiti has opposed Ngāti Hikairo’s right to negotiate their own settlement under the Large Natural Groupings Policy. This request by Ngāti Maniapoto, to ask Ngāti Hikairo to re-define itself as a hapū, undermines Ngāti Hikairo’s iwi status and mana whenua within their own rohe.
Moka Apiti, Chair of Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo says “The Te Arawhiti approach pits iwi against iwi, and iwi in our rohe must remain united. We must focus on the our rangatiratanga. Ngāti Maniapoto should go back to the drawing board, cancel the hui and meet with Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo to discuss where their claims end.”
“Ngāti Hikairo will make decisions for ourselves. It is not for a crown agency or for other iwi to decide”
Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo has been challenging the large natural grouping policy of the crown for more than 10 years. Ngāti Hikairo considers this policy unjust, it disadvantages our treaty rights.
Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo represents Ngāti Hikairo claims Wai 1112, 1113 & others. Wai 1112 is for Kāwhia Moana, lakes and waterways and the Mana Motuhake of Ngāti Hikairo and Te Rohe Pōtae, as Ngāti Hikairo is one of five iwi of Te Rohe Pōtae. Te Rohe Pōtae consists of five iwi, not four iwi and one hapū!
Te Arawhiti is aware that Ngāti Hikairo is planning a consultation process with its own people to consider both Waikato iwi and Ngāti Maniapoto mandates, yet the two hui in Kāwhia were advertised without consulting Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo.
The hui seek to define Ngāti Hikairo as a hapū. Ngāti Hikairo can never agree to this.
We consider this a breach of the Crown’s treaty obligations to Ngāti Hikairo, to continue to deny our status in our own whenua. The Waitangi Tribunal has also determined that the Large Natural Groupings policy is unjust and breaches treaty obligations.
Because Te Arawhiti has requested that Ngāti Maniapoto consult with Ngāti Hikairo about their whakapapa, they are trying to make Ngāti Hikairo ‘pick a side’. Ngāti Hikairo iwi in Kāwhia Moana are concerned that Te Arawhiti is asking them to split their whakapapa in two, which cuts across their relationships and whakawhanaungatanga.
Is this the first time Te Arawhiti has done the wrong thing by Ngāti Hikairo?
No it is not the first time. In 2017 Te Arawhiti brought the Minister of Treaty Negotiations to Kāwhia without telling Ngāti Hikairo, this led to a blockade of the hui that the Minister was at – and he escaped through a sheep paddock.
What is Ngāti Hikairo doing?
Hikairo is holding a whakapapa wānanga in Kāwhia next weekend – to learn and reinforce their whakapapa connections in Kāwhia and with their huānga, their neighbours in Te Nehenehenui.