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Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill — First Reading

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Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill

First Reading

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN (Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations) : I move, That the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims 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 would like, firstly, to welcome the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū people who have joined us today for this historic occasion. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. The grievances of the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū are significant, longstanding, and well founded. This bill settles all of the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū, other than those relating to the central North Island forest lands, and in so doing recognises and addresses those grievances. As such, the bill has to be considered in conjunction with the Central North Island Forests Land Collective Settlement Bill, which will receive its first reading tomorrow, to get the full picture of the redress proposed.

The affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū are a collective group of iwi and hapū from the Rotorua and Kaingaroa areas, with approximately 24,000 members. The historical claims of the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū relate to breaches by the Crown of its obligations under the Treaty, which include the operation and impact of the Native Land Court, 19th century land purchases by the Crown, Māori land administration in the 20th century, and the compulsory acquisition of land by the Crown via public works and scenery preservation legislation.

In 2002 and 2003 the Crown held high-level meetings with central North Island claimants to begin discussions over how to progress their claims. As a result of those meetings, the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū appointed negotiators and began Treaty settlement negotiations with the Crown in 2004. In April of that year, the Crown formally recognised the mandate of the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū negotiators, and in November the parties signed terms of negotiations. In September 2005 the Crown and affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū signed an agreement in principle, and in September 2006 a deed of settlement was signed, after an overwhelming majority of voters in the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū showed their support by a postal vote. At the same time, arepresentative, transparent, and accountable governance entity, the Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa Trust, was ratified. The Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa Trust will receive and manage the settlement assets.

Since then much has happened. The path to get us to this point has taken on some unexpected turns. The settlement became the focus of cross-claims, political controversy, and tribunal hearings, which meant that to proceed to legislation would have been risky, and indeed, more than that, I think it would have upset and caused difficulties in a whole range of Treaty issues. Subsequently a proposal to settle the claims on a collective basis over the central North Island forest lands was put to the Government by central North Island iwi, led by Ariki Tumu te Heuheu. That provided a path forward.

On the basis of my assurance to Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa that a revised settlement of its claims would be at least as valuable as the already signed deed, it became possible to pursue a recasting of that settlement alongside the broader central North Island land negotiations. The success of this process was dependent upon the generosity of Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa in working with the collective. In fact, Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa went further than that. I want to applaud its decision to participate fully in the collective; that showed both strong leadership and a strong commitment from the membership. I am enormously excited by the prospect that this presents for all of the central North Island groups, including affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū.

The introduction of this bill signals the final stage of a long journey for affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū to have their grievances resolved. Settling these claims is also an important further step in this country’s progress towards settling all historical Treaty claims. This week, apart from the first reading of this bill today, we will sign the deed of settlement for the central North Island forest lands tomorrow morning; we will have the first reading of the bill relating to that tomorrow afternoon; we will sign the terms of negotiation with Raukawa early tomorrow evening; and we will sign the final deed of settlement with Taranaki Whānui (Wellington) on Thursday morning. This is an extraordinary week in the history of claim settlements within New Zealand.

The bill gives effect to the undertakings by the Crown in the 2006 deed of settlement. It includes, firstly, the offering of a Crown apology for its clear breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and principles; secondly, the transfer of 19 areas of Crown-owned land of special significance to Te Arawa iwi and hapū; and, thirdly, redress that will enable increased input into management over Crown-owned land, and protocols with certain Government agencies. In addition, to reflect the flexibility demonstrated by Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa, additional redress has been negotiated. This redress includes the gifting of land under five Rotorua schools, with lease-back arrangements to the Crown; the gifting of the Ngātamariki geothermal assets based on the value of $5 million; a statement acknowledging affiliate Te Arawa’s interest in the upper reaches of the Waikato River; and forgiveness of the current Whakarewarewa Village debt.

I want to acknowledge the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū people who suffered the breaches of the Treaty and who carried the grievances. I particularly want to acknowledge those who are no longer with us who have waited long for this day. I acknowledge the Kaihautū Executive Council and its successor, Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa Trust, including the members of the negotiating team. Their dedication, commitment, and tenacity have been vital in the long and often difficult path towards achieving this settlement. I pay particular tribute to the chief negotiator, Rāwiri Te Whare, who has had some extraordinarily difficult meetings, not just with the Crown but with others during this process, particularly over the last few months. It has been a great pleasure to be across the negotiating table from Rāwiri. I thank the other Ministers and departments involved in this process, and colleagues in other political parties who have been supportive through this process over recent times. It has taken significant collective efforts from across the Government to reach this point.

As New Zealanders, we can all be proud that real and significant grievances suffered by Māori are recognised and settled peacefully and within the law. The public can be reassured that the Crown is confident of the validity of the claims that will be settled by this bill, and that the settlement has been negotiated with the interests of all citizens in mind. In particular, there have been issues in both this settlement and tomorrow’s settlement around access matters. It is not possible to compensate affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū fully for all the prejudices and loss their people have suffered. One thing that sometimes upsets me particularly in this portfolio is that there is sometimes commentary in the media and from the general public that suggests vast sums of money are being transferred to Māori as part of the Treaty settlement process. In fact, the transfers represent, in many, many cases, really only a small fraction of the total damage that has been done over the course of our history as a country. I want to acknowledge the courage and foresight of affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū in recognising this prospect, moving forward and accepting this settlement, and looking to the future. I have no doubt that it will be a prosperous one.

