Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN (Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations)
: I move,
That the Central North Island Forests Land Collective Settlement Bill be now read a first time. At the appropriate time I intend to move that the bill be considered by the Māori Affairs Committee. I do not intend to move any special instructions to that committee; I rely upon its good sense and cooperation in trying to return the bill as quickly as possible, taking account of all the submissions that may be made.
It is traditional at this point to acknowledge and recognise the longstanding historical grievances of the settling group, to outline their claims, and to express a hope that the settlement legislation will allow the claimants and the Crown to start afresh. This settlement and this bill are somewhat different from most we have seen before. Unlike other claims settlement bills, the bill does not provide for an apology or seek to settle all the historical claims of the relevant iwi.
This settlement addresses only claims as far as licensed Crown forest land is concerned, and leaves until the future negotiations over four redress packages for each of the iwi in the collective. This is not to say that the settlement pays no heed to the grievances of the past. The Crown has recognised that the iwi of the central North Island have well-founded historical grievances, and that the Crown has a duty to settle those grievances with redress. Although the central North Island iwi share interests in the Crown forest land, they have different experiences and different historical relationships with the Crown. It is complex enough to resolve the interwoven claims of the forest land; negotiating collectively seven separate historical accounts would be well nigh impossible.
Yesterday saw the first reading of Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa legislation, which will settle that iwi’s comprehensive claim. Without the affiliate Te Arawa group’s willingness to put its forest claims back on the table for this process, we may not have seen today’s deed of settlement signing. And this settlement is just the beginning of the settlement process for the remaining collective iwi, though it is a very remarkable beginning. We have work to do, but I am confident that together we will solve the single most intractable problem of the settlement process, and in doing so we will deliver its greatest asset into Māori hands.
In about an hour—because we are making quite rapid progress in other respects—we will sign terms of negotiation with Raukawa, one of the seven iwi. We are about to be able to pick up negotiations with Ngāti Manawa where they were left off as part of developing the collective process, and we are in negotiations with Ngāti Tūhoe. So we will make progress on the remaining comprehensive claims of the other iwi apart from the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū.
The iwi of the collective comprise over 100,000 individuals. They have interests that span a major proportion of the Central North Island, and this settlement relates to 176,000 hectares of central North Island Crown forest land. This settlement, of course, has its roots in that land and in the contention that has surrounded it for the last 20 years. The Crown Forest Assets Act was passed in 1989. It was assumed that it would last about 3 or 4 years until all the Crown forest land claims were settled. We are now in 2008. The Act was passed as a result of hard-fought and successful litigation on the part of Māori. The Act protected Māori interests in the land under the forests while allowing the cutting rights to be licensed out. The rentals from those licences were set aside until
the claims over the forest could be resolved, and that has taken much longer than anyone hoped.
The complexity of iwi relationships in the central North Island has been a small part of that, but only a very small part. The Crown embarked on the process, however, of settling historical Treaty claims at an iwi level, while early groupings, like the volcanic interior plateau project, clustered around claim numbers. It has taken us a long time to develop an approach that suits both the Crown and iwi. The greatest credit for this achievement goes to the collective itself, for designing and embarking on the process that has been followed through to this conclusion. There are, of course, different tribal identities and different histories in respect of the Crown, but there is a common interest in unlocking the settlement. Most important, they have taken on the task of sharing out the assets amongst themselves, rather than leaving the Crown to try to achieve that task. We are very satisfied that the collective will fairly allocate the shares of the commercial assets, and that sufficient remains to address the historical claims of those who have remained outside the collective.
One of these groups is Ngāti Rangitihi, who until recently were part of the collective. They have not been able to endorse the settlement, and they are currently considering their options. Although Ngāti Rangitihi is not included in the settlement legislation, the Crown and the collective are holding open a window of opportunity for them to agree to the settlement within the next 6 months. If the Crown can be satisfied that there is broad support for the settlement within that iwi, it will be included in this bill through a Supplementary Order Paper, and provision has been made in the deed of settlement for that process.
The bill gives effect to the undertakings by the Crown in the deed, and that includes Crown forest land to the value of $196 million. This is a positive settlement for all the people of New Zealand. The collective has agreed to preserve and enhance existing public access to the central North Island forest estate, for the continued enjoyment of all New Zealand. That is not what is provided for in the Crown Forest Assets Act of 1989, so the collective has made a big concession in that regard to the general public. In addition, there are substantial and widespread economic benefits.
This settlement will make the collective the largest single landowner in the forestry sector in this country, and one of the largest investors. The plan is to increase that investment and generate greater value and higher returns, so the Crown is working with the collective on developing that plan. The future role in the industry for the collective iwi will be positive for their members, industry participants, the wider region, and the nation as a whole. Not least, of course, is the fact that the uncertainty around the future ownership of the land is removed. It can also be noted that the rights of the current licence holders remain unchanged under this settlement.
I have done so already today at greater length, but I have no hesitation in doing so again in the House. I ask the House to join with me in thanking the people who have made all this happen, particularly Te Ariki Dr Tumu te Heuheu, who led the collective’s earlier approaches to the Crown; Rawiri Te Whare, whose leadership of Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa was crucial; the Crown facilitator, Wira Gardiner, for his peerless efforts in assisting the Crown and iwi throughout this process; and, finally, all the members of the collective who participated in these discussions and make today possible. Their children will one day thank them for it, and indeed many of the children were here today to participate in today’s events.
A number of colleagues from all sides of the House shared today in the moving ceremony that marked the signing of the deed of settlement. I thank them for their presence—their affirmation of support for this particular settlement. This is an important day in the history of treaty settlements in our country. It will allow the Crown
and central North Island iwi to move to settle the remaining claims in the region, as Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa have already done. I commend the bill to the House.
Hon GEORGINA TE HEUHEU (National)
:Ā, e aku koroua, e aku kuia, e ngā whāea, e ngā pāpā, e ngā tamariki mokopuna, tēnā kōtou, tēnā kōtou, tēnā tātou katoa.
[To my elders, men and women alike, the mothers and fathers, the young grandchildren, greetings to you, greetings to you, and greetings to you all.]
Once again I am pleased to stand in Parliament and join with colleagues across this Chamber to contribute to the first reading of the Central North Island Forests Land Collective Settlement Bill. This follows yesterday’s introduction to the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill, and given the kinship and the whakapapa ties that span the iwi and hapū of the central North Island it is fitting that the House’s programme has been organised to have the one follow the other. That is very organised, I might say.
This is a great day indeed for the iwi of the central North Island—te manawa o te ika, as one of the elders described it this morning, and I have to say, leaving aside what others may think of that description, I thought that was a very fine description. But, no doubt, it is open to debate. Te manawa o te ika—if the presence here today of those representatives from that area is anything to go by, then that heart is beating very strongly.
I want to join with others in Parliament in congratulating Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Whare, Raukawa, and Te Pūmautanga on the settlement today. I also want to pay tribute to Ngāti Rangitihi, and I urge them to join. The door has been left open, as Dr Michael Cullen has said. But I pay tribute to them for allowing this settlement to go forward today, and I hope they will see their way fit to join. As I said, the door has been left open.
It takes great, great courage and a form of leadership over and above the norm to secure and sign a settlement. All who have gathered here today can rightly feel a sense of pride for the leadership that has been on display. I am very proud to see it; indeed we all are in this House. It leads to an agreement that clearly has wide support. It represents over 100,000 people. It is a significant settlement in terms of quantum. That means that all the work, all the dedication, and all the arguments—the raruraru—that no doubt have been part of this in previous times have all come to this, and they have all been absolutely worth it.
Let us make no mistake: exceptional leadership is required to sign off on a settlement the original injustice of which goes back several generations and the ramifications of which flow on to future generations. The responsibility for that cannot be underestimated. Sometimes the task can look so complex that lesser people might say: “I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think we should do this.”, or might ask: “Should we do this for the sake of our mokopuna?” The answer clearly is yes. To do so shows vision and courage, as I said, and, in my view, it shows a great compassion and love for the people. Those values are not always on show in our national consciousness on a daily basis, so it is a great pleasure to witness them on display at a time like this and exercised by te iwi Māori. Kia ora.
