Hansard and Journals
Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill — Third Reading
Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill
Hon Dr PITA SHARPLES (Minister of Māori Affairs) on behalf of the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations: I move, That the Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill be now read a third time. Ēngari tuatahi, kei te mihi atu ki a koutou i hara mai nei i tēnei rangi ki te kaupapa e whakahuitia ai tātou, tēnā koutou. Ahakoa te roa o te hīkoi kua mutu tēnei wāhanga, oti ai i tēnei rāngi. Ēngari, ahakoa kua mutu, he tīmatanga anō tēnā, kia kaha koutou ki te manaaki i tō koutou awa. Nā reirā, tēnā koutou. Tēnā koutou i a koutou tini aituā, ngā mate kua pā ki a koutou, mai i te tīmatanga o tēnei mahi, otirā, tae noa ki tēnei wā. Nā reira, kia okioki pai ā tātou mate i roto i te Kaihanga. Nā reira, ko te kōrero, ko rātou ki a rātou, tātou ki a tātou, tēnā koutou, nau mai, whakapiri mai.
[But first I acknowledge you who came here today for the matter that brought us together; salutations to you collectively. Although the journey has been a long one, this part has been completed, at least, by today. Even though it is finished, that is also a beginning. You will need to work hard to look after your river. So congratulations. I acknowledge your many deaths—those, in particular, at the beginning of this project, and, indeed, to the present moment. Our deaths, therefore, are resting well with the Creator. So the aphorism goes like this: they, the dead, to themselves, and we, the living, to ourselves, greetings to you, welcome, draw closer.]
The Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill formalises the eternal relationship of Ngāti Maniapoto with the Waipā River. The Waipā’s journey from the headwaters in the Rangitoto Range into the heart of the Waikato River has been chronicled and cherished by generations. Ngā Wai o Maniapoto, the Waipā, is born of the spring Pekepeke, at the foot of Rangitoto mountain. It flows on to Parakiri, where it meets Ōtamaroa Stream. Further through the Waipā Valley it is joined by the waters of Ōkurawhango and Tunawaea. It goes through the stones of Hapahāpai o Tarapīkau, is released into the Waimahora Stream, and goes past Tangitehau, then on to Ōtewa. Past Parewaeono, it joins the Mangawhero and Mangapū, and flows on to the rocks of Mātaiwhetu to join the Waitomo. It goes on past Kahotea and Te Kōpua, where it unites with Moakurarua and journeys on to Pūrekireki, Tāwhiao’s ancient home. It merges at Mātakitaki, the place of battle, and surges forth to Te Rore, then further to Te Papa o Rotu at Whatawhata. The Waipā runs on to Te Kōwhai, past the marae of Tangirau, uniting with the Waikato at Ngāruawāhia.
Ngāti Maniapoto say the essence of Waiwaiā was instilled in the Waipā at the river’s birthplace in the spring of Pekepeke. Describing the likeness as waiwaiā, the waters of the Waipā were described as astonishing beyond description. One attempt to describe Waiwaiā talks of ripples of water reflecting in the sun and under the moonlight. Rainbows that appear in waterfalls was another attempt. But the most important part of Waiwaiā was that it was the water itself, and without it man could not survive. Hence the whakatauākī o Ngā Wai o Maniapoto: Ko te mauri, ko te wai ora o te Waipā, ko Waiwaiā—the essence and well-being of the Waipā is Waiwaiā.
Waiwaiā is the personification of the waters of the Waipā River, and the enduring spiritual guardian of the peoples of Ngāti Maniapoto. This relationship is based on profound respect and gives rise to the responsibilities to protect te mana o te wai and to exercise kaitiakitanga in accordance with the long-established tikanga of Maniapoto. To Maniapoto, the Waipā is a taonga, a sacred river where the tohi rituals were performed, where the umbilical rites were observed, and where the purification rituals were undertaken. Under this bill, Maniapoto achieves co-management arrangements specific to the Waipā River and its catchment. The arrangements are extended to the headwaters of the Waipā River, at Pekepeke Spring in the Rangitoto Ranges. The overarching intent is to restore and maintain the quality and the integrity of the waters that flow into, and form part of, the Waipā River, for present and future generations, and the care and protection of the mana tuku iho of Waiwaiā. Waiwaiā refers to the essence and well-being of the Waipā River.
The Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill complements the Waikato River settlement with Waikato-Tainui, and the Waikato River co-management deeds with Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Raukawa, and Te Arawa River Iwi. Together they establish a single, unified co-governance framework for both the Waipā River and the Waikato River. We are here today because of the deep obligation and desire of the Ngāti Maniapoto people to restore, maintain, and protect all of the waters that flow and fall within their tribal rohe.
This bill acknowledges that the relationship between Maniapoto and the Waipā River is historical, it is intellectual, it is physical, and it is spiritual. Historically, te mana o te wai was such that it provided all manner of sustenance to Maniapoto. This has included physical and spiritual nourishment, which has, over the generations, maintained the quality and the integrity of Maniapoto marae, whānau, hapū, and iwi.
The Waipā River is a significant contributor to the waters of the Lower Waikato River, and will have a significant impact on arrangements to restore and protect the health and the well-being of the Waikato River. Maniapoto acknowledge that the restoration and maintenance of the Waipā River, as part of the larger catchment, needs to be coordinated with the management of the Waikato River. The foundations of this agreement therefore include references to the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010. In history, Waikato and Maniapoto have shared a strong relationship through the Tainui waka. Today this is manifested through the support they each give to the Kīngitanga. In a similar way, their sacred awa, Waikato and Waipā, are inextricably linked.
Similar to Waikato-Tainui, the Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill provides for Maniapoto to participate in the vision and strategy of the Waipā River, to be represented in the membership of the Waikato River Authority, and to participate in the making of an Upper Waipā River integrated management plan. The bill provides for Maniapoto to make an environmental plan called the Maniapoto Iwi Environmental Management Plan, and to enter a joint management agreement with the local authorities. The bill also provides for a process for extending the vision and strategy to the Upper Waipā River and the process for making and updating the Upper Waipā River integrated management plan.
From today, Ngāti Maniapoto and the Crown are Treaty partners working together for the enhancement of the Waipā River and the restoration of Waiwaiā. Nō reira, tēnā koutou kua tae mai. Ahakoa ngāwari noa iho mōku te tū nei ki te pānui ēnei kōrero ki a koutou, kai te mōhio ki ngā mamae kai roto i a koutou mahi; rātou kua ngaro atu, rātou i tohetohe i waenganui i a koutou me ērā atu iwi kia tae ki tēnei wā, nā reira, he mihi nui ki a koutou. Tēnā koutou kua tae mai.