The people represented here today in the galleries have waited a long time to have their grievances against the Crown addressed. They have worked hard, and sacrificed much, to reach this settlement. They seemed, just 2 years ago, to be on the point of proceeding to legislation, and then saw it almost snatched away from them and the prospect that in fact they might not achieve their settlement. Thanks to their generosity and thanks to their courage, they have been able to reach this day today. That is one reason why this bill is the first this week in terms of the number of things that are going on in the Treaty settlement area. For those reasons I consider the bill should proceed without delay to the Māori Affairs Committee, and I hope the committee can deal with this bill reasonably expeditiously. That will allow for the timely transfer of settlement redress to affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū.

I commend this bill to the House. Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker.

Hon GEORGINA TE HEUHEU (National) :Ā, e aku koroua, e aku kuia, e ngā whāea, e ngā pāpā, Te Arawa waka, Te Arawa tangata, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnātātou katoa.

[To my elders, my elderly womenfolk, aunts, fathers, the canoe and people of Te Arawa, greetings to you, greetings to you, and greetings to us all.]

I am very pleased to stand to speak on the first reading of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill. National supports the bill being referred to the select committee and is pleased to do so.

I personally am pleased to be here in the House this afternoon. I stand here in the presence of whanaunga, and it is a great privilege to be here when this bill is being presented to Parliament. Notwithstanding that we are whanaunga, I congratulate those who negotiated this settlement on behalf of the hapū and iwi of Te Arawa, because I, along with everyone else in this House, know the complexity of the matters involved in achieving such a settlement. Their achievement in negotiating a settlement with significant support across the waka is no mean feat. I am very proud to be part of the consideration that the bill will have in this House.

The other reason that I am very proud to be here this afternoon is that, looking at the bigger picture, this settlement today follows in the path of others forged over the last two decades on the Treaty settlement platform developed by Sir Douglas Graham and the National Party under the leadership of the Rt Hon Jim Bolger. That platform has continued into this decade—albeit with mixed effort and mixed results up until recently, I might say, under the Labour Government, but it has continued nevertheless. It has continued up to this settlement today, to another major settlement tomorrow, and to others to follow in the future—there is no doubt about that.

The important feature of these settlements is that they are testament to the efforts of a small nation that is leading the way internationally in many respects, and to how a nation State treats its indigenous population in terms of addressing longstanding historic injustice. Fortunately, New Zealand has long since moved on from the time when this process was condemned more than it ever deserved to be, and that, in my view, is thanks to the patience of iwi; to their faith in the law and their perseverance; to the inherent fairness of the Kiwi character, the New Zealand character; and to the almost universal acceptance by parliamentarians across the House of the importance of settlements. We have made great progress since the land marches and occupations of some 30 years ago, and we will continue that progress until we complete the process.

With these settlements, Māori see that the laws and Government of their country, however imperfect they may seem at times, are capable of representing their interests, and the Crown, on behalf of all New Zealanders, can redeem its honour for questionable conduct in the past. These things are important for all New Zealanders, and the settlement that comes into the House today is part of that process. It is a huge process, it is complicated, but it is necessary. We have made great progress, and the part that Te Arawa have played in it is very important.

I turn to the bill before us. Dr Cullen has reviewed its contents. Importantly, the bill contains an apology. If we think about it, we realise that much of the grievance that gave rise to this settlement had its genesis back in the 1880s, I would suggest, with the rearrangement of title by the Māori Land Court, which, as we know, was set up to convert collective title into individual title so as to make it easier for ownership of land to pass from Māori hands into those of the Crown or settlers. So this bill has a longstanding genesis; again, I think, that adds to its importance.

I commend the Minister for his efforts in bringing some considerable momentum to a process that, by last year, was exhibiting all the signs of Treaty meltdown. I refer, in that regard, to a rather scathing report from the Waitangi Tribunal that criticised the Crown for certain things—we will not go into that for the moment. What these settlements show, I think, is that passion, effort, energy, and enthusiasm must be put into this process to ensure that the momentum is maintained. Fortunately, that momentum has come back into the process now. I might add, though, that it may be that the Labour Government, in appointing Dr Cullen to the position of Minister in charge of Treaty Negotiations, has learnt something; in the end, we have rangatira negotiating settlements on behalf of their people, and, in a way, they look for equivalence in terms of the negotiator on the part of the Government of the day. It may be that in terms of getting iwi and the Te Arawa affiliates—and the other tribes involved in tomorrow’s settlement—back to the table, the appointment of Dr Cullen was an important factor.

As I said earlier, the apology is important, and all our settlements contain an apology. In that respect, it is important not just for the consideration by the House but also for New Zealanders at large to remind ourselves that the settlement settles all historical claims of the affiliate of tribes, and that henceforth, when this bill becomes law, the courts and the Waitangi Tribunal will have no further involvement in considering anything to do with the settlement. That is important.

In terms of issues that have been raised briefly with me—and National members will raise them in the select committee—there are issues around whether private land is involved. The briefing note that the Minister supplied us with says that it is not involved, and we will want to make sure that that is the case. The other issue is whether public access will be maintained, and a statement in the briefing note says that, generally, yes, it will be. The select committee process gives us an opportunity to look at those matters. Another matter, which has been raised on the iwi side, is the combining of tribes, which is seen to be problematic, particularly if one is asking Ngāti Tahu - Ngāti Whāoa to be represented by one voice. Clearly, those issues are still capable of resolution, and if my colleagues and I can play a part in addressing them, I am sure we would be very happy to do so.

In terms of the set-back, I suppose, that was put upon this process last year, we can take lessons from it as to what seems not to work and those things that seem to work well. It may be that, in relation to the settlement that is before us today and the one that comes before us tomorrow, there are lessons for us all to learn. I think the biggest lesson is that, in the end, the iwi must feel that their rangatiratanga is intact all of the way through the process. Any hint that the Government of the day and, ultimately, the Crown are imposing anything on them or being prescriptive will not work. That seems to have been the point reached last year.