This is a significant milestone in the life of the iwi as well as in the life of this Parliament. It is a little ironic, then, that these settlements, being so historic, are always so difficult to secure. But I suppose that makes them all the more significant. Indeed, in respect of the settlement before us, it was not 12 months ago that some of the parties to this settlement were in court to stop the Government settling one part of the central North Island forestry so as not to prejudice the interests of the other.
The lesson to learn from that, especially by those in this House, is that Māori seek only what they believe is rightfully theirs in the law—both in Treaty law and in the
common law we have inherited from England. Those are the rights that Māori have properly sought for the last 160 years, and those are the rights that have been secured today and in previous settlements. That is a great legacy to pass on to our mokopuna—that we have sought only what was due in the law.
In any event, it is great to see a settlement like this come to the House and join the others that have passed into law on the basis of the platform for Treaty settlements initiated by Jim Bolger and the National Government in the 1990s and carried forward by the Hon Doug Graham and by the present Labour Government, albeit as I said yesterday, in the beginning with a bit of an attitude of fits and starts. But here we are today; I have given credit where it has been due, and it is a great privilege to stand for this.
I turn now to the settlement. Dr Cullen has talked about what it comprises. It gives effect to the vesting of central North Island Crown forest land and the transfer of accumulated rentals in relation to those lands, it records certain principles and processes by which the allocation of the forest land is to be achieved, and it records the allocation agreed by the collective for distribution of the accumulated rentals. Important, for the benefit of those other New Zealanders who might be listening, is that it excludes the jurisdiction of the courts and Waitangi Tribunal in relation to the historical central North Island forest land claims of this collective, and there are other provisions that are also important but which I will not list.
I want to flag just one area, because it is likely that this settlement will not pass through all its stages during the term of this Labour Government. I am not sure what the Minister has plans for, but in case it does not, then clearly it may fall to a National Government to complete the legislation. One of the issues, I guess, we might be exploring at the select committee is the question of mana whenua as being the key to allocation. Far be it for me to question that, because I must say it was a unique development and one that I saw with interest, and I hope it will work in the best interests of not just the current generation but the mokopuna of the future.
I flag that National would be looking for a process that, even if based on mana whenua, still has elements of transparency, accountability, and a record of the decisions that are made. In the future we want those who look at this settlement to be certain that the processes on which the settlement was shared was robust. That is the only comment I would make on the settlement today.
I am so proud to have been in this Parliament when Treaty settlements have been a key feature of the legislation that has been passed. I also want to say that National stands on its record of Treaty settlements, of the introduction of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori, and wānanga—even the broadcasting platform that the current Māori Television was developed on. We have a proud record, which we stand on. If we occupy the benches opposite in a few months’ time, we will be happy to do what we can to make sure that this and coming settlements are duly legislated for. More than anything, we stand with iwi for economic development. No one will love us Māori more than we should love ourselves—no one. Everything that Māori have achieved to date basically has been because, in the end, compassion and leadership for the people has been important. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
Hon MITA RIRINUI (Associate Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations)
:Otirā, Tainui waka, Waikato taniwha rau, he piko he taniwha, he piko he taniwha, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou. Mātaatua waka mai i ngā kurī ā Whārei ki te Tihirau, tae atu ki te tuawhenua, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou. Ā, Te Arawa waka mai i Maketū ki te tonga, ā, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou. Tēnā koutou ngā tini kārangarangatanga kei waenganui i a koutou kua tatū mai rā i roto i te Whare Miēre, e kīa nei, ko te ana o ngā raiona, tēnā koutou, hara mai, hara mai, hara mai. Hara mai rā i
runga i te āhuatanga o te kaupapa e kawe nei e koutou. Nā tō tātou ariki a Te Tumu koutou i arataki mai i te huarahi, koia nei rā koutou kua huihui mai i tēnei rā, i runga i te rangi mārie, i runga i te ngākau māhaki. Hoi anō tēnei rā e mihi ake, tēnā koutou, otirā, kia ora tātou.
[Greetings to you, indeed, the canoe of Tainui, and the river of Waikato where there is a chief at every bend, greetings. To the canoe of Mātaatua from the dogs at Whārei to Tihirau, including the hinterlands, greetings to you, greetings to you, and greetings to you. And greetings to you, the canoe of Te Arawa, from Maketū to the south, greetings, greetings. To the many callings among you who have arrived here in the Beehive, referred to as the lions’ den, greetings to you, welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome in the circumstances of the proposal that you bring with you. Our paramount chief, Te Tumu, has guided you on the way, and that is why you are gathered here serenely and with dignity today. Enough; greetings to you and to us.]
Madam Assistant Speaker, once again it will come as no surprise to you that I stand in support of the Central North Island Forests Land Collective Settlement Bill. And, once again, I declare a conflict of interest. Let it not be stated that I did not do that, because it is appropriate that I do so.
I have to say—and other members in this House may have had the privilege—that never in the 8½ years I have been a member of this House have I had such an experience. Never have I had such an honour as to be standing here speaking to such a dignified people—people who have guided their people, all their marae, through a very difficult process to bring this very, very important kaupapa into the House. It is also very rare to actually introduce two settlement bills that benefit the same people in one week, let alone within 2 days. That in itself is a major achievement.
I will not divide political parties on this issue; rather, apart from congratulating the Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Dr Michael Cullen, I thank all the members in this House for the support they have given to this very, very important legislation. I acknowledge also the leadership and the incredible skills demonstrated by Dr Tumu te Heuheu, who has led the collective of Te Arawa, Mātaatua, and Tainui in bringing this bill to the House.
For the negotiators, who have had to deal with some very, very complicated and difficult issues, there needs to be a higher level of acknowledgment, as well. They have been through some difficult times. Some of them, and their families, have been ridiculed unnecessarily, but they have stood firm on their mission. They have stood strong on their kaupapa, and they are here today on this wonderful occasion. I see amongst their representation many, many young people—youth, Māori youth, rangatahi, secondary school students, our future. It is with them that this legacy will rest going forward. I hope they do not think that what they witnessed in this House this afternoon is normal practice in this House; it is not. I say to them that if ever they represent their people here, they do not have to lower themselves to that standard. So I say to those young people: kei runga kei a koutou ngā moemoeā o koro mā, o kui mā mō ngā tau kei te heke mai.
[the aspirations of the old people, men and women, for the future are upon you.]
I wish them all the best going forward.
There is not a lot more to say about this particular day. In fact, I am so humbled by what I have seen and experienced—as I am sure most of our members are—that I actually find myself, on this very rare occasion, stuck for words. But I applaud the passion and the emotion that has been demonstrated today in Parliament with the signing of this very, very important deed of settlement. Not only that, but the ink on the document is not even dry yet and here we are in this House conducting the first reading of the bill. If that is not commitment to advancing Māori going forward—commitment
to Māori development—then I do not know what is. But that is the case today, and certainly, I have to congratulate everybody who has been involved.
Some issues have been difficult to deal with, as there always are. It would be very easy to flick these issues into the too-hard basket, move on, and say that somebody else should resolve them, but that has not been the case in this settlement. I give as an example Taranaki iwi. Four iwi have settled their claims and four iwi are waiting to come forward to engage with the Crown. There is an issue for them with regard to their collective interest, or their shared interest, in te maunga Tītōhia a Taranaki, and those issues cannot be resolved until all the iwi are in the same position at the same time.
It is only fair that the Crown show patience in allowing Taranaki iwi to complete their specific interests before starting to deal with their common interests, as it did with Tainui when they settled their historical land claims in the 1990s. Tainui had the outstanding issue of their interest in the Waikato River, and a number of overlapping issues had to be resolved. I congratulate all those iwi involved on the manner in which they conducted themselves in sitting down with the Crown and actually laying down the kaupapa they thought appropriate to resolve these matters in terms of co-management and the health of the river going forward. What we saw from those iwi was the ability to be flexible, and what we are seeing here today in terms of this collective is a strong desire for them to determine not only the process but also the manner in which the assets should be shared equally amongst the interested groups.