[So congratulations, you have arrived. Although it is easy for me to stand here and read these words to you, I am very much aware of the pains experienced by you in your work, those ones among you who argued with you and other people right up to this moment, hence this huge praise to you collectively. Congratulations, the moment is at hand.]
Ko te mauri, ko te wai ora o te Waipā, ko Waiwaiā—the essence and well-being of the Waipā is Waiwaiā. I commend this bill to the House.
Hon NANAIA MAHUTA (Labour—Hauraki-Waikato) : Tēnā koe. Tēnā koutou Maniapoto kua tae mai nei ki te kawe i tēnei kaupapa. He iti nāku tēnei rau hei whakatutuki i ō koutou nei wawata. Tēnei anō i whakahokia mai ērā o ngā kupu kōrero i waihotia e Ngāti Unu, ko Waipā te toto o te tangata, ko Waipā te toto o te whenua. Koia hoki te wai manawa whenua. Ko Waipā tētehi o ngā taonga o Maniapoto whānui.
[Thank you. Congratulations to you, Maniapoto, who have arrived to take up this matter. In respect of fulfilling your aspirations, this contribution of mine is but a small one and relates to the aphorism left by Ngāti Unu, in that Waipā is the blood of the person and, as a consequence, the blood of the land. Indeed, it waters the heart of the land. Waipā is one of the treasures of Maniapoto at large.]
It gives me great pleasure to join in the comments in regards to this bill for Ngā Wai o Maniapoto, the Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill. I want to acknowledge the many people who have contributed to the compilation of histories, to the technical working group who have put a lot of the effort into preparing this particular claim, to the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board, and to the negotiating team: Tiwha Bell, John Wī, and Weo Maag. I particularly want to acknowledge Tiwha Bell, and your efforts to steward what has been, I think, the beginnings of a process for a larger comprehensive claim for Maniapoto going forward. That has not been without trial and tribulation. It is important to note for members of the House today that this particular bill is a step towards a comprehensive Treaty settlement for Maniapoto. It is my sincere hope, Minister, that within this term the opportunity for Maniapoto to continue its path to seek the full restoration of its Treaty settlement claims in its rohe can be achieved because there is goodwill there.
This bill is also an extension on the intent to have a better governance and management regime for the whole of the Waipā River, including the upper catchment, as a part of another settlement well known to this House, which is the Waikato River settlement. I have said in contributions before that you cannot have a clean Waikato River with a dirty Waipā, so it is absolutely the aspiration of this House, I am sure on both sides, to work with Maniapoto and Waikato and the other iwi to achieve a common intent, which is clean rivers.
I want to acknowledge the Hon John Luxton, who is here today representing the Waikato River Authority, and his co-chairing of that body with Tuku Morgan. As a result of this settlement Maniapoto will not only take its place on the river authority, which it already has, but also strengthen its advocacy in terms of how the whole of the Waipā River can be treated in terms of the governance and co-management challenges going forward.
I want to acknowledge the Minister, who, in the beginnings of his speech, made reference to a rich and diverse history and recollection of what the Waipā means, and the essence and mauri of the Waipā River. Really, what you outlined, Minister, was the rich tapestry of kōrero that contributes and is preceding the deed of settlement for Maniapoto. A number of rich kōrero have been captured in the deed of settlement, so thank you for doing that. The Minister outlined that for Maniapoto the Waipā River is so much more. This is a settlement, indeed, but the river itself and the aim to clean up the river comes with a number of inherent, intrinsic values that give life to who Maniapoto are and how they want to protect this particular river, and also how they want to assert ongoing care and responsibility for this waterway, so thank you again.
I look to the statements of significance. Really, it is a matter of refreshing my own memory. I was heartened and delighted to read a recollection of one of the kaumātua there, George Searancke, when he retold some of his recollections about the Waipā when he was a child. He said something like this: “During the 2nd war & rationing we used the awa for kai as often as we could. Ngati Unu Ngati Ngawaero’s significant tuna pa structure can be viewed if the river level drops during a dry spell in this awa. The 1958 flood changed all that.” It kind of reminded me throughout the process of hearing submissions that we on the Māori Affairs Committee had the good fortune to hear a number of really nice reflections of local history that you would not get anywhere else except through that process. I want to thank everybody who participated in the select committee process and told your stories. I want to ensure that none of that is lost through this settlement, and I certainly hope that for the historical record and for the future benefit of Maniapoto tamariki growing up in their rohe, the rich tapestry of kōrero that is attached to this particular settlement and the Waipā River in the telling of stories can be shared throughout the schools in the region, because it is just dynamic and rich and gives a strong sense of identity and pride in cultural heritage for the rohe.
In the debates preceding this third reading I have raised a number of issues that I undertook to follow up on so that I could make progress, I guess, on the concerns that I had raised. Firstly, one of the concerns was on the necessity for Maniapoto and Raukawa to reach their memorandum of understanding, because through the select committee process there was some discussion and debate around the Wharepūhunga and potential encroachments of interests. I am absolutely assured that the relationship between Raukawa and Maniapoto is sufficient to work that out; I am absolutely assured about that. But I had expressed a concern that if there is further delay on the memorandum of understanding, there could be slippage—probably more on the Crown’s side if people change and memories change in terms of how this debate has stewarded itself through. I understand that even though the memorandum of understanding has not been signed as of yet, there is goodwill to have that completed and, indeed, Raukawa are in its negotiations process. But there will be potential for slippage if there is further delay, and it seems to me, Minister, and it is certainly my hope, that there will be a strong opportunity for that memorandum of understanding to be completed very shortly.
In terms of the issue of scoping costs for the clean-up of the Upper Waipā River, $10 million has been set aside, but it does fall far short of the sum that was identified as a result of the Waikato River Independent Scoping Study, which attributed a significantly larger amount to the clean-up effort. But my understanding is that there will be a review of this amount after a period of time, and I will put that on the table because it is something that any future Government will have to be well aware of in terms of the mammoth task to clean up the Waipā River. In a sense it is putting us all on notice that there is probably more to do there on the clean-up side of things. The fact that there will be a review, though, is a positive thing, because I am mindful that when Waikato submitted during the select committee process, they were very clear that their clean-up fund was for the Waikato River and the lower catchment, and this will be something that will need to be worked out I think as the Waikato River Authority makes its decisions.