Happily, National supports the settlement. We will work with the other members of the select committee to make sure that the process that gets under way—the scrutiny of the bill—brings into effect the settlement that Te Arawa iwi have negotiated. I look forward to that process, and we give our commitment to it. In closing, again I would like to say congratulations—very good. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

Hon MITA RIRINUI (Associate Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations) :Otirā, Te Arawa waka, Te Arawa tangata, kua neke mai rā mai i ngā roto o Te Arawa, koutou rā ngā kārangaranga hapū kei waenganui nui i a koutou, ā, tae atu ki te Whare Ariki a te Heuheu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, ōku kaumātua, kuia, tuākana, teina, tuāhine, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou. Tēnā koutou i te āhuatanga o te kaupapa i kawe nei koutou mai rā i te hau kāinga, ā, ki roto i te Whare nei, e kīa nei te Whare o ngā Raiona, kia tutuki, kia tū ēnei āhuatanga ki roto i te ture. Nō reira, tēnei rā tā koutou mōkai, kanohi kai roto i te Whare nei e mihi ake nei ki a koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

[To the canoe of Te Arawa and the people of Te Arawa who have moved from the lakes of Rotorua, you indeed, the subtribal callings amongst you, including the chiefly house of te Heuheu, the people of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, my elders, elderly womenfolk, older and younger siblings, and my sister, greetings to you, greetings to you, and greetings to you. Greetings to you in regard to the nature of the proposal that you have brought all the way from back home into this House, referred to as the “House of the Lions”, so that these circumstance are met and enshrined in law. So here indeed is your servant and representative in this House acknowledging you; greetings, greetings, and greetings to you all.]

Madam Assistant Speaker, it will come as no surprise to you that I stand in support of this very important legislation. In doing so, I declare a conflict of interest.

I join with previous speakers in welcoming this very, very important delegation from Te Arawa. I acknowledge every iwi, hapū, and whānau that has come here today to represent what we call the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill. I identify the iwi who are to take part in this very, very important occasion. They are Ngāti Ngāraranui, Ngāti Tamahika, Ngāti Tūteaiti, Ngāti Kearoa, Ngāti Tuarā, Ngāti Tura, Ngāti Te Ngākau, Ngāti Te Roro o Te Rangi, Ngāti Tūteniu, Ngāti Uenukukōpako, Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao, Ngāti Tahu, Ngāti Whaoa, and Ngāti Pikiao. They are here today to stand with the Crown as its Treaty partner in the final stage towards the settlement of the historical grievance.

It is not possible for this Government, as previous speakers have stated with some sadness, to compensate the iwi of Te Arawa for the full extent of the grievances that have been imposed on them by the wrongful actions of the Crown. I am humbled today by their courage and by their commitment to let bygones be bygones, and to move on in a positive and constructive manner, developing a future for the descendants of Te Arawa whānui. The affiliate Te Arawa group must be commended for its negotiation skills, as outlined by my colleague the Hon Dr Michael Cullen, and for its ability to view the process for which these negotiations were carried out with pragmatism and practicality. The group’s futuristic vision and willingness to come to a mutual settlement encompassing all the resources available to it is a testament to its dedication and commitment.

The faith in which the Crown and the claimants came to a settlement is a result of the claimants’ astute participation in decision making. I am sure that would add much to the astonishment of various members of this House who in the past have accused the Government of offering “take it or leave it” deals to the Treaty claimants. That is simply not the case. I have never met anyone on the face of the earth who can produce a “take it or leave it” deal to Te Arawa. This Treaty settlement has been reached by the two partners, iwi and the Crown, sitting down and coming to a constructive and realistic agreement. I am particularly proud of that fact. We have reached the final leg of this journey—a journey not without trial and tribulation—yet we find ourselves standing in Parliament here today to introduce this historic bill.

After the Crown and the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū signed the original deed of settlement in September 2006, there was much debate about the settlement and the best way to settle claims over the central North Island forests. In order to give the central North Island iwi sufficient time to develop a proposal for the collective settlement of their interests in those forests, the Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa agreed to defer the introduction of the legislation to give effect to the settlement. That decision is of historic importance, because it paved the way for the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū to join a collective of other iwi with interests in the central North Island forests, and for the collective to present the Crown with a proposal for the settlement of those assets. The proposal replaces the commercial forestry redress included in the 2006 affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū settlement. Instead, the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū will have a share in the central North Island collective’s forestry assets.

The affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū have significant assets now and a bold claim to manage them going forward, which will benefit future generations. That is a very, very important fact. Such a plan will benefit the whole of Te Arawa, in economic terms. I wish to acknowledge the leadership shown by the Kaihautū Executive Council and the success of Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa in terms of their flexibility, unity, and leadership. The longstanding issue of the best way to settle claims over the central North Island forests could not have been addressed if it had not been for their patience and indulgence.

I would like to acknowledge the patience that the people of Te Arawa have shown since the deed of settlement that was signed in 2006. The introduction of this bill has been a long time in coming. The new settlement contains several new items, as outlined by Dr Cullen, of redress, and is recognition of the flexibility shown by the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū. It is also indicative of the generosity of the Minister of Finance, Dr Michael Cullen, that it includes the gifting of the land under the five Rotorua schools and of the Ngātamariki geothermal assets. I credit the vision of the leadership of my colleague Dr Cullen, second only to that of the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū leaders—and they are present in the House today; they were instrumental in reaching this very important point. I look forward to the continuance of such Crown leadership in settlement negotiations in the future, particularly when we sit down to negotiate with other iwi in the wider Bay of Plenty or Te Waiariki.