I acknowledge again the presence here today of the tribal confederations of Tainui, Mātaatua, and Te Arawa—all from around my area, by the way, and that is why I declare my conflict of interest. The young people here who are witnessing this very, very important occasion, and those out in TV land who are watching this debate and are seeing what is happening here today, can be very, very proud of the people who have represented them, and I wish them all the best for the future.
I again thank the Hon Dr Michael Cullen for the specifics he described in relation to the settlement legislation in the House today. There is no need for me to repeat what has been said. I also acknowledge the previous speaker, my whanaunga from Ngāti Tūwharetoa, the Hon Georgina te Heuheu, for her contribution to this debate this afternoon. But I will say that there are some great speeches yet to be heard this afternoon, and I will leave some space so that new issues and new comments can be brought up in the debate this afternoon.
Once again, I acknowledge the presence here today of some very, very important people and their supporters from all around the country. Although we have our tribal rohe, our people are well spread, not only around Aotearoa but also around the world, and they are very interested in what is happening today.
Nō reira, kei te Kaihautū, otirā, ngā mātāwaka katoa, e Te Tumu koutou rā i ārahi mai i te kaupapa i runga i te huarahi, koia nei kua tatū ki roto i te Whare i te pō nei. Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
[So to you, Madam Assistant Speaker, to all ethnic groups, and indeed to you, Te Tumu, who guided this proposal, it has landed here tonight in the House at last. So greetings to you, greetings to you, and greetings to us all.]
Hon TAU HENARE (National)
: Ā, te mea tuatahi ki a au e aku rangatira, tēnā koutou. Tēnā koutou i haere mai i tēnei rā. Nō reira, mihi kau atu au i a koutou. He hōnore nui tēnei ki te tū ki te kōrero ki mua i a koutou. Nō reira, tēnā koutou katoa.
[The first thing for me is to acknowledge you, my leaders, greetings. Greetings to you collectively, who came here today. I acknowledge you greatly. This is indeed is a great honour for me to stand and speak before you. Therefore, greetings to you all.]
To Pūmautanga, Raukawa, Ngāti Whare, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tūhoe, tēnā koutou and congratulations. To Rāwiri Te Whare and Wira
Gardiner, congratulations on a sterling job. To the Hon Michael Cullen, again—twice in 2 days—my congratulations on your passion—
R Doug Woolerton: Careful!
Hon TAU HENARE: Yes, careful! I congratulate the Deputy Prime Minister. He has shown what passion can do when it is introduced to a job that needs finishing. I also want to mihi a mate of mine, whom I have worked with only over the last couple of years—the unsung hero of the team, Mita Ririnui. All of those people I have mentioned deserve a pat on the back, a “Well done!”, and a hot cup of tea. I tell them now to get on with the job that Māori have been waiting to do for centuries.
I would like to turn my thoughts to Ngāti Rangitihi and to suggest that whatever their decision is it will be respected and honoured. As they say at Wimbledon: “The ball is in your court.” Whatever decision is made by Ngāti Rangitihi will be theirs and theirs alone, and in the fullness of time we will see what their decision brings with it. I ask them to please not be too hard on those of our whānau who disagree with the settlement, and there will be some. That, I suppose, is par for the course, because we live in a democracy. We live in a society where it is good to agree, and it should also be good to disagree now and then.
I ask them also to be kind to our whanaunga Maanu Paul. We may raise our eyebrows at the decisions of individuals and even of hapū and iwi, but it is their decision and we should honour those people. Let us not forget the sterling work that Maanu Paul and the likes of Maanu Paul have contributed to Māori society over the last 25 years—this is not just about today.
The tribal historians will be burning the midnight oil again tonight. I think it is great that we are in the midst of change, of moving forward. As my colleague Mita Ririnui said in terms of the honour he feels, maybe one day Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Hine will be in the same boat, so to speak, as our whanaunga in the gallery—in a couple of years maybe.
The significance of this settlement is not lost on a lot of people. I want to look at it another way. Some years ago we had the Sealord’s settlement, and there will be comparisons with Sealord’s and—unfortunately—“Treelords”. I was not the one to use that phrase, and I do not think the Government coined the phrase, but, unfortunately, it has stuck somewhat. Sealord’s was not widely accepted and it still evokes a passionate discussion about whether it was right or wrong. Wherever we go, somebody somewhere will jump up at a hui and say “Sealord’s sucks.” I do not think they will say the same thing about this deal. Sealord’s still evokes a passionate debate like no other. Sealord’s evokes some questions and some statements from people, such as: “I’m still waiting for my fish. Even a chocolate fish would suffice.”
Hon Trevor Mallard: The member’s had too many chocolate fish.
Hon TAU HENARE: That is absolutely correct. I have eaten far too many chocolate fish, and maybe I will eat a chocolate forest one day—a gateau.
The “Treelords” deal has been absolutely widely accepted, even the allocation method, and this is where it strikes me as being brilliant to a T. The allocation method has been sorted out before the signing and not left until after. Those who thought of that must be congratulated to the fullest. Here is the collective’s allocation method: “The collective iwi have agreed to allocate their share of the land amongst themselves on the basis of mana whenua and in accordance with the process governed by the principles of tikanga Māori. The allocation process will be completed by 1 July 2011.”
What that little wee bit says is, I think, revolutionary—not to some but to others. I think that it behoves us all, when we are dealing with other iwi and even other methods, whether it be in health, education, transport, or whatever, to have a look at that
revolutionary thought process. So I too congratulate everybody who has been part of this deal.
I want to raise just one more issue that has been brought to our attention. It is about the recreational use of the forests. We know there are people out there who love to tramp through the forest. They like to put on their boots, stick a pack on their backs, and wander through the bush. I do not like doing that, but some other people do. So one of the questions is about access to the forests, and the use of the forests and the lakes and rivers within those forests. It is something that the select committee undoubtedly will have a look at when the submissions come through.
I have one more point about what the people saw before the debate. I take the point that Mita Ririnui raised with the House about what went on. It takes two to tango; that is the House, and most of us love the banter and the style of debate. Can I say to whoever is listening that I do not take that outside the House. I love it, and that is why I am here.
Madam Assistant Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak again to you all; and to my co-grandfather, Joe McDougall: ngā mihi nui ki a koe e te matua. Mihi kau atu au ki a koe. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora mai tātou katoa.
[Huge greetings to you, sir. I acknowledge you greatly. Therefore, greetings, and greetings to you collectively, and to us all.]
Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN (Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations)
: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I raise an unusual point. I want to apologise to the House for leaving during this debate, because we have the Raukawa signing of terms of negotiation upstairs. So I need to absent myself.
The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Hon Marian Hobbs): Thank you.
PITA PARAONE (NZ First)
:Ā, tēnā hoki koutou ngā waka o Tainui, Te Arawa, Mātaatua, ā, me ngā mātāwaka puta noa, ki a koutou hoki i tau i roto i te Whare i te rā nei i runga i te kaupapa e pā ana ki a ngāi tātau, arā, ko te pire kia whakatau te kēreme o ngā iwi o te rohe i mōhiotia i a tātou, ko te manawa o Te Ika-a-Māui. Nā reira, tēnā koutou. Kei te tautoko ahau i ngā mihi, ngā tangi hoki ki te hunga i takahia te ara whānui i whakahoki i a rātou ki te ao wairua. Ka ea te wāhi kōrero mō rātou, ka hoki mai ki a tātou o te ao tū roa, tēnā tātou
- [An interpretation in English was given to the House.]
[So greetings to you, the canoes of Tainui, Te Arawa, and Mātaatua, including the ethnic groups throughout, and to you collectively, too, who have landed here in the House today in respect of the proposal that relates to all of us, the proposal to settle the claim of the people of the region that we are told is the heart of the North Island. I endorse the tributes and tears bestowed upon those who have trod the wide path that takes them to the world of the spirits. The part for them has been satisfied; I come back to us of the world of the living, greetings to us all.]