I would like to end my contribution on where the Minister was highlighting his kōrero, which is the significance of Waiwaiā and how that is reflected in the Treaty settlement. That really is the Waiwaiā Accord, and it is really important to ensure that the accord gives body to the aspirations of Maniapoto in its joint management approaches, and the relationships required to give life to that, and it will be with particular regards to local government and at ministry level that that can be achieved in full. It will be an important part of living the intent of this particular settlement, which is a practical, useful way of managing the whole of the Waipā River, but, more important for Maniapoto, embodying what is really intended, which is protecting the mauri of the Waipā River.
I want to congratulate everyone who has been involved in the settlement—the Office of Treaty Settlements officials, the select committee staff who service the select committee, but, more important, I want to thank the negotiators, the kaumātua, and everybody from the marae who contributed their rich histories so that today can be realised. And for people who travelled down from home, tēnei te tino mihi atu ki a koutou katoa i tēnei wā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora mai tātou.
Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations) : I too want to welcome members of Maniapoto to Parliament for this very significant occasion. When dealing with third readings of Treaty bills, it can often be too easy to indulge in superlatives to describe what we have achieved from working together, but I know that this is a joyful and a very noteworthy day for those involved in this negotiation.
As I look up into the gallery I see the familiar faces of people without whose hard work and sacrifice we would not have been in this position today. I particularly want to acknowledge the leadership of Tiwha Bell throughout the course of these negotiations. He is a gentleman, of course, but a tough and determined negotiator for his iwi. I also acknowledge the Hon John Luxton, Chair of the Waikato River Authority, and thank him for the wonderful work that he and his team are already doing.
One noteworthy feature of the bills we debate today is that they all involve rivers—the Rangitaiki, the Waipā, the Mōhaka, and the Waiapū rivers. There are slightly different co-governance mechanisms. They have been carefully constructed to reflect the needs and the realities of the particular river system. As Acting Minister for the Environment, I want to acknowledge my friend and predecessor Nick Smith, because without his keen intellect and his wonderful support I would not have been able to develop these forms of innovative redress.
I say what follows with the greatest of respect and affection, but I have to say that sometimes I get the feeling that the Greens think they have a monopoly on wisdom and virtue on the subject of rivers. But these developments show that both Labour and National Governments have recognised the need for our rivers to be restored, and this Government is determined to see this happen. Indeed, just last Friday I was on the outskirts of Taumarunui with members of the Whanganui iwi, looking at that great river. Increasingly, I am involved in looking at issues relating to the Kaituna and the Manawatū, and I am learning all about SLUIs, which, of course, Shane Jones would know are sustainable land use initiatives.
Hon Shane Jones: Liquefaction, liquefaction.
Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON: No, that is a slightly different topic. They are issues that are increasingly consuming my time as Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and in the Acting Minister for the Environment role.
But let us address the river of the moment, the Waipā River, because that river is at the heart of the community. A healthy Waipā River sustains abundant life from prosperous communities who, in turn, are responsible for restoring and protecting the health and well-being of the river and all it embraces for generations to come. A healthy Waipā River also benefits the Waikato River and the greater Waikato region. As Nanaia Mahuta said in her speech, there simply cannot be a healthy Waikato River without a healthy Waipā River. Achieving this objective will not always be easy, but this bill takes us a step further along the road to our shared goal: the restoration of the protection of the health and well-being of both rivers. I know that by working together with the authority and working under the leadership of John Luxton we can achieve this.
But the vision goes further; it makes sure that our children can enjoy the river as we do today and that they will have the full fruits of what the river has to offer. This will be done with an integrated, holistic, and coordinated approach to the management of natural, physical, cultural, and historic resources of both rivers. Through its co-governance and co-management arrangements, this bill will allow for the restoration and protection of the relationship of Maniapoto with the Waipā River, which, as I said, is part of one river system with the Waikato River. It will also cement the relationship of Waikato River iwi according to their tikanga and kawa with the Waikato River and the Waipā River. So we have an opportunity not only to improve but also to revitalise both these rivers, and Maniapoto’s input is absolutely essential if we are going to make that successful.
This bill will not only enhance significant sites but also protect fisheries, flora, and fauna. This bill recognises that the rivers are not just essential to the economic and environmental well-being of the region but they are of strategic benefit to New Zealand as a whole. The vision of the river will also see the restoration of water quality so that it is safe for people to swim in, and take food from, the river over its entire length. The vision also sets out how the river can be a hub for the community, and, with improved access to the Waikato River and Waipā River, how it can be used and promoted for sporting, recreational, and cultural activities.
All of this is possible if there is a strategy to match this vision. I know from working with Maniapoto that not only do we have this strategy but we have the team and we have the people who will work to implement it, a team who are going to be dedicated to achieving the ultimate objective of creating a river that is there for future generations to use and enjoy. I acknowledge what Ms Mahuta said about the $10 million. As Acting Minister for the Environment I was sorely tempted to sweep in and see whether I could augment that fund, but I think that would be abuse of my powers.
But she is absolutely right: we make a start, we see how the clean-up goes, and in the fullness of time it may have to be reviewed.
By ensuring Maniapoto a position on the co-governance entity we are further establishing the relationship between the Crown and iwi, working in good faith to enhance the environment, and establishing a lasting organisation that can build the foundations for the future. The co-governance entity is made up of appointees from Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui, Te Arawa, Tūwharetoa, Raukawa, and the Crown, and together we are going to work to ensure that our shared vision will once again make this most beautiful of rivers an economic and cultural hub of the community.
In conclusion, I acknowledge the enthusiasm, the hard work, and the leadership of the negotiators. They have provided the foundation that has allowed us to get to this point. All of that hard work will now lead to the improved management of the river. This legislation will be the basis of, and establish, a new and rekindled relationship between Maniapoto and the Crown, a relationship that is based on mutual trust, cooperation, and respect for the principles of the Treaty. They are relationships I think all New Zealanders can rightfully take pride in. With Maniapoto now rightly part of the co-governance and co-management of the Waipā and the Waikato Rivers a more prosperous and just future is assured for all.
Finally, I respond to the concluding words of Nanaia Mahuta, and acknowledge that this great iwi has done so much to advance this settlement and assure her that during the term of this Government we will move together toward the resolution of the comprehensive Treaty claim. So I am very much looking forward to sitting on the opposite side of the table of Mr Tiwha Bell and dealing with those issues before 2014.