In 2006, as the Associate Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations I stood to support the first reading of the Te Arawa lakes settlement claim. I stand again to support the introduction of another monumental bill that will benefit the people of Te Arawa in much the same way that the Te Arawa lakes settlement claim is now benefiting Te Arawa 2 years after the legislation was introduced into this House. However, on looking back, I take some comfort from the comments made by the previous speaker, the Hon Georgina te Heuheu, that National will support this settlement bill, and I hope that that will be the attitude adopted by all the Opposition parties in the House today. I can recall standing in this House and listening to speeches that opposed the return of the Te Arawa lakes to the people of Te Arawa. Some very, very patronising statements were made by members in this House in relation to the way in which the negotiations were conducted.

This is very important legislation that is being introduced today, and it follows closely behind the return of the Te Arawa lakes to the Te Arawa people. Tomorrow will also be an equally important occasion. Although I do not want to put pressure on my Māori colleagues in other parties, we have to accept that the people of Te Arawa are making the decisions, and no one else. It is our role in this House to support their decisions. Te Arawa, like many other iwi around the country, is into development mode. It is moving forward. Although we have a very, very long history of grievance, we have turned that grievance into development, and we are going forward. Anyone who stands in the way of Māori development should look out. That is all I can say in relation to the support that these very important issues require in this House.

My call at this point in time is a speech that is very brief and to the point. I want to finish by acknowledging all those who took part in the process leading to this point. My colleague the Minister of Māori Affairs basically gave myself, Dr Cullen, and the other Associate Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, the Hon Shane Jones, all the support required to ensure that all the necessary milestones were met, and that the channels of dialogue between ourselves and the Crown, and the negotiators for Te Arawa affiliate, were kept open. It is because of that commitment and support that we are at this point today. I say congratulations and well done to the people of Te Arawa who were involved in the negotiations. Tēnā koutou. Ka nui ngā mihi atu ki a koutou, otirā, mā te wā tonu ka tutuki pai ai. Kia ora tātou.

[Greetings to you collectively. I have much regard for you. It will be fulfilled well, in time. Greetings to us.]

Hon TAU HENARE (National) : I too want to congratulate Te Arawa and welcome them here today. I also want to congratulate Dr Michael Cullen. My colleague Georgina te Heuheu has said that in the settlement procedures it behoves us all to have a large amount of passion in trying to come to arrangements and agreements, and I want to personally commend the Deputy Prime Minister for his passion since he has taken the role of Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations. I cannot say the same for the Ministers before him. I do not want to be nasty and use the occasion to be nasty, but why break the habit of a lifetime?

This is just another chapter in the long running story of Te Arawa. The chapter will be about battles fought and won with the Crown—it does not matter who was in Government. The story so far is that there are lots of people to congratulate—those who are not even here, and those who unfortunately we will never see again. But the lifeblood of iwi is their story—the whakapapa not only of us as individuals but of things that happened, and of how we got from point A to point B. I feel very privileged to be able to give my 10c worth on this historic occasion.

There will be those in our community who say: “Well, now that Te Arawa has settled its Treaty settlement hopefully it will go out and sort out the troubles of young people in Manurewa, in Rotorua, and all over the land.” Well, that is not the iwi’s job. That is the job of all of us to do. I wish Te Arawa well in their journey and in the new chapters that are to be written from now until the end of time.

There are those who have issues with this settlement and also with tomorrow’s big story. My wish for the Māori Affairs Committee is for those who have issues with this settlement to front up to the committee and put their submissions to it, and then let us see where we go from there. I have another wish, and it is for those who are in the gallery today who represent the other side of the settlement to take the opportunity now, while the bill is in the select committee process, to go and grab those people who are against this settlement and try and try—I know people have, but God loves a trier.

Hon Mita Ririnui: Talk to your colleagues!

Hon TAU HENARE: Absolutely, I will talk to anybody who wants to push this forward and make this a long-lasting settlement.

I will not speak for too much longer, but I want to say that this is unlike other settlements. Its path to where we are now has been very rocky, indeed. Ngāi Tahu, Tainui, and the others who have come and settled have had a somewhat easier pathway and easier ride. So I congratulate Te Arawa on staying the course, and on having an immense amount of patience. The patience does not go back to 2002, the patience does not go back to 1960; it goes back to when Māui was a little boy—that is how far back it goes. So I want to congratulate those who have stayed the course, and I hope in my heart that those who have some worries about the settlement front up and use what has been put in place—what has been put in front of them vis-à-vis the Māori Affairs Committee process—to air their concerns.

Not only is this another chapter in Te Arawa’s beautiful story but it is a chapter in our story, as well. I think that all of us can be proud to be part of that story. One day, when we are over this and over beating each other up, saying “you did this and I did this, and blah, blah, blah”, we will have a vision for our nation, and we will have an identity for our nation, which will not be when we are playing in the Rugby World Cup of 2085, when most of us will not be here—

Hon Georgina te Heuheu: And winning!

Hon TAU HENARE: —and when we will be winning. Instead of the woolly sheep as our identity, it will be us as our identity that is on parade around the world—uniquely ours, uniquely New Zealand’s, uniquely Pākehā, and uniquely Māori. This is the only place in the world where one could find such a gathering.

I send congratulations to Te Arawa and to the Deputy Prime Minister. I look forward to the thousands and thousands of submissions that we get in front of our great select committee.