In my introductory comments in the first reading of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill I declared a vested interest, given my whakapapa links to one of the tribes mentioned in that bill. Well, today I do the same, but I recognise that my vested interest is much greater in this bill than in that of yesterday, because I am referring to the waka
Mātaatua. I hope that as a consequence of those whakapapa links, I may become a beneficiary of this settlement bill. However, I know that that is stretching the imagination. But I will take this opportunity of congratulating the principals of the iwi groups represented in this bill on bringing it to this stage.
An earlier speaker mentioned that today is a day of celebration for Māori. I would suggest in this House that this celebration not be limited to Māori but be one where the whole country should join in. I was privileged to be in attendance today and to witness history being made, and I ought to say that this is the first such signing where I have
been in attendance. I should also say that during the formalities—and, in particular, the signing of the agreement by the iwi representatives—I felt a sense of history as to what it must have been like all those 168 years ago, when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by our iwi representatives of the time. Unlike the debate that was held before the signing of that document, which is very significant to this country, this signing proceeded without any comment of dissent. To my mind, the significance of the way that the ceremony was carried out brought a sense of propriety, and a sense of how such covenants should be signed between two distinct groups, such as iwi and the Crown. The covenant signed between iwi and the Crown today is the result of the Treaty of Waitangi, as I have alluded to. The iwi represented in today’s signing are Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Whare, Ruakawa, and the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū groups.
This bill gives effect to the vesting of the central North Island Crown forest land and the transfer of rentals in relation to that land, so that those assets can be allocated to the Central North Island Iwi Collective in settlement of its historic forests claims. We know that this is just the first step in the process—not in terms of the process of this bill through this House but in terms of the process of how the collective will need to deal with that particular asset once it is transferred to it.
This settlement bill follows a formal presentation to the Crown by the Central North Island Iwi Collective earlier this year of a proposal for the allocation of the Crown’s central North Island forest land amongst its member iwi towards the settlement of its historical Treaty of Waitangi claims. The claim in terms of the forests covers Horohoro Forest, Whakerewarewa Forest, the forest known as Crater Forest, Kaingaroa Forest, Waimihia Forest, Marotihi Forest, Pureora forest, Waituhi Forest, and Taurewa Forest. That has made this settlement the largest single Treaty settlement package to be developed to date, and I think it is a commentary particularly on the efforts of the Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and on his ability to be able to drive this bill at this stage at a rate that, hopefully, will see it pass through all its stages in this House before this House rises at the end of this parliamentary term.
The Crown has found it to be a fair and effective way of using the forest lands to provide the key commercial redress for historical settlements for each iwi within the collective. The collective has developed an allocation of the commercial settlement assets. I support the comments made by the previous speaker from National, the Hon Tau Henare, when he commented on the formula that the collective presented the Crown with in terms of the proposed allocation. It signals to me that iwi groups—claimant groups—are quite capable of making and presenting proposals that would suit them and that would, ultimately, suit the Crown as well.
The Crown, under this proposal, is to retain a share of the forests for settling the claims of any iwi that has direct interests in the forests but is not a member of the collective. Although some comment has been made with regard to Ngāti Rangitihi, the door is still open for it to participate in this process. But also to be noted is the fact that as a consequence of this settlement, 10 percent of the forests still remains available for those groups that are not part of the collective. I also make reference to the fact that although a majority of the iwi collective supports the agreement that has been entered into, I know of some iwi groups that do not support it. I think it is important that this bill be referred to a select committee in order to allow those iwi groups to participate in the process and to submit their concerns, and for the select committee to consider the validity of their claims.
Before I close I will acknowledge the leadership—the leadership that has taken responsibility for bringing this bill into this House. In that regard it is with some envy that I recognise the quality of the leadership, because I know that the tribe I belong to
has a saying: “Ngāti Hine pukepuke rau”, which loosely translates as “Upon the hundred hills that make up Ngāti Hine, we have a chief.” Therein lies the reason why I need to commend the leadership of the iwi collective, who have brought this agreement, this proposal, to the Crown for consideration.
On behalf of New Zealand First, I say it is our pleasure to signal to this House that we will be supporting this bill going to a select committee. Kia ora ano tātou.
NANDOR TANCZOS (Green)
: E ngā manuhiri tūārangi, e ngā kārangaranga maha kua tae mai nei ki te tautoko i tēnei kaupapa, rau rangatira mā, nau mai, haere mai, whakatau mai.
[To the visitors from afar, to the many callings who have arrived here in support of this proposal, and the many leaders, welcome, welcome, welcome.]
The Central North Island Forests Land Collective Settlement Bill is, as so many before me have said, a historic settlement bill, and the Green Party is supporting it. It is by far the biggest Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the Crown, involving 170,000 hectares of central North Island forest that is valued at something like $220 million. It is significantly bigger than previous large settlements, including the Tainui settlement, the Ngāi Tahu settlement, and the Sealord deal.
Tau Henare referred to this as the “Treelords” deal, and in some ways it does have some characteristics in common with Sealord’s. It is about income derived from harvesting rights, in the first instance, and although it does lay out a process for establishing mana whenua at some time in the future, in the meantime the ultimate ownership of whenua is left undetermined. However, it is difficult to separate the two issues entirely, and I will come back to this shortly. Of course, the Sealord’s deal was of little direct interest to many of the iwi involved in this settlement. They are a largely landlocked people, unable to share in the benefits of the Sealord’s settlement. This bill is enormously important in that it affects people who are largely untouched by that deal, although I think that some of its impacts will not be dissimilar.
So what does this settlement do? It vests ownership of 86.4 percent of the central North Island Crown forest land, and the accumulated rentals of some $222 million held in trust by the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, plus ongoing rentals, in the Central North Island Iwi Collective. The funds, as has been said, will be divided up among the iwi collective members according to a formula: Ngāi Tūhoe will get 27.3 percent; Ngāti Tūwharetoa will get 29.9 percent; the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū will get 16.2 percent; Ngāti Raukawa will get 14.2 percent; Ngāti Manawa will get 6 percent; Ngāti Whare will get 14.7 percent; and Ngāti Whakaue will get 3.6 percent. Of course, 3.6 percent was also originally flagged for Ngāti Rangitihi, but of course Ngāti Rangitihi has not agreed to the settlement, and the option has been left open for them to join at a later stage. In addition, Māori foresters will also benefit from a yet to be negotiated emissions trading forestry scheme. The remaining 13.6 percent of the land, or 10 percent if Ngāti Rangitihi joins, and the accumulated rentals will be retained by the Crown, to be held for 6 years to safeguard the interests of any iwi outside the collective with a legitimate claim.
So this is a huge outcome with significant economic benefits for many Māori. According to the bill, eventual ownership of the land will be determined on the basis of mana whenua, in accordance with tikanga Māori. The factors used to determine mana whenua will include such things as the demonstration of ahi kā roa, ahi tahutahu, and ahi mātaotao. I am not an expert in te reo Māori—and that is no news to any one here, I guess—but I do know that this is causing some concern among my in-laws in Ngāti Manawa. It would seem clear from the placing of those terms together that a demonstration of ahi matautau is intended to support a claim of mana whenua rather than negate it, as some might expect.
I said earlier that it is impossible to entirely divorce the issue of mana whenua from the issue of how forestry rentals will be divided. I say that because the allocation proportions cannot help but prejudice later discussions on ownership. Conversely, the allocation of those proportions must be based to some degree on an assumption about who has rights and to how much land. Predictably, this is causing tension. A number of hui in Ngāti Manawa unanimously supported the injunctions sought by Maanu Paul, and I understand that yesterday he was given the right to a hearing. He asserts that the Crown does not have title to the land in Kaingaroa to divest in the first place, that this was recognised by the Crown during the negotiations over the establishment of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, and that Ngāti Manawa’s claim to that land was clearly established in the Native Land Court in 1878.
Let me be clear that pulling off this deal was a huge feat of negotiation, of navigation, and of skill, and I give my respect to those who pulled it off, but the concern is that some small iwi and hapū often become grist to the mill of the settlement process in the desire of this Government to pull off large settlements. In this case some people in Ngāti Manawa believe that their lands are being used by the Government to sweeten up an iwi whose rohe is substantially locked up in a National Park, and whose claims might be difficult to resolve. So my fear is that for those hapū that live under the Ikawhenua Range, this settlement may become a source of division for some time to come, and that should concern us all. In the words of one of my aunties: “This is an awesome settlement, but not for us.”