Hon SHANE JONES (Labour) : Tēnā koe, te Kaihautū o te Whare. Kāti, me tuku i te reo tuatahi ki te tāpiri atu i ētahi kupu whakamihimihi māku, ki ō tātou huānga ki ō tātou mātua, koutou kua tatū mai ki Te Upoko o Te Ika; ā, ki te noho ngātahi, whai taringa mai ki a mātou ngā kaitōrangapū Māori, i a mātou e whakapau kaha ana ki te whakatutuki i tēnei wāhanga, o ngā nawe i heke mai i ō tātou, i ō koutou mātua hei whakakorōria mā tātou i tēnei rangi. Nā reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
[Salutations to you, Mr Speaker of the House. Well, then, a contribution in the first language to add my comments to the congratulatory remarks to our relations, parents—you who have arrived here in Wellington to sit together and to listen to us Māori politicians working hard to conclude this part of the concerns that came down from our parents and yours, and for us to glorify today. So congratulations, well done, and salutations to you all.]
As I have said in Māori, I acknowledge the presence of the representatives from Ngāti Maniapoto, not the least of whom is Tiwha Bell, and I think I see Mr Koroheke there, and a variety of other people. If I mention any others the women will take offence, but it is good to see them in this House today, so that they can check up on what their parliamentarians are doing to enable the Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill to move through the next stage. I would also like to acknowledge Mr Luxton—the Hon John Luxton—and welcome him back to this particular place. After all, he was the Minister of Maori Affairs for a period of time, and he has the burdensome responsibility of now steering the implementation of the innards of this legislation to a better place. Tēnā koe.
The Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations has reminded us each of the four bills in the House today is dealing with a river. This bill deals with the Waipā River, a river by dint of my ancestry—that is the Ngāpuhi side, not the Yugoslavian side—we know well. It is a river that contains a number of stories of an intertribal rivalry. It is a river that has, as my colleague referred to, its kaitiaki, Waiwaiā. It is a river that begins at the Kāhiwi o Rangitoto, it comes down, and it actually joins the Waikato River near Ngāruawāhia. So it is a river those of us who are from the Māori world have a certain association with, quite apart from the tangata whenua, who are looking forward, no doubt, to playing a more meaningful role in catchment and environmental management, but challenging themselves as well in drawing the balance between economic endeavours and cultural heritage and environmental integrity.
All of us are stakeholders in this. There are some parliamentarians, our friends here from the Greens, who have developed it into an art form. There are those members on the other side of the House who have perhaps more of a farming background—well, not more of a farming background than Parekura or me, but that aside—and there are those of us who have cut our teeth on the development of institutions for resource management. A number of us worked with former Labour Governments developing the Resource Management Act, which has probably reached a point in time where it should be reviewed comprehensively anyway, but that is another matter.
This is a significant day for us to join with Ngāti Maniapoto and ensure that this bill actually embeds the tangata whenua in the business of managing the effects of using the environment. No. 2 is that their rights and their involvement can never be swiped aside as a consequence of the passing prejudices of whoever might be the local government councillors, or the regional councillors, at a point in time. There is a style of approaching constitutional issues called the Diceyean style. Basically, unless something is posited in the law you rely upon the goodwill of the High Court, the Court of Appeal, and, now, the Supreme Court as to whether or not your perceived interests will ever be upheld. This bill is well and truly in the Diceyean tradition. It ensures that statutory decision makers cannot wipe out, or cannot swipe aside, the interests of this group of tangata whenua. For those reasons, the advances—dare I say—that are represented in this bill from what we sought to do under the leadership of Michael Cullen in our time are applauded and supported on this side of the House.
Ngāti Maniapoto, among other things, have as one of their proverbial symbols the kawau mārō, meaning the diving cormorant—i.e. when you watch that bird preparing to take flight, it goes straight into either the ocean or the river to catch its prey. We look forward to that level of focus being brought forward by them for the comprehensive land settlement. If there is ever a case where there is a fantastic story about the perils of aligning oneself with the Crown and potentially mismanaging relationships with your neighbours, you will find it in the area we currently call the King Country. One of the most celebrated warriors of Māori history came from the King Country—Maniapoto. Quite apart from Maniapoto being the son of Rereahu—I talk here to Rewi Maniapoto, the son of Te Ngohi, one of the five, if memory serves me correctly, who signed the Treaty of Waitangi. Unlike us Ngāpuhi, they were a little bit more aloof from the Treaty of Waitangi. We found every cook, every nephew, and said: “Boy, put your name on it. You never know what is going to be important in the future.” Indeed, people like Hone Harawira and me have multiple ancestors whose names are dotted around the pages of the Treaty, and we claim them to be paramount chiefs. The only thing is that we wiped out the institution of paramount chiefs, and we are now all squabbling warriors in the north, but that is another matter.
When we give a third reading speech, and we have been able to cobble together the finest sentiments that we, as parliamentarians, want to bring to the fore, we actually want to see this phase come not so much to an end, but so that we can move on, so that Māori investors, Māori children and parents, Māori communities and neighbourhoods take on a slightly different stake in the fortunes of their region or, indeed, in our overall country that is not characterised by the dust that is stirred up every year at Waitangi or the inevitable stoushes that might flow from this place or break out in the media. Ngāti Maniapoto certainly deserve a higher level of attention in relation to their comprehensive claim, and I am sure I support Nanaia Mahuta in encouraging the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations to move us in that particular direction.
It is not going to be easy for groups such as this to actually meet the full responsibilities of integrating Māori thinking into environmental management, because there are going to be big trade-offs. We are in the business of trying to grow an export economy; we are in the business of trying to expand jobs and deepen the reservoirs of capital in New Zealand. Well, to do that, we need to develop. So it is a balance between how you further develop in this particular region of Māoridom and, at the same time, clean up the river. But the fact is that they are going to be integrally involved at long last and cannot be just wiped aside because of the sort of whim of a particular farmer’s wife, or whoever might enjoy that short opportunity—mercifully short—to be on the regional council. No, we have a personality at least as august as the Hon John Luxton. I am sure he will take his responsibilities as seriously as Tiwha Bell and his whānau and his iwi are showing us today. They come to witness history. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora tātou katoa.