PITA PARAONE (NZ First) :Ā, tēnā koe Madam Assistant Speaker, tēnā hoki tātou o te Whare nei. Kā huri ngā mihi ki a Arawa waka, Arawa tangata, tēnā koutou. Tēnā koutou i tae mai ki roto o te Whare nei, koutou hoki e noho tonu ki te wā kāinga, ā, puta noa i te motu, i are taringa mai, i mātakitaki mai hoki. Tēnā hoki koutou ngā kaikawe o te kaupapa nei, arā, ko Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa. E tika ana kia tukuna atu ngā mihi hoki ki ngā hunga o koutou i rūpeke ki tua o Paerau mai i te wā tuatahi i takoto mai tēnei kaupapa ki mua i te aroaro o te taraipiunara, me te Karauna hoki, tae noa ki tēnei wā. Ka ea te wāhi mā rātou. Ka hoki mai ki a tātou ngā maramara o rātou, ā, tihewā mauri ora.

  • [An interpretation in English was given to the House.]

[Greetings to you, Madam Assistant Speaker, and to us, this House. Greetings turn now to the Te Arawa canoe and the people of Te Arawa: greetings to you collectively. Salutations to you who have arrived here in this House, you as well who have remained back home, as well as those of you listening in and watching. Acknowledgments also to those responsible for this proposal, Te Pūmautanga. It is fitting as well to acknowledge the ones amongst you who have passed away, from the time this proposal was first placed before the tribunal and the Crown, to the present time. The part for them has been fulfilled. We come back to us, their splinters, and behold the sneeze of life.]

Like the member from Rotorua, I too have to declare not so much a conflict of interest, as a vested interest. Although I am from the north I know our Te Arawa relatives will know that there is a connection. While I will not be a direct beneficiary of this bill, I think it is important that I acknowledge that link. Na reira aku whanaunga karanga maha, tēnā koutou.

[So to my relatives of many callings, greetings to you collectively.]

If the Rotorua lakes settlement legislation was the first course, then this bill is certainly the second. Tomorrow we will receive the dessert, with the third course to be signed. It is important that I should articulate the names of the iwi and hapū that this settlement concerns. Although this has already been done, I thought there may have been an oversight on the part of the speaker who mentioned the particular tribes. So I will now articulate the names of those hapū and iwi: Ngāti Ngāraranui, including Ngāti Tamahika and Ngāti Tūteaiti, Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuarā, Ngāti Tura - Ngāti Te Ngākau, Ngāti Te Roro o Te Rangi, Ngāti Tūteniu, Ngāti Uenukukōpako, Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao, Ngati Tahu - Ngāti Whāoa, and Ngāti Pikiao. I say Ngāti Pikiao excluding Ngāti Mākino. I do so because that is what is actually written in the bill. Also included are Ngāti Rongomai and Ngāti Tarāwhai.

As I read the bill I see that all this covers 75 different claims. It also signals what I regard as being a very important and special issue—something that will give a lot of satisfaction to those who argue the case for hapū, as I do. Given that in many cases it was representatives of hapū who signed the Treaty, I am of the view that it is only proper that settlements are made with hapū, as well. This bill reflects the revised deed of settlement between Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa, representing the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū, and the Crown. It has been said that this result will lay the foundation for settlements throughout the region. Of course, this has yet to be proven. The affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū has a membership of approximately 24,000, and it asserts interest in an area of over 500,000 hectares, a large portion of which is licensed Crown forest land.

Like many other iwi negotiators in this area of Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa have had to exercise determination, patience, and flexibility. The deed of settlement, which has already been articulated by previous speakers, includes a formal apology from the Crown to the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū for historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi; an amended financial redress package to reflect the participation of Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa in the Central North Island Collective; the transfer of 19 areas of Crown-owned land of special significance to the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapū; redress that will enable increased input into management over Crown-owned land; and protocols with certain Government agencies.

The revised settlement no longer includes redress over forestry assets. Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa have agreed that their historical claims to the central North Island forests will be settled in any future Central North Island Collective settlement. Such settlements, I understand, will be signed this week, and the subsequent bill will be introduced soon thereafter. I am pleased that this agreement to delay their claim to these forests has been recognised by way of enhancement to their claim in that particular matter.

As I mentioned, arriving at this stage has needed patience, determination, and some flexibility. The process has not been without some angst between some of the claimants. It can be said that much of this has been brought on by the dual process available to claimants. I refer to the tribunal hearing and direct negotiation with the Crown. Given the time that these claims have taken to get to a settlement, the dual process was perhaps seen as a way to reduce the time from when the claims were lodged, and the actual settlement.

Of course, one could argue that this process has been brought on by the haste to complete the Treaty claims by 2010. However, I understand that the tribunal process, by being run in parallel with direct negotiations, actually split some hapū into two groups. Separate research units that were set up were very soon at odds with each other, for a number of reasons. The claim was lodged and allocated a Wai number when the tribunal announced it would start the inquiry. Approaches were made to go into direct negotiations at the same time. When a mandate was canvassed, a rival group obtained the mandate to negotiate the settlement immediately, thereby triggering the long-running dispute that probably contributed in no small measure to the time it has taken for the bill to get to this stage.

The fact that we are now seeing the introduction of this bill into the House today certainly suggests to me that most of the conflict has been sorted out. However, should any conflict still remain, the select committee process is an opportunity to deal with it so that the settlement is not compromised. I am therefore suggesting that some changes may have to be made to ensure that any matter caused by the process that has a claimant group feeling disadvantaged does not leave that claimant group feeling as such. We in New Zealand First would not want to see any substantial conflict remain with what we regard as a very important bill to Te Arawa iwi and hapū, and, indeed, to New Zealand. To this end I invite any individual or group affected by this settlement to participate in the process in order that the select committee can also give regard to their concerns.