The Green Party supports this bill. We acknowledge the enormous amount of work, effort, and determination that it has taken on the part of the iwi involved to bring it to this point. We congratulate those who have secured themselves a deal that they consider is good, or is at least reasonable, but we also acknowledge the significant concerns that continue to exist and that cannot be denied. We will also continue to advocate for a Treaty breach settlement process that is determined by Māori rather than the Crown, and that is inherently more just than the constraints that iwi are currently obliged to deal with.
Dr PITA SHARPLES (Co-Leader—Māori Party)
: Tēnā koe, Madam Assistant Speaker. Overnight, the cloak of the mountain clan, he kāhui maunga, has fallen. The snowfall that has blessed the mountains of the central North Island is indeed a tohu rangatira [chiefly sign] of this auspicious day. Four months ago the Central North Island Iwi Collective issued a release that set the stage for today. I quote from that release: “Central North Island iwi with interests in the forest lands are enthusiastic about uniting in a common cause that has long term benefit for us all. We are now paddling our own waka and, for the first time on this issue, are not passengers in someone else’s waka.”
It is a sentiment that we in the Māori Party fully endorse. We stand here today to give full credit to those who have forged ahead, creating a new destiny for the generations to come.
Nā reira, kei ngā waka Te Arawa, Tainui, Mātaatua tēnā koutou katoa. Kai ngā mana, kai ngā reo, kai ngā kārangarangatanga maha, kai ngā rangatira o ērā atu waka, koutou i hara mai ki te tautoko i te kaupapa whakahirahira o te rā nei, he rā nui tēnei, he rā whakahirahira, he kaupapa whakahirahira kai te whai nei. He rā nui tēnei hoki kia mihi atu, kia tangi atu ki a rātou kua mene atu ki te pō. Ki a rātau ngā kuia, ngā koroua kua ngaro atu, i a rātau ngā moemoeā, ngā wawata kia puāwai a tātau iwi kai roto i tēnei wā uaua i raro i ngā ture Pākehā. Nā reira, haere ngā mate, okioki pai mai.
Kia hoki ki te kaupapa ātaahua o te rangi, tēnā tātau katoa. Tātau, he hōnore mā Te Tōrangapū nei ki te tautoko i te pire. Ahakoa he pire kia riro ai ngā hua, ngā rawa, ngā pūtea ki ngā iwi, ki ahau nei, ehara tēnei i te tino pūtake o tēnei pire. Ki ahau nei he pire tēnei mō te rangatiratanga. Te rangatiratanga o tēnā iwi, o tēnā iwi, o tēnā hapū, o tēnā
hapū. Kia tū rangatira ai koutou i roto i tēnei wā. He mana motuhake tō tēnā iwi, he mana motuhake anō tō tēnei iwi. Kei roto i tenei mahi whakatakoto kerēme, i puta mai tēnei rangatiratanga. Ki ahau nei, he pire tēnei mō te kotahitanga. Ahakoa te taukumekume i ngā kaupapa, he tautohetohe i ngā kōrero, i te mutunga ake, i mahi tahi te hunga Central North Island Iwi Collective i te kotahitanga. Nā reira, koutou katoa kua hara mai nei koutou o te Central North Island Iwi Collective, tēnā koutou kai ngā rangatira.
[Therefore, greetings to you all, the canoes of Te Arawa, Tainui, and Mātaatua. To the authorities, languages, the many callings, and leaders of the canoes who came here to support this important bill today, this is a great day, an important day, an important proposal. This is a huge day, as well, to acknowledge and grieve for those who have passed away. The aspirations and hopes of the elderly men and women who have died was that our people would gain maturity in this difficult period under non-Māori law. Therefore, depart the dead, and rest well there.
To come back to the elegant bill of the day, well done to all of us. I say to us that it is an honour indeed for this party to support the bill. Although it is a bill whereby tribes receive assets, resources, and funding, to me this is not what this bill is really about. For me, it is a bill about self-determination. It is about the sovereignty of each tribe and subtribe, for you to stand tall in this era. That tribe is independent, and so is this one. This sovereignty is an outcome of making claims. To me, this bill is about coalition. Despite the fact that the proposal pulled one against the other, or created debate, at the end the Central North Island Iwi Collective worked as a coalition. So greetings to all of you of the Central North Island Iwi Collective who came, and the leaders.
I acknowledge the spirit of rangatiratanga that allowed the settlement of negotiations to be effected. I acknowledge the presence of kotahitanga and a new unity that has emerged from the settlement process. I was greatly enthused by the remarks made at this morning’s ceremony, which acknowledged a spirit of cooperation and a desire to move forward. Dr Cullen mentioned the inability of past Governments to honour the partnership between Māori and Pākehā, and spoke of reconciliation as embodied in the settlement process and the settlement itself. Tribal leaders acknowledged that their efforts continued upon the work and dedication of many of those who had passed on, and proclaimed that this settlement would be used to promote a future for new generations.
So today we acknowledge Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Whare, Ngāti Raukawa, the affiliates of Te Arawa iwi and hapū, and Ngāti Rangitihi, for their great progress in charting their future direction. Every waka is inspired by the kaihautū, who know full well the path ahead. So we pay our tribute to te ariki, te whare o te Heuheu: e Tumu, tēnā koe. We congratulate him on this initiative that he has led.
In some ways it could have been only he and no one else who could pull all the parties together in the first instance, and then engage with the major players of the Crown. His absolute desire to pull the people together, knowing that if they were to move forward, it must be together, paddling their own waka, was inspirational. Ka nui ngā mihi ki a koe.
Te ariki was greatly assisted in his role by the involvement of the Crown facilitators, Wira Gardiner and Matt Te Pou. Their involvement, free of any agendas, and motivated by their knowledge of the important job ahead of them, has been significant and should not be underestimated. Tēnā kōrua. We are pleased that this issue has progressed out of the courts and beyond the legal fraternity, and is back within the realm of iwi and hapū. The style of negotiation, of kaikōrero ki te kaikōrero, iwi ki te iwi, [speaker to speaker, tribe to tribe] is a model that is not new but that has found a renewed significance in
today’s settlement environment. This is how it should have always been, and we congratulate iwi on this substantial feat.
Today is an extremely significant day because of this journey, because of this waka. There was always much more at stake than the allocation of accumulated rentals based on mana whenua, for this has been a journey of give and take, of kotahitanga. We acknowledge Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa, who were willing to engage, to review their position, and to reassess the stance they took, for the betterment of the collective. That position, with their having prepared the initial settlement, cannot have been an easy decision, but one that is nevertheless significant in the context of this settlement. Tēnā koutou.
We pay tribute also to Dr Cullen for the new approach he has brought to bear, and the commitment he has demonstrated towards settling the historical claims to the majority of the central North Island forests lands. I was particularly pleased with his comments of inclusion to Ngāti Rangitihi, and that the door remains open for their return to the negotiating table. These sentiments were also made strongly by Te Ariki Tumu te Heuheu, and clearly reflects the mood of the whole process.
The history of the settlement process through successive Governments has revealed that there are often disaffected parties in some settlements. The Māori Party has been very critical of various aspects of the settlement process, and will continue to be so where warranted. But we look forward to working with all parties in this House to ensure there is always transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, and, of course, durability.
Finally, I am proud to be here today to witness this settlement, immensely significant in many respects. The words of the Waitangi Tribunal, in its report
He Maunga Rongo: Report on Central North Island Claims, have today come home to roost. These words were: “For hapu and iwi of the central North Island the Crown’s refusal to recognise Māori autonomy has had a cost of which they are acutely conscious, though to many New Zealanders this might come as a surprise: loss of authority and control over their lands and their natural resources, including their waterways and geothermal resources. Such a loss of control has had lasting effects on the development of central North Island Māori in tourism, forestry, power generation, and farming.”