DENISE ROCHE (Green) : Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. It is my privilege to rise to speak on behalf of the Green Party to support the passing of this bill, the Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill. E ngā iwi o Maniapoto, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
[To the people of Maniapoto, greetings to you, greetings to you, and greetings to you all.]
In Te Ao Māori, when a person is asked where they come from, the question is: “Ko wai koe?”—“Where is your water?”. It is more than just a question; it is an indication of your identity, and so for me it is a real privilege to stand here today to honour the passing of this bill. I am a daughter of Raukawa. Ko Wharepūhunga tōku maunga. Ko Waikato tōku awa. Ko Tāinui tōku waka. Ko Raukawa tōku iwi. Ko Ngāti Huri tōku hapū. So I also want to acknowledge my links with Ngāti Maniapoto, our whanaunga, and our links through our rivers—through the Waikato, and through the Waipā.
I want to acknowledge the deep feelings and the loss that Ngāti Maniapoto have suffered as a result of the wrongs that have been done to them by the Crown. I pay tribute to all those who have worked on both sides—on the Crown’s side, and on the side of Ngāti Maniapoto—to redress that. I pay tribute to all those who have persevered, and who have pursued justice and restitution, and I acknowledge today the passing of this bill as going in some part towards addressing that.
In reading the background to this bill, I have gained a small understanding of some of the longstanding issues that have occurred. I acknowledge the struggle that Ngāti Maniapoto have had to maintain and to regain their role of kaitiakitanga over their awa—their river—the beautiful Waipā. Maniapoto have spoken of the degradation of the river from the run-off from farms and sewage, and of degradation through development.
I remember the Waipā River as a beautiful river. I have gathered watercress on its banks, I have gone eeling there, and I have swum in it, because as a child I used to spend most of my summers around Whatawhata and Ngāruawāhia. And, of course, I have swum in our river too—in the Waikato—as a child. But those days have long gone. In parts the Waipā is a very degraded river. It is almost impossible in some parts to swim in it today. So I am heartened by this bill, and I am heartened by the fact that Maniapoto have been returned to their role as kaitiaki, and that they will be able to work in a co-governance and co-management relationship with the Crown and with councils to clean and nurture the Waipā, and return her to health.
I am aware from the raupatu settlement for Waikato, Tainui, and Raukawa, which established the co-management relationship for the Waikato and the clean-up there, that the arrangement that Maniapoto are entering into will not be without its challenges. I applaud their generosity for entering into this arrangement. The co-management model will not stop the call that others will have on this river. It will not stop the competing claims, and it has been alluded to, I think, by several other speakers: the wish for economic development, and how you balance that with environmental benefits, as well. This does cause tension, so I think it is a very brave thing, and a very generous thing, for Maniapoto to enter into this.
The Green Party stands on a charter that recognises te Tiriti as the founding document in this land of Aotearoa, and one of our core principles is around honouring and protecting the environment. Another is a firm dedication to fairness and to peace and justice, and this bill fits with those founding principles. So I give thanks that the Crown has moved to restore some of the rights of this tangata whenua to exercise tino rangatiratanga over their traditional resources. However, we in the Greens also acknowledge that this bill will never be a final and full restitution of the wrongs that have been done. Maniapoto have made huge sacrifices to accept this arrangement, and I acknowledge that. We do not accept that these settlements are full and final settlements. In a generation to come these issues may be revisited, especially if the health of the Waipā River is not addressed in this generation. So these settlements may never be settled. They are a deal that exists at the moment, but we acknowledge that this is a massive step forward.
The Greens will be voting to support this bill, of course, not just because we have a policy around cleaning up our environment and cleaning up our rivers but also because this is a bill that is full of hope. The Greens wish Ngāti Maniapoto every success in the role that they take on to re-establish their rightful place as the guardians of the Waipā River. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
LOUISE UPSTON (National—Taupō) : Tēnā koe e te Mana Whakawā, tēnā koe e te Whare. Rau rangatira mā, tēnei te mihi ki a koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te rā. Tēnā koutou ngā iwi o Ngāti Maniapoto, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. E te Minita, tino rawe e te kaitiakitanga o ngā take pērā rā i te Tiriti o Waitangi, nō reira, e te Whare Mīere, kia ora.
[Greetings to you, Mr Speaker and the House. Leaders of a hundredfold, I acknowledge you in respect of the matter of the day. To the people of Ngāti Maniapoto, salutations, acknowledgments, and greetings to you all. To the Minister, you are truly a great guardian of matters like those relating to the Treaty of Waitangi. Therefore I acknowledge the Beehive and thank you.]
This is another proud day for this House. It is a proud day as we complete more settlements that have been outstanding for not just years, but decades. This Government has signed 22 deeds of settlement since we came into office in November 2008, and today will go down as another milestone in our progress towards all settlements. Settlements recognise the rights and wrongs of the past and have an important part in strengthening the relationship between the Crown and iwi.
I want to use the words of my colleague and the chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, the Hon Tau Henare, who said in a recent settlement speech that we cannot call New Zealand a truly democratic society until all of our nation’s sores have been healed. So today is another big step forward in healing our nation and, in this case, those surrounding the Waipā River.
Today is also a significant day for me as the member of Parliament for Taupō. The Waikato River connects the people of my electorate from Tūrangi in the south to Cambridge in the north. And as the Waipā is the Waikato River’s largest tributary, in length 116 kilometres, your river connects to the one I represent. This bill is an important companion to the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Bill, which was first introduced in April 2010. So this is the final piece of the puzzle that gives effect to the co-governance arrangements for the Waikato River.
We recognise that the Waipā River is a significant contributor to the waters of the Lower Waikato River, and to social, cultural, and environmental as well as economic well-being across the entire region. We recognise, Mr Assistant Speaker Tisch, that this river is your taonga and that the relationship with the river lies at the heart of Maniapoto’s spiritual and physical well-being.
The involvement in co-governance and co-management of the Waipā River is a key aspect of the longer-term sustainability of the Waipā River, both for today and for future generations. I see friends and partners in the gallery who are also working in important work to clean up the Waikato River, and I acknowledge their presence in the gallery. I also want to acknowledge the presence of the Hon John Luxton, who is the co-chair of the Waikato River Authority. It was just on Saturday that I attended the Raukawa 25th year celebrations and it was great to see a public display of the progress that the Waikato River Authority has been making.
So this is a proud day for this House. The settlements help to unlock the economic potential for iwi. It is a significant boost for regions—in this case the Waikato region, the greater region—and also assists in very small communities as well as the wider region, and also our nation. It is clearly part of our priority as the Government in ensuring that we build a more competitive and productive economy. So let us celebrate this day together. Kia ora.