New Zealand First supports the bill being referred to a select committee and looks forward to giving further consideration to it, which will allow interested parties to present any concerns they may hold. This bill will, when legislated, assist in allowing affiliate iwi and hapū of Te Arawa to move from grievance, to focus on economic and social development.

Before I sit down I take the opportunity to acknowledge the chief negotiator, Rāwiri Te Whare, for the good work that he has done, and that has been acknowledged by the Minister. I also acknowledge the chairman of the Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa, Eru George, who, under trying conditions, has had to steer the group to be able to reach this stage. Just as important, I acknowledge the former chairman of Te Arawa Māori Trust Board, Ānaru Rangiheuea. His efforts in guiding that particular board on behalf of his people have been recognised by his recent award of a Queen’s honour. Here we have a gentleman who, as a consequence of the change in processes of settling claims, has continued, after the termination of the Te Arawa Māori Trust Board, to maintain an interest and to serve his people in a manner that can be expected only of one born into leadership.

Nā reira e te rangatira, horekau e mōhio mehemea kei konei koe i te rā nei engari, ka mihi hoki ki a koe. Nāu nei i ārahi te iwi o Te Arawa tae atu ki te wā i hangangia Te Pūmautanga. Tua atu i tēnā, e Eru, kei a koe te rākau i āianei nā.

[So to you, the chief, I am not sure whether you are here today, but I acknowledge you and the part that you played in leading the people of Te Arawa up to the creation of Te Pūmautanga. Further to that, I acknowledge you, Eru. You have that leading role now.]

Nō reira, I just reiterate that New Zealand First will certainly be supporting the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill going to the select committee and through all its stages. Kia ora anō tātou.

SUE BRADFORD (Green) :Te manuhiri tūārangi, ngā kaumātua, ngā rangatira o Te Arawa kua tae tautoko mai i tēnei ahiahi, nau mai, haere mai, whakatau mai.

[To the visitors from afar, the elderly, the chiefs who have arrived here in support this afternoon, welcome, welcome, draw near.]

I will make only a short speech this afternoon on behalf of my Green Party colleague Metiria Turei. The Green Party will be supporting this first reading of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill. We will be following the progress of this bill closely through the select committee process, especially the submissions received, to understand better the mandate the Government has secured for this settlement and for the concerns of the cross-claimants. The return of the 24 cultural redress properties, amongst other key elements in this settlement package, has been a very long time in coming, and the Greens are pleased to see this bill finally before the House.

We warmly welcome the iwi and hapū of Te Arawa and their bill to Parliament. We want first to recognise the incredibly hard work by the iwi, and the negotiators on their behalf, who have been working through the Government’s negotiation process. It is, and has been, a difficult, costly, time-consuming, and often agonising process.

As the House may already know, the Greens have a continued and sustained objection to the Government’s Treaty claims settlement process. We believe that it is fundamentally unfair to the claimants. The redress offered by the Government amounts to only a tiny fraction of the value of land taken from Māori by insatiable European settlers or a Crown all too ready to side with them. The conditions that iwi must agree to, in order to gain redress for the wrongs committed in the name of this Parliament, are, in our opinion, simply unconscionable. Our criticism of this settlement bill has been, and will continue to be, squarely directed at the Government’s settlement framework and the small amounts the Government has set aside for possible redress.

However, having said that, I say that this is also a moment full of hope, not only for the people of Te Arawa but for all of us. After all, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We are all responsible to ensure that justice prevails in these lands and, when it does, we can all share in the prosperity of living in a truly just society. I hope that this settlement works out in a way that is beneficial for all iwi members. Ehara taku toa, i te toa takitahi engāri, he toa takitini. Kia ora koutou.

[Our strength is not as individuals, but is as a collective effort. Greetings to all.]

TE URUROA FLAVELL (Māori Party—Waiariki) :Kei taku ariki, e Tumu, tēnā koe. Kei ngā iwi o te kāinga kua tau mai ki te Whare Pāremata i te rangi nei, tēnā koutou katoa. Kei te mōhio tonu tātou mō te parekura ō-mate kua tau mai ki runga i a tātou i ngā wiki tata kua hipa, hoi anā, ko tā tātou ko te tangi, ko te tuku i te roimata me te hūpē kia heke, hei tohu i te mamae o te ngākau. Nō nātatanei ko tērā o tātou o Tūhourangi, ko Sonny Sewell. I mua i a ia, ko Hāmihuna, ko Rīpārata, ko Leah, ko Sharon, ko Ani, ko Mihipeka mā, ā, kāti. Waiho rātou kia moe. Anei tātou kei te Whare o ngā Raiona i kōrerohia mai e rātou mā. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, kia ora tātou.

  • [An interpretation in English was given to the House.]

[Greetings to you, my paramount chief, and greetings to you, all the people from home who have arrived here today in Parliament House. We are mindful of the calamity of death that has descended upon us in weeks just past, and so ours is to mourn, shed tears, and release the mucus as a symbol of the pain within. Just recently, there was that one of ours of Tūhourangi, Sonny Sewell; prior to him, Hāmihuna, Rīpatara, Leah, Sharon, Ani, Mihipeka, and the rest; enough, leave them there to rest. As for us, we are here in the “House of the Lions”, as they refer to it. So greetings to you collectively, and to us.]