Today this first reading is able to put right the wrongs, in returning the central North Island forest lands of the central North Island iwi who have direct customary interests in those lands. But, most important, this first reading has come about from the collective commitment of iwi in the central North Island to debate between themselves, to discuss with the Crown, and to remain constantly focused on the common cause. Tōrangapū Māori, we join with the House in placing on the record our support for the first reading of this ground-breaking initiative of the Central North Island iwi collective. Tēnā koe; tēnā tātou katoa.
JUDY TURNER (Deputy Leader—United Future)
: I will take a very brief call on behalf of United Future to support the Central North Island Forests Land Collective Settlement Bill and to congratulate everybody who celebrates here today. I arrived at work very early this morning and already literally hundreds of iwi members had gathered at Parliament. It made me realise how important today’s event is. One could take a very bland look at the agreement and merely see the valuable land and its potential, the accumulated and ongoing rentals that will now be the property of the collective iwi, and the other commercial areas of redress. I just reflect on the one thing that has stood out for me today, which is the very fine leadership shown by both the iwi collective and the Crown in making today happen. I congratulate everybody involved; they are assured of United Future’s ongoing support for this legislation.
Hon MAHARA OKEROA (Minister of State)
: Tēnā nō tātou. Those who have been in the House all afternoon have witnessed the whole dynamic of what this debating chamber is about, from the wāhanga patapatai to the wāhanga kapahaka, and now to something a bit more dignified. On that basis, my personality will change to suit the occasion. Tēnā tātou katoa.
I want to say, firstly, that it is just as important to remember the people who are not here: people who have grown up, people who have suffered, and people who have held on to the aspiration that sometime in the future there may be a resolution. So the first part of my short presentation this evening is kei te mihi atu ki a rātou, ko rātou kua tīmata kē ō rātou hīkoitanga i runga i te ara rūiti, te ara pāmamao, te ara mutunga kore, ki te pae mauhara te tini me te mano. A rātau rā e mau piri ai i ngā whakaaro, i ngā nawe e whakararurau mai i ō rātou nei kaingākau.
[an acknowledgment to ones who are no longer here and who held views and concerns about what they valued.]
And, as we do believe, the journey is but a transition, rātau e noho wairua mai i runga i ngā pokohiwi o te katoa o koutou nei, tēnā tātau.
[the ones whose spiritual presence are there upon your shoulders, greetings to us.]
Secondly, having experienced what it is like to grow up on the margins of the area that I came from, and having absorbed some of the hard lessons that are associated with being pōhara, being not quite part of the loop, seeing old people not respected for what they are, and having one’s own cosmology, history, and culture denigrated, I bring to my discussion a full understanding of the whole collection of those feelings. I need, then, to congratulate the people, the uri, on going past that and looking towards the future. I cannot say that at this moment in Parihaka, where I grew up, we are quite there yet. Where I came from, our transport was either a horse or a horse and cart. Our community was surrounded by farmers who were growing quite wealthy—kua raupatungia te whenua [the land was confiscated]—so I bring those kinds of feelings towards a very emotional, yet highly successful, day like today. So I congratulate all the people on making the transformation, without forgetting the past but not dwelling in it, and looking forward to future opportunities.
The next thing I would say, as part three of my kōrero, is that today I think we have learnt something quite extraordinary, and it is about a dynamic and it is about a principle. The principle that I saw, as an observer today, is how awesomely powerful we Māori are as people if we combine on a take and take it forward together. That would be, as I see it, one of the key principles that were demonstrated by all of the participants from all of the iwi who came here today. It is also absolutely critical when we think about the relationships and the partnerships, and the arrangements that the people make going into the future. This particular claim will carry on and be more successful when the people then form collaborations with the wider New Zealand community and, indeed, internationally. I congratulate them.
I would like to finish on this note: anei tetehi o ngā kōrero kua poropitahia e tōku nei kaumātua tauheke a Te Whiti o Rongomai. Anei āna nei kōrero,
[here is one of the predictions that my elder Te Whiti o Rongomai uttered. Here is what he said,]
when he was peacefully addressing the soldiers at Parihaka while they rampaged: “Nā koutou te pāua tuatahi, mā mātau te iwi Māori te pāua whakamutunga.” Nō reira tēnā koutou hurihuri noa, mauri ora. Ka tautoko ahau i runga i te kaupapa rangatira kua whakatutuki mai e koutou.”
[“Yours is the first, but we, the Māori people, have the final one.” So, greetings to you throughout, and remain well. I support what you have brought before us to consider.]
I do not have a conflict of interest. I do not, like others, have a long waewae that might somehow, by mystical means, go back to the
Mātaatua waka, or somewhere. So what I say to you is mai i ngā kōrero a koro, a kui mā, e mihi atu ki a koutou kōpikopiko ai tēnei uri o te maunga Tītōhea o Taranaki ki a tātau.
[from the stories of the elderly men and womenfolk, this relative of the mountain Tītōhea of Taranaki greets you.]
CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (National)
: Like other members who have spoken in the House this afternoon, I acknowledge the presence of the iwi of the central North Island and welcome them to the House. My National colleagues have already indicated that we will support the first reading of this bill and its referral to the Māori Affairs Committee. In doing so, National applauds the great efforts made by iwi to make this settlement possible. As is well known, this settlement was formulated by iwi, for iwi. Indeed, the Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations himself acknowledged that fact when, a few days ago, he said “It needs to be made clear this is not a Crown initiative.” The iwi themselves have proposed an acceptable settlement, the iwi themselves have worked together to solve issues around overlapping claims, and the iwi themselves drove one of the most detailed and comprehensive consultation programmes we have seen to date.
I do not think I need to refer at length to the severe criticisms by the tribunal of the Crown’s negotiating process in recent times. Those criticisms are well known. The point that needs to be emphasised is that out of the ashes something positive emerged, and the credit for that must go to the iwi. To quote Shakespeare in
Julius Caesar—and he was not, I am sure, referring to the Waikato—“we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures.” Certainly the iwi here today took the current when it served, and this settlement is the result. It is testimony to their courage and their determination.
At the risk of sounding like a cold, calculating lawyer—which is certainly not me at all—I observe that the bill raises a number of very interesting issues, and these issues are certainly worthy of detailed consideration in the select committee. I would like to outline in a reasonably superficial way some of the key provisions of the bill; the detailed comments can be made in the Committee stage.
As is customary in this type of legislation, there is a brief historical preamble, and then that leads on to certain key provisions. Part 2 is the heart of the bill. It contains provisions relating to the transfer of assets. I refer particularly to clause 6, which vests central North Island forests land in a company called CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd. This company is to act as trustee for the CNI Iwi Holdings Trust and will administer the forests land in accordance with the Act once it is passed, the deed of settlement, and the deed of trust. As is to be expected in this type of settlement legislation, there is a clause that ousts the jurisdiction of courts, tribunals, and other judicial bodies—whatever they may be—to inquire into, or make findings or recommendations in respect of, any or all of the historical central North Island forest claims, the deed of settlement, or the Act. It is important that the jurisdiction of the tribunal is not excluded in so far as it is required to take certain steps that are novel and are more particularly dealt with in clause 22. I will come to that clause in a few minutes.
Subpart 2 of Part 2 is a very interesting provision, dealing with allocation principles. Those are more particularly referred to in schedule 2 of the bill. As one who was involved in the fisheries allocation debate for many years, I know how important it is to have a clear set of allocation principles and a robust process for the resolution of any disputes. In the select committee I will be particularly interested in schedule 2, which is extremely comprehensive. I will not go through any of the particular stages in detail, nor will I comment on such innovations as, for example, are contained in clause 5(2)(d)
of schedule 2, which provides that “no expert advisors, including lawyers and historians, are permitted to participate directly in the … negotiations.” Nor, under the stage 3 provisions in clause 6 of that schedule, can lawyers appear before the adjudication panel that is to be established, unless all parties agree.