BRENDAN HORAN (NZ First) : I rise on behalf of New Zealand First in support of the Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill and would like to say “Kia ora, whānau.” This legislation is particularly dear to my Maniapoto heart. As with other settlements this journey has been arduous, and was actually parked as an outstanding issue from the Tainui settlement in 1995. Included in those issues are the harbours of Whangaroa, Kāwhia, Raglan, and Manukau. Those matters are still under consideration, and I hope that that process will proceed expediently and expeditiously.
However, in this particular legislation I am pleased that recognition is given by the Crown of the importance of our river. Māori and many other New Zealanders believe that our rivers contain the spirit of the blood and bones of our ancestors. It is common sense, really. The rain comes down, it falls over and through the soil, over the blood and bones of our dearly departed, and into our river system. The process is called leaching and it is our wairua. It is important we honour the wairua and in return it will honour us. Again, it is common sense: a clean river bathes and feeds us. So we look forward to the restoration, the quality, and the continuing integrity of our rivers and our sacred waters.
There are many who rejoice at this settlement, both past and present. I know that presently Koro Wētere, who is unable to be here today because of a bad leg, will be sitting at home there in Te Kūiti smiling. I acknowledge his work and leadership as a former MP who intimately knows the parliamentary systems and processes, but has still had to wait so long to see this bill come to fruition.
This bill is about people and spirit and wairua. So I would like to acknowledge a couple of past giants of Maniapoto. First, my old friend Koro Tūī. I knew him simply as Tui, a friend beyond peer when it came to baking rēwena bread and a wealth of knowledge on the healing plants of New Zealand, such as harakeke, koromiko, karamu, kawakawa, and so many others. But Tui was a master of many talents. Tui was the orator who gave the oration to the elevation of the king. He was a spokesman to the Māori King and Queen, and he was a teacher to all, embodying knowledge, humility, and dignity. I am so proud that his sacred awa is in caring and responsible hands. Kua tū tōna wairua.
I will be brief and finish this New Zealand First contribution with a proverb by another giant of Maniapoto, the late Dr Pei Te Hurinui Jones, historian of the tribe and the first chairman of the Waikato-Maniapoto Trust Board until his death, and now laid to rest in Te Kūiti. This is his whakataukī. Kia hora te marino, kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, kia tere te kārohirohi i mua i tōu huarahi. May the calm be widespread, may the ocean glisten as greenstone, and may the shimmer of life ever dance across your pathway. Kia ora tātou.
[Mr Speaker of the House, greetings to you. Secondly, to the members, greetings to you, and greetings to the people of Maniapoto.]
It is an honour and a privilege to be speaking on these very important claim settlement bills today. Firstly, I would like to acknowledge John Luxton, sitting in the House today. It is important that we all recognise, as previous speakers have done, that we need to right the wrongs of the past and strengthen and move forward with the relationship between iwi and the Crown. This is important so that New Zealand can move forward as one. I would like to acknowledge those who are no longer with us and those who have shown commitment and courage on this journey to get here today.
I would firstly like to recognise the importance of the Waipā River to the Maniapoto people and acknowledge its deep cultural and spiritual significance. To Maniapoto, the Waipā is a sacred river where the Tūhoe rituals were performed, where the umbilical rights were observed, and where the purification rituals were undertaken. The Waipā is the river who chants her farewell to the departed ones, and the river whose waters bid welcome to newborns and visitors from afar. Through co-governance we hope to achieve the long-term health of the river and sustain its environment.
The purpose of the bill is to maintain the quality and the integrity of the waters that flow into and form part of the Waipā River for present and future generations. We as the Crown have a responsibility in terms of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi to provide for the relationship with Maniapoto and their culture and traditions with the Waipā River, to also improve and coordinate governance and management arrangements for the Waipā River’s strategic performance with New Zealand’s social, cultural, environmental, and economic well-being, and to provide clear direction and certainty around the co-governance and co-management of the Waipā River.
We want future generations to benefit from this river. Maniapoto’s connection to the river transcends the arguments of ownership, because it is part of the identity of their people. It is a sacred connection that we must respect and honour. In the area of the Upper Waipā River in particular, the people of Maniapoto have a significant stake in the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the community. We share the same common goal of wanting to protect the river and its resources. Its sustainability is key to its survival. The river gives spiritual nourishment to the people of Maniapoto and through our co-governance it will continue not only for the iwi but also for the greater community as well.
Other speakers are correct when they have said that it is not possible to fully compensate iwi for the loss their people have suffered, as we cannot turn the clock back or return all that was lost. I acknowledge the generosity of the iwi in accepting this. This is a very important day, not only for those who have gathered here today but also for those who have gone before us and for those who will follow us. Kia ora.
Hon PAREKURA HOROMIA (Labour—Ikaroa-Rāwhiti) : I a koutou katoa o Ngāti Maniapoto, e mihi kau ana. E tautokotia atu te mihimihi a tō tātou Minita Māori me taku tuauhine a Nanaia, ki a koutou katoa e Tiwha, nau mai hara mai. Hara mai ki te wāhi nei mō te tīmata o te otinga mō koutou. Te huarahi nei he roaroa atu ahakoa, e mihi kau ana ki a koe. Ki a koe, John, me a koe Well, e mihi kau ana. Tēnā koutou, nau mai, hara mai.
Ki a koe te tuakana e Tuku, tēnā koe. E pai ana te kite atu i a koe i reira e manaaki atu ana i te āhua o te kerēme nei. Nō reira e Tuku, tēnā koe. E Gannon, e mihi kau ana. Nā te pai hoki o te tū kaha o Gannon me Nanaia, me te puta atu o Wawaea, te tama toa o koutou katoa. E mihi kau ana ki te mokopuna a Wawaea. Pērā anō te rekareka e whai atu ngā tuku e waihotia atu ngā tupuna ki a tātou. Moumou tāima ingoa atu ngā pēpi, ngā mokopuna, e Leslie, a Jemima pērā tonu. I reira kē e ora ana ngā ingoa o tātou, i tū kaha atu te āhua o te motuhake. Nō reira, i a koutou katoa, nau mai, hara mai.