Let me acknowledge all of those who have travelled here today. As the translator said, the settlement has been a long road. I want to reflect on the many Te Arawa kōeke who have passed on without seeing the end results of the mahi. I speak of Bishop Manuhuia Bennett, Archbishop Whakahuihui Vercoe, Pinda Pirika, my own Sam Hāhunga, Bonita Mōrehu, and many others. We think of those who have passed the battle on to another generation, simply because settling grievances is a tiring and stressful business. I think of all of them this afternoon. I pay tribute to the actions of the new Treaty negotiations Minister, Dr Cullen, in driving a wider settlement of central North Island forest claims. There have been significant changes in the process over the past 18 months, and we recognise the impact Dr Cullen has made in that time.

The number of settlements coming quickly to the table is of course of interest to the Māori Party. I ask myself what has happened to up the tempo and make settlements a reality, when over the last 12 months claimant groups in the Waiariki region were bogged down in tribunal hearings, and in fact were heading to court. This settlement itself was halted, because the Crown was taken all the way to the High Court—all to do with the settlement that we will be debating tomorrow. I ask why we could not have had intervention earlier, when tribunal report after tribunal report said there were issues with the process. Things could have been far and away easier.

I acknowledge also the part that may have been played by the negotiators on behalf of the Crown, in possibly facilitating some of the discussions more recently, because, inevitably, that would have had an impact on the outcomes today. I also acknowledge all of those involved in bringing this settlement to the House i tēnei rangi ngā mea, ngā ringaringa, ngā waewae o tēnei kaupapa. [today, the things, the arms and legs of this scheme.] Tēnā koutou katoa.

I want to place on record some kōrero about this settlement from someone who was there, and who was involved in some of the phases of the development through to this day. I will draw on an analogy. On 15 October 2007 the Tūhoe tribal nation was invaded by the police force, and although things have settled down and the court cases are still to happen—and Tame Iti is able to go about his acting career—if people have been to Rūātoki they will know that one is constantly reminded about the consequences of police actions on that day. It seems, however, that no one has really taken any interest in the people, and in how they are, or are not, coping. Similarly, although it is not openly discussed, the process used to get to this point in this settlement has had significant impact on individuals, whānau, hapū, and iwi, and my hope is that this is recognised today. For when people are driven by time lines and political conditions, whakapapa relationships can be left to the side. Kinship ties of hundreds of years can be forgotten, all because of the dangling dollar. These are the issues that will be spoken about on our marae for years to come, when maybe many of us are gone. So a comprehensive settlement that could have had all of the Te Arawa confederation settling together and therefore utilising our collective strength, as stated in our kōrero Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru o Te Arawa, did not quite happen. We see about half of Te Arawa here today and, thankfully, again Dr Cullen has heard the issues and has taken appropriate steps to look after the interests of those who have been left to the side.

I believe that if a process is not set in place properly from the very beginning, things are doomed to fail or be punctuated with problems along the way. It is my experience that this is what has happened, and Dr Cullen alluded to some of that, as did other speakers. How do I know? I have been there, I have felt it, I have seen it, and I have learnt from it. There have been four Waitangi Tribunal reports: in 2004 and 2005, a mandate, and two particularly damning statements in 2007. In June 2007 the tribunal report expressed concern for Te Arawa as a whole, and found “serious flaws in the way the Crown consulted with non-settling Te Arawa groups.” The report itemised the gross dissatisfaction of a number of iwi, concluding that the tribunal was left “fearing for the customary future of the Te Arawa waka.”

Just 2 months later, in August 2007, the tribunal added more parties to the list of those aggrieved, criticising the Crown’s failure to communicate proposals to affected parties such as the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, the New Zealand Māori Council, and the Federation of Māori Authorities. In fact, the tribunal could not endorse the Te Arawa settlement in its form at the time, as it held grave concerns regarding potential negative impacts of the settlement on overlapping iwi and the durability of future central North Island settlements.

The August report detailed further Crown failures to protect the customary interests of various tribes, condemning a “dearth of direct engagement” with the overlapping claimants. The tribunal laid it all out for us to see—that aspects of the deed of settlement and the Crown’s process are inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, that the experience with the Te Arawa settlement process was likely to have a negative impact on the durability of future central North Island settlements, that the tribunal had grave concerns regarding the adverse impact on overlapping iwi, that with the Crown picking favourites there was high risk of significant prejudice being experienced by central North Island iwi outside of Ngā Kaihautū o Te Arawa, and that the Crown was making decisions in isolation based on inadequate information. As a consequence, the tribunal urged the Government to delay the proposed settlement, recognising that failure to achieve reconciliation amongst iwi could create enormous conflicts within and between iwi.

That, I think, has been one of the singular most tragic outcomes of this whole process. Not only has the process exacerbated tensions between the Office of Treaty Settlements and iwi, but it has also pitted iwi against iwi. Against this backdrop of disengagement and division, it is actually quite remarkable that we are even here today.

I have a deeply personal interest in this legislation by virtue of whakapapa through Ngāti Rangiwewehi. No, we are not a signatory to this settlement, but I will tell some of the story—the story of Rangiwewehi—to give substance to the grief that some have experienced in getting to this point. In June 2004 I appeared before the Waitangi Tribunal to speak to the Te Arawa taumata claim. My submission outlined how distressed the tribal nation of Ngāti Rangiwewehi was by the way in which Crown agencies and the former Kaihautū Executive Council had misrepresented our interests.