Some would wholeheartedly endorse those provisions—I think Dr Sharples, who spoke earlier, would probably be in that category. Many people consider that the fisheries allocation became bogged down in litigation, and that far too much money was spent on appeals to the Privy Council on preliminary questions. There was litigation every time there was a lease round; indeed, the whole process was bedevilled by litigation. One might perhaps expect me to be opposed to such provisions, but I promise the House I will study them with an open mind, bearing in mind the experience I had in the fisheries allocation litigation. The last thing anyone wants is for this process to be bogged down by judicial review applications or other forms of litigation. There is an old saying that it is in the public interest that there be an end to litigation, and that certainly applies here.
I am also very interested in the new powers that are conferred on the tribunal under clause 22 of the bill. As is well known, the tribunal’s jurisdiction is primarily to hear claims and make recommendations. It can make binding orders in a very narrow set of circumstances. But here we have a new jurisdiction that involves the tribunal mediating between various parties to try to resolve a dispute. That will occur if the Crown, the central North Island iwi collective, and the other central North Island claimant agree. I applaud this innovation; I think it is a very interesting and good one, and I think it could prove to be a very useful tool for the tribunal. Clause 23 is the other jurisdictional clause, and it says that the jurisdiction of the tribunal is not ousted in relation to certain claims. That relates to the other central North Island claimant and is all perfectly understandable.
I will not go through Part 3, which deals with miscellaneous provisions. As I said earlier, the detail can be addressed during the Committee stage of the bill once the select committee has looked in detail at its provisions.
Modesty probably prevented my dear friend and colleague Mrs te Heuheu from mentioning her brother-in-law, but I can mention him. Tumu te Heuheu is to be congratulated on his statesmanship in moving this settlement forward. One other person deserves special mention, and that is Wira Gardiner, because he too worked very well to bring individual iwi together after the Crown’s previous negotiating process had resulted in considerable concerns.
It is a great pleasure to have the honour of speaking in this first reading debate. Let me conclude by assuring all members of the various iwi represented here today that the National Party members on the Māori Affairs Committee are looking forward to hearing their submissions and working on the bill. It is a day when we can all be very pleased to see some progress in Treaty settlements after so many years of inaction. So thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak. As I say, National will support the referral of the bill to the select committee.
TE URUROA FLAVELL (Māori Party—Waiariki)
:Tēnā koe Madam Assistant Speaker, kia ora e hoa mā i te rangi nei. Ko taku kōrero he mea poto noa iho nā runga i te āhuatanga o te tāima ka mutu, nā te mea kātahi anō ka tae mai. Me pēnei rawa te kōrero, te whakamārama ake, kātahi anō au ka hoki mai i tētahi tangihanga i Te Wai Pounamu, kaua e pāpōuri mai i te tikanga ka riro mā koutou o Reipā whakakōpani ngā kōrero. Ka pai tērā, ka oti pai i a koutou. Ko te wāhanga ki a au paku kōrero nei, hei tautoko i te āhuatanga o ngā kōrero i te rangi nei.
E hoa mā, i te tuatahi ka huri ki ngā iwi i tau mai ai i te rangi nei, ki te Whare Pāremata. Kāore e kore kua mihia koutou, kua tukuna ngā poroporoaki ki te hunga kua
ngaro atu ki te tirohanga kanohi ka mutu, kua mihia koutou i roto i ngā pakitara o te Whare nei, ko tāku noa ake, ko te tautoko. He tautoko, he tautoko.
Kōtēnei kaupapa i tīmata mai ai ngā tau kua hipa, te wā i a au tonu i te kāinga e rapu haere ana i tētahi huarahi mō tōku ake iwi. Ka hoki ngā mahara ki te hunga nā rātou tēnei kaupapa i whakaara ake i te tuatahi. Ko Manu Huia Bennett tērā, ko Rangihuia Briggs tērā, ā, ka mutu, ko tēnei o ngā ariki, a Tumu. Ka hoki ngā mahara ki te tīmatanga mai o tēnei kaupapa i tēnei rangi, ko tōna puāwaitanga, ko tēnei tonu nei.
E Tumu kai taku ariki, ka nui te mihi ki a koe. Kāre he tangata i kō atu i a koe mō te whakakao mai o te iwi. E mōhio tonu ana tātau ko tēnei ara, he ara tāpokopoko, he ara uaua ki te whakakao mai i ngā iwi katoa ki raro i te korowai o te mea kotahi. Ko koe tērā i whakatinana mai ai tērā moemoeā, tērā wawata, ahakoa ngā uauatanga, koinei te mihi atu, tēnā koe.
Me pēnei rawa tētahi kōrero āpiti atu ki ngā kōrero kua rangona i te ahiahi nei, i a au e hoki mai ana i te taunga waka rererangi. Ko tēnei mahi te noho i te Whare Pāremata, arā anō ētahi uauatanga. Tuatahi, i ētahi wā ka rongo i ngā pire, arā anō ētahi painga, ētahi paku painga mō te iwi. Ko te pātai mai kei runga i a mātau o ngā mema o te Pāti Māori, āe rānei me tautoko, e kāore rānei.
Ko tētahi atu o ngā uauatanga, ko te whakarongo ki ngā hunga me kī, e mau nei i ētahi uauatanga kai roto i te ngākau. Koia tērā i tēnei wā tonu nei, āe, anei anō ngā painga ēhea kē nei me kī, ngā iwi o Te Upoko o te Ika. He tika tērā. Ko tāku nei, mā wai te hunga e rongo nei i ngā uauatanga, e kōrero. Koinā te pātai nui.
I ētahi wā, kua āhua hōhā wētahi ki ngā kōrero i roto o Te Tōrangapū Māori i te mea, kai te whakatakoto i ngā kōrero o te iwi Māori ki mua i te aroaro o tēnei Pāremata. Koinei tētahi o ngā uauatanga. Ko tā mātou o Te Tōrangapū Māori, he whakatakoto me kī, hei noho, hei reo kōrero mō te hunga e rongo tonu nei i te mamae. Nō reira, ahakoa ngā uauatanga o te noho hōhā pea i wētahi wā, koinei te mahi nui.
Hei whakakōpani i taku kōrero. Tuatahi, ko tāku ko te tautoko i ngā kōrero a Pita ki tēnei Whare, i tēnei pō. Ka rua, ko te kī atu, ko te wāhanga ki a mātou o Te Tōrangapū Māori, he noho hei waha kōrero mō tērā hunga kāore anō kia whai wāhi i roto i ngā nekeneke. He aha ai? Kia whai reo rātou i roto i ngā kōrero.
Ko tāku mihi whakamutunga e pēnei ana ki te Minita nāna tēnei take i kōkiri, arā, ki a Karana, otirā, ngā mea i mua i a ia, ko Wirihana, Pētana, ko Mita, koutou katoa Parekura, ngā mea i kōkiri tēnei take, me mihi ka tika. Kua oti nei i a koutou te mahi uaua.
Kupu whakamutunga nei, he mihi ki ngā kaitakawaenga o te Karauna, ki a Wira rāua ko MatiuTe Pou. Nā rātau te mahi uaua, te noho takawaenga ki waenganui i ngā iwi, hei whakakao mai, whakaemi mai i ngā whakaaro kia tutuki pai tēnei mahi. Nō reira, koinei te mihi ki a tātau katoa i tēnei rangi whakahirahira. Huri noa tēnā koutou, tēna koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
- [An interpretation in English was given to the House.]
[Greetings to you, Madam Assistant Speaker, and to you, fellow members today. My call is but a short one, because of the time, and further to that because I have just arrived. By way of explanation, I should say that I have just returned from a bereavement in the South Island. Do not be disappointed, because normally you of the Labour Party would have made the closing address. That is fine; you will finish it off properly. The part for me in this short call is to endorse the tenor of the speeches today.
Fellow members, firstly I turn to the people who came here today to Parliament. Without a doubt, you acknowledged them; farewell tributes were made to those who have died, and further to that, you acknowledged them in this Chamber. The part for me is merely to endorse what you have done—really support it.
This proposal began years ago when I was still at home looking for a way forward for my own people. Memories go back to the ones who first proposed it—to Manu Huia Bennett, to Rangihuia Briggs, and then to Tumu, this one of the paramount chiefs. Memories today go back to the beginnings of this proposal, and now it has reached maturity.