To members of the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board, Ray Wī, Bob Koroheke—e Bob, tēnā koe. John, Hīrere and Mīria, e mihi kau ana, me koutou katoa. Te mate e tū ingoa, e waiho atu wētahi i waho engari, e rekareka atu i te kite atu i a koutou e tae tahi i konei i te manaaki tēnei tino tuku, tēnei tino kawenata, te tīmata mō te rangi nei. E mihi kau ana ki a Clare Crickett me te Minita i muri rā a John Luxton, tēnā koe John. Tangata pukumahi i te manaaki atu i tēnei āhua.
E rongo atu koutou ki te kōrero o Nanaia mō te āhua o te wai. E reka hoki atu i te kōrero o te tuahine nei o te rōpū Kākāriki, a Denise mō te kī: “Ko wai koe?”. Pērā anō te whakahaere o te wai. Ā, tēnā koe mō tērā.
Nā te mea, e whakahoki atu ngā whakaaro e tīmata a Bob mā. Tō rātou whawhai tonu atu e tae atu i Pōneke nei, kāre te nui o te pūtea, kāre e taea i runga i te waka rererangi, e tae atu i roto i tō rātou motokā pakaru, i konei i te whawhai tonu atu. I te wā nei kei te kaha kē koutou i runga i te waka rererangi, e Tiwha, e tae atu i konei. Ēngari, nā te rere haere, te rere pai ināianei, kei te noho tahi koutou i te taha o Tainui hei whakatikatika i te ahua o te wai.
E mihi kau ana ki te Minita nei, a Chris Finlayson. Tino tangata a Chris Finlayson. Mihi atu ki tō tātou Minita a Pita. Nā te pai e rongo atu au ki a Chris Finlayson e kī atu, kei te tere taea te otia o ngā kerēme katoa mō Maniapoto mō tēnei nohonga o te Whare Miere. Tēnā koe, Chris.
[Salutations, Ngāti Maniapoto. I endorse the acknowledgments of our Minister of Māori Affairs and my sister Māori member Nanaia. Welcome, Tiwha; welcome, everyone. Welcome to this place, which is the beginning of the end for you. Although it has been a long road, I congratulate you. You too, John and Well—greetings. Salutations to you collectively, welcome, welcome.
Salutations, brother Tuku. It is good to see you over there taking care of things that have an impact on this claim. So thank you. I acknowledge you as well, Gannon. Because of the firm stance taken by Gannon, Nanaia, and the emerging Wawaea, all of you are of champion stock. A special mention of Wawaea’s grandchild too. It is wonderful to follow connections left to us by ancestors. It is a waste of time giving names like Leslie and Jemima to babies and grandchildren. That is why our names are more enduring and have a bit of independence about them. So to all of you, welcome, welcome.
To members of the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board, Ray Wī, Bob Koroheke—hello, Bob, John, Hīrere, Mīria, and all of you. Hi there. The problem with naming people is that someone is left out, but it is great to see you arriving here together to take care of this great legacy, this agreement, which commences today. I want to thank Clare Crickett and the former Minister John Luxton. Hello, John. He is one who worked tirelessly to look after this situation.
You heard what Nanaia had to say about the water. It was wonderful to hear the contribution by this fellow colleague from the Green Party, Denise, when she said: “Ko wai koe?”. The management of water is so much like that. Thank you for that, Denise.
It brings us back to the ideas that Bob and others initiated. Their conflicts brought them all the way to Wellington here. Because of the lack of funds, flying down was out of the question so it meant coming in a car that often broke down to continue the battle down here. But that has all changed now. Tiwha will concur that they fly down these days. As a consequence, collaboration with Tainui is closer and faster in terms of addressing issues relating to water management.
I congratulate this Minister, Chris Finlayson. He is a great man. Our Minister Pita is acknowledged as well. It is good to hear Chris Finlayson saying that the extended sitting of the House will make it possible for all claims relating to Maniapoto to be settled and completed. Thank you, Chris. ]
I am certainly buoyed and encouraged in hearing the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations promising to finalise all their settlements in this term of Government. That is encouraging. I want to thank him sincerely for the efforts he has put in, as well as the efforts of Ministers who are not here, like Michael Cullen and those who certainly helped. You heard about the co-governance framework and about the issue that is relevant in terms of cleaning the river. Do you know what? It is amazing that these five settlements today all have some great tributary or awa that is important not because of the ups and downs on water now, or fracking or whatever is going on, but because something has been tuku-ed to them through generations in the sense of kaitiakitangaand manaakitanga and the truism around those statements, not just some modern ideology about getting the water clean because the cows have mimi-ed in it or whatever else, but something that you know that you have practised. It will need a lot of effort to keep it clean.
I do want to strongly recognise Tuku Morgan’s role in this over a period of time working on the river, the late Raihā Māhuta, who really battled hard to get to the stage that Waikato has got to, and you people who have put in that effort. I know certainly from the work of the Hon John Luxton, with his tenacity and his fairness, that this is serious talk, and it is a great example for nationhood. As I said earlier on, we pahupahu about nationhood and about Kiwis and this and that. All I know about kiwis is that they move around at night, stalking in the dark and trying to attack everything that is living. It seems to me that we need to rename ourselves something else, because we are coming into the light.
The sentiment and whatever else is something that this co-governance and management framework should and will address. I want to say here and now that we have done a few of these settlements now, and there is a lot of promise in them about partnership. I know that the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and our Minister of Māori Affairs will ensure that the relevance is serious. It is too easy—as some have done in the past with Treaty settlements—to sign agreements with Government agencies or sign charters that OK a way forward and then just pay them lip-service. That is important.
Hone arrives late. Kia ora, Hone. Tēnā koe, Hone. Hone is a battler, and he talked about what Ngāpuhi did with this awa. I want to mihi to Hone. We all have an affiliation to it, and it is a great statement by our elders that we want the waters to return so that we can eat the fish out of them like we used to, so the fish are healthy and they grow, and so the tamariki can swim in them again. It is ever so simple. It is a simple way to make a statement about the river. This is not about any other part of the settlement; it is the beginning. You need to be encouraged that it is the day for you to celebrate, because it is the beginning of the end of a long, long journey of water that people fought over—water that people lived on. That is the one thing about the waka. There are two great things that we still have today that we do. We hoe waka ama, and that is about rowing those waters—and I want to mihi to Peter Douglas, who, like Hone, is getting here late, but kia ora, Peter—and the Waitomo Caves. We remember Koro Wētere, who is not here today, for the effort that he has put in.