Many greetings to you, Tumu, my paramount chief. There is no other person beyond you to bring the people together. We know too well that the path to bring all the people together under the one mantle is a boggy and difficult one. But you were able to embody those dreams and aspirations regardless of the difficulties, and indeed I hail you, greetings.
Further to what I heard this afternoon as I listened in to the debate on my way back from the airport, I want to add this. Being in Parliament has its difficulties. At times when one hears a bill for the first time, there appear to be benefits, or some benefits, for iwi. The question for us members of the Māori Party is really one of yes, we support it, or no, we do not.
Another difficulty is listening to others with different persuasions. Yes, that is how it is currently. The benefits for some, say in Wellington, are huge. That is a fact. My concern is: who will represent the viewpoint of those most affected? That is the real question.
At times, some tire at what the Māori Party has to say before this House about matters relating to Māoridom. This is a real difficulty. We of the Māori Party regard this as core business, let us say, to represent the interests of the most needy. Therefore, and despite the difficulties and monotony at times, this is core work for us.
In conclusion, I firstly endorse what Pita said to the House this evening. Secondly, I stress that the role of the Māori Party is to remain an advocate for those not yet involved in the proceedings. Why? So that they have a voice in the discussions.
My final acknowledgment goes to the Minister responsible for the negotiations, Dr Cullen, and his predecessors Margaret Wilson, Mark Burton, and Mita Ririnui; all of you, as well as Parekura Horomia—the ones who negotiated this matter. It is right that you are acknowledged. You have completed the most difficult part of it.
Finally, to Wira and Matiu Te Pou, who liaised for the Crown—theirs was a difficult task as well, liaising with the people, bringing them together, and gathering their thoughts together so that the process is completed adequately. I acknowledge you all on this important day. So throughout the Chamber, greetings to you, greetings to you, and greetings to you all.
LOUISA WALL (Labour)
Koterōpūrangatahi o ngā māunga
E tū mai rā ki te whenua e
Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe, Ruapehu e
Ko Tauhara me Pīhanga arohaina e
Ko Taupō-nui-a-Tia te kōpua tangata
I te rohe o te Heuheu te matua.
E ngā mana, e ngā reo, rau rangatira mā, Te Tumu te ariki nui, ngā whānau o Te Arawa, ngā kaumātua, ngā mihi aroha ki a koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Ngāti Tūtemohuta me Ngāti Hineuru ngā hapū o Ngāti Tūwharetoa Te Arawa waka.
[The young party of the mountains
Standing in the hinterland
Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe, Ruapehu,
Tauhara and Pīhanga love them
Taupō-nui-a-Tia is the deep pool of the people
In the territory of te Heuheu the paramount chief.
To the authorities, languages, many leaders, Te Tumu, paramount chief, greetings to you, greetings to you, and fond greetings to you all. Ngāti Tūtemohuta and Ngāti Hineuru are subtribes of Ngāti Tūwharetoa of the canoe of Te Arawa.
It is my honour to add to the kōrero of today about the Central North Island Forests Land Collective Settlement Bill. I will begin by acknowledging the parties of the collective: Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa, Raukawa, Ngāti Whare, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and, with the door still open, possibly within the next 6 months, Ngāti Rangitihi, who have been given an extension to complete their endorsement process to be added to this settlement legislation. I know that if Matua Henare Pryor has any involvement, then this is a mere formality.
I was born in the 1970s, a time when as Māori we were starting to gain national and international media attention via public demonstrations aimed at conveying the message of the need for historical redress, given Aotearoa’s history of colonisation. Some have said that the peak of such activism occurred in 1975, when whaea Whina Cooper led 13,000 people on a march to Parliament under the slogan “Not one more acre of Māori land”. What impact did this have? Some would say that the developments of the Waitangi Tribunal were directly attributable to this.
The context of such momentum for change by Māori can be traced back to the Hunn report of the 1960s, which recommended that the differential between Māori and Europeans in statute law should be reviewed at intervals and gradually eliminated. The State then merged Māori-targeted social services with general services, and in reaction the 1970s saw the mobilisation of Māori. Hapū me iwi began processes of protest as a necessary venting of the anger that was felt at being disrespected and disempowered. This provided the platform for collective redress from the Crown for historical breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. So we had a mechanism to begin the process in the Waitangi Tribunal, and to provide the forum for our tribal histories to be recorded.
It has been only recently that Treaty settlements have become a priority for Governments, and that different processes for creating deeds of settlement have been put into practice, and I acknowledge Sir Graham Latimer and the Māori Council for their efforts. What has this meant? It has meant simple but very important things, such as the Government providing the information so that all parties know the boundaries of the deal that needs to be brokered, and leaving the actual allocation up to Māori to decide based on mana whenua status.
I reiterate the words of Dr Cullen about his deep appreciation of Te Arikinui Tumu te Heuheu, who continued the work of his father, the late Tā Hepi, with his proactive leadership in terms of approaching the Government about the prospect of a collective agreement late last year. The settlement process and the template for future Treaty settlements, given the success of today, is for the Crown to step back and let iwi initiate and lead allocations of resources, and to sort out for themselves issues such as mana whenuatanga.
I had breakfast this morning with my Uncle Tane and Auntie Pēhi, and with Uncle Te Kanawa and Auntie Kataraina Pitiroi. I asked them about the process that the iwi have been through to get to where we are today. They talked about kōrero from hikuwai to mātāpuna—the tears, mamae, truths, and, yes, walkouts at marae. But they stressed tikanga Māori as being central to the process of kōrero, the inclusiveness of the process, and the trust and relationships that had developed as the kōrero progressed.
This settlement signifies that it is time for a change, and that change is about Māori taking the lead in processes for the reconciliation of our past experiences and in the
Treaty settlement process as a platform for us to move forward together with a common purpose and set of values. As Tā Tumu said in his kōrero at the signing, this will ensure the legacy of wealth and prosperity for our tamariki me mokopuna who have yet to be born.
I grew up in Waitahanui, on the eastern foreshore of Lake Taupō. I attended Waitahanui Primary School and I was in the majority, given that I was related to everyone at the kura, except the dairy owner’s children and the teachers. I remember a definite them-and-us mentality, which was fuelled in the holidays by strangers, mostly Pākehā people, who had houses in our village. They came in and acted as if they owned not only the lake but also our school, the tennis courts, and the roads.
This settlement provides the asset base for iwi of the central North Island to educate our young people, the leaders and beneficiaries of the future, to not only enjoy the resource but also add value to our forestry resource in order to ensure that we have the independence as a people not only to look after ourselves but also to contribute to this great nation of ours. Days like today make me think not only of my father, who passed away during the tangi of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, but also of my uncles Nick Wall, Taxi Kapua, and Darkie Downs, and of Mahlon Nēpia, whom my father loved and respected, and who, in addition to being at home and on our lands, trust, school, and marae boards, worked within our tribe to advance the needs and aspirations of our people.
The timing of this settlement is very special for me. I have been in the House for just under 4 months, and to have an opportunity to commend this bill to the House is something that seems tika. I thank Dr Cullen for this opportunity, and I reiterate what I said last night in the House: it is because of Dr Cullen’s leadership that this process has been so innovative. I note recent iwi leaders’ calls for future Ministers of Finance to also hold the Treaty of Waitangi negotiations portfolio, in light of the massive deals brokered under Dr Cullen.
I acknowledge that this is really just the beginning. There will be many more hui, and many more tears, mamae, walkouts, and disagreements, both private and public, as we move from allocation to utilisation. But this is our journey, and the assets we have secured today can serve a purpose by sitting in a bank account accumulating interest until such time as we are clear about the economic development opportunities that the settlement assets afford us. I note, as highlighted by Matua Tumu, that an economic development plan is next on the agenda as a Crown and iwi initiative.
To coin a phrase from Barack Obama, it is our time—Māori time—and we are not late. All good things happen to those who wait, and the future, as it has always been, is in our hands to create. I wish the whānau safe travels home, and I look forward to seeing them anō when this bill is passed. Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
referred to the Māori Affairs Committee
- Sitting suspended from 5.57 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.