The benefit to the community of the arrangements to include the Waikato River would be diminished if the Upper Waipā River were not included. Having this regime and listening to the Minister’s promise today about his wish to finalise things put right a terrible wrong that happened to Maniapoto. The wars are well renowned of who set to on whom and what the British did. Today is a great day to start repairing that in order to make sure that something is done.
I want to say to the Hon John Luxton and to Tuku Morgan that it is exciting and encouraging to think that Māori are leading the way in trying to correct that paruparu. We do not need new environmentalists who arrive on the scene and huff and puff—and I want to mihi to the Green Party for its seriousness—but there are some people who are turning up and saying: “Pay us some money and we’ll show you how to clean the river.” The nation should understand that Māori have compromised in this to make sure that the river is clean. The nation should understand that Māori are serious about nurturing and looking after something that was theirs a long, long time ago and that they managed, lived on, swam in, and got food out of. It was a source of replenishment and something that nobody else used. Then other people turned up in the country, and they are the new partners in this co-management framework. We need to be serious about that, Minister.
I am very thankful that Minister Finlayson—[Interruption] Mr Assistant Speaker Tisch, you rang the bell; I know this is in your territory. Tiwha Bell has done a great job along with Minister Finlayson, who has promised to finish the claims in this sitting of Parliament. That is something that I will really celebrate at the end of this day. It is great for these Māori ears to hear that from a learned leader and Minister of the Crown.
Nō reira, e mihi kau ana i a koutou katoa. Kia pai tō hoki ki te kāinga, kia pai tō manaaki o tō wai. Ā te wā e hoki atu koutou, hei oti pai atu te kerēme. E Tuku, tēnā koe. Tēnā koe e noho whakahīhī mai nā i konā, i te taha o te tangata porohewa, manaakitia atu. Tō kaha. I a koutou katoa hoki e Tiwha, e Gannon, kia kaha, kia māia. Kia ora tātou.
[So congratulations to you all. Return home safely and take care of your water. In time you will return to put the finishing touches to the claim. Hello there, Tuku, sitting proudly over there beside that bald-headed man. Look after him. Remain strong. Tiwha, Gannon, all of you as well, remain strong and courageous. Well done, everyone.]
Hon Parekura Horomia: Oh!
HONE HARAWIRA: But he sat down, so I will not be singing for him. Me mihi atu ki a koutou kua tae mai i te rā nei. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora tātau katoa. Me te mea anō hoki e tika ana kia mōhio, hakoa ko wai te pāti, ko wai te Māori e tū ana i roto i ngā kaupapa nei, e tū kotahi ana mātau hei tautoko i te ’hakahokia i te iti mana ki roto i a koutou anō. Hara i te mea kia oti pai ai ngā raruraru tā te Kāwanatanga, engari kia tīmatangia ai tēnei hīkoi, kia tū rangatira ai koutou ā ngā rā kei te haere mai. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou kua tae mai i te rā nei.
[I must acknowledge you for coming today. Salutations and congratulations to you collectively and to us all. Furthermore, let it be known that no matter which party it is that the Māori member is in, on matters like these we are united in supporting the return of autonomy to you, small as it might seem. It does not completely address the problems caused by the Government, but it does herald the start of this journey, so that you can stand proudly in the days ahead. So well done, congratulations, and salutations to you collectively who arrived here today.]
My apologies for being late. I had to go and have a meeting with Mike Smith and he specifically asked me to ask for your blessings for when the hīkoi comes through Maniapoto territory. I think it leaves from Te Rerenga Wairua on 23 Apriland is due down here on 5 May. I think it is coming down through your territory. He also asked for your tautoko, so I hope you are listening, Mike.
Mihi atu ki a koutou, ki a tātau anō. Ēngari, tū ana au ki te tautoko i te kaupapa, kia whakahokia mai he wāhanga ki te iwi, kia whakapāhā mai te Kāwanatanga mō ngā tāhae kua oti nei i ngā tau kua pahure ake nei. Nō reira, e te iwi kua tae mai, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, huri atu, huri noa, kia ora tātau katoa.
[I acknowledge you collectively and us as well. But I really stand in support of the philosophy of a partial return to the tribe and that the Government apologises for thefts made in past years. And so to you, the people who have arrived, salutations and congratulations to you and, indeed, to us all, here, there, and throughout.]
JAMI-LEE ROSS (National—Botany) : I am pleased to take a call in this debate on the Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill. Today is another proud day for this Parliament. It is a proud day for this Government, to see this legislation passing through the House. I think all members of Parliament can be very pleased with the progress that has been undertaken on this particular bill.
Can I start by acknowledging the kaumātua, the kuia, and the people of Maniapoto who are here today to see the progress of this legislation. Today is obviously a very historic day for the people in the gallery. It is a great thing that this House can bring together this legislation to implement the settlements that have been agreed between the people we see here today and the Crown.
I also want to acknowledge the Hon Chris Finlayson. Twenty-two settlement bills have been signed since he became the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations; 22 bills that are giving effect to Treaty settlements for iwi and hapū around the country; 22 bills that will help to repair those relationships that had longstanding damage done to them by people in this country in years gone past. As a country that is maturing, as a country that will not have matured until we settle all of these claims—all of these historical grievances—it is a good thing for this House to be undertaking yet another one of these Treaty settlement bills.
People often say to me that when they watch Parliament all they see is bickering and arguing, and Opposition parties and Governments attacking each other. But much of the work that this House does is done by agreement and by working collaboratively together. I have to say that as a new member of the Māori Affairs Committee I am seeing a lot of that collaboration. I am seeing a lot of that working together through that committee, and that committee’s work is now extending to this House as we debate this legislation.
I never thought I would find myself agreeing from time to time with the likes of Hone Harawira or Parekura Horomia. But when we debate these Treaty settlement bills through the committee and through the House we see a lot of collaboration, we see a lot of working together, and that is really what this Parliament is all about. It is all about making changes for the better for New Zealanders.
Today this Parliament is implementing a piece of legislation that will acknowledge the taonga of the Waipā River part of the Waikato River for the people of Maniapoto, and putting in place the co-management agreement to assist them to have greater control over something that is very special to them. We should be proud as a Parliament for doing that.
Before I sit down can I, finally, acknowledge the Hon John Luxton. He is someone who has his name written all over the history of the National Party. Mr Luxton, I would be very pleased to meet with you one day and learn a lot from you. I say again congratulations to all members of this Parliament, and I look forward to this bill being read a third time.
- Bill read a third time.