In essence, our aspirations in looking to resolve a Treaty settlement were that we would participate in an open and honest process, free of manipulation. Unfortunately, that was not our experience. I have seen the outcomes of advertised hui of Te Arawa declared invalid by the Crown, even when the hui were advertised by an accepted facilitator. I have seen hui called on consecutive days—one by the elected governance group and one by the management group—that told me that there were communication problems. I know of physical confrontation on marae over issues of mandate that went on to court and was finally settled by a vote of around 400 to 500 people that was won by a dozen votes. I know of Ngāti Whāoa’s case in being tied to Ngāti Tahu when there have been three Waitangi Tribunal reports telling the Crown to call a hui to sort out the issue of mandate once and for all. I know of people who have been allowed to vote more than once at mandating hui, while other individuals have not been made aware of or allowed that privilege. Ngāti Rangiwewehi ourselves were excluded from the mandating process until after the executive council was elected, and we have been offended at times by the way in which a number of our submissions appear to have been given less weight than the mandate from the iwi.

Over months and years the relationships have deteriorated, as demonstrated by key presenters walking out of hui and subsequent ambiguity being recorded relating to resolutions passed in hui where the full story was never heard. Yet, despite that, officials recorded that “The [mandating] process undertaken was fair, open and transparent.”, and that “The Executive Council has demonstrated strong support from the iwi and hapu of Te Arawa”.

There is a huge gap between fact and fiction, and the Crown has been complicit in it. This was not the experience of Ngāti Rangiwewehi in isolation—other tribes have shared it, also. But that was but a small part of the history that we have come past. With this bill we can put it behind us and start to build relationships that, at this point in time, need to be rekindled. Whakapapa should never be compromised. This first reading, I hope, signals not just a new era in respect of the economic and social development of those who will benefit from the settlement of this bill but, more so, a determination from all of us—including me—to link us to each other once again, kia taea ai te kī, Te Arawa upoko takitahi.

[so that we can say, Te Arawa of a single head.]

The Māori Party will support this bill at the first reading, and hope the progress remains positive.

JUDY TURNER (Deputy Leader—United Future) : I rise on behalf of United Future to speak in support of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill, which records acknowledgments and an apology, and gives effect to the deed of settlement. This is an affiliate whose area of interest covers 500,000 hectares and a population of approximately 24,000 people—11 iwi and hapū groups from the Rotorua and Kaingaroa areas. This bill highlights acts of omission and commission, and acknowledges those things in writing. It progresses historical claims through to a place where today some finality can begin.

The affiliate chose to forgo the right to have claims heard by the Waitangi Tribunal and instead favoured entering into direct negotiations with the Crown, based on a willingness to settle the historic claims of the affiliate in the most effective and efficient manner possible. In April 2004 the Crown recognised the mandate of the Executive Council to negotiate a settlement, and the process continued through to the signing of the agreement in principle, and then through to a stage where, of those who are entitled to vote and chose to, 97 percent voted in favour of accepting the deed of settlement.

This bill contains a lot. It contains a series of acknowledgments by the Crown of areas in which it has failed these people. It acknowledges the taking of land, it acknowledges the generosity of Te Arawa in gifting land for the good of the nation, and it also acknowledges the loyalty of this people to the Crown in many ways historically. It sets out a formal apology, and then proceeds with the vesting of lands. I was very interested to note that it also establishes by agreement a relationship between the affiliate and the Ministry for the Environment to allow discussions of the performance of local government in the affiliate’s area of interest regarding the Treaty and the provisions of the Resource Management Act. United Future welcomes that particular provision, because we understand that Te Arawa value the land beyond the realm of the commercial. We welcome the longevity of resource management that that provides for that area.

United Future has a policy of supporting all settlements that are the result of robust negotiations between Māori and the Crown. The hard work that has been done means that it is the role of this House to come in behind the outcomes of that process. United Future does not enjoy representation on the select committee that will be processing this bill, but we look forward to receiving assurances that this written word accurately reflects the intention of Te Arawa. We congratulate those gathered today who are chaperoning this bill over the legislative line, and we also congratulate and acknowledge those who have championed the negotiations but never got to see this important step. We are happy to support this reading.

CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (National) : As my colleague Mrs te Heuheu has said, National will support the first reading of the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill. She, Mr Henare, and I very much look forward to working on it in the Māori Affairs Committee, of which the three of us are members. I also endorse everything that Mrs te Heuheu has so eloquently said about the value of Treaty settlements. For over 10 years she was a distinguished member of the tribunal, and was an Associate Minister to Sir Douglas Graham. She instinctively understands these matters and I can do no better than endorse what she said about the importance of Treaty settlements.

The Te Arawa affiliate is a collective of 11 iwi and hapū groups from the Rotorua and Kaingaroa areas. Their area of interest covers over 500,000 hectares, and they have a population of around 24,000. This settlement settles all the historical claims of the affiliate. As the Minister observed in his speech, the bill contains Crown acknowledgments relating to the Crown’s failure to protect the interests and needs of the affiliate and the taking of lands for public works, and emphasises the loyalty to the Crown of the affiliate. It sets out the formal apology that the Crown has offered. It vests 24 cultural areas in the trustees of the affiliate; it transfers Crown forest land with a value of $4 million, and associated Crown forestry rentals; and it provides Crown recognition of the significance of various sites and of the association the affiliate has with certain sites. Finally, it gives effect to the deed of settlement that was signed a few days ago.

It is very interesting that when reading schedule 2 of the bill, both Parts 1 and 2, one observes just how long the people of Te Arawa have had to pursue their claims—since Sir Geoffrey Palmer’s Government expanded the jurisdiction of the tribunal in 1984. Part 1 deals with “Claims to Waitangi Tribunal that relate exclusively to Affiliate (or representative entity)”, and one can see that claims start with Wai 57—the Ngāti Tahu lands claim—and go all the way through to Wai 1252 just a few years ago. By my reckoning Wai 57 must have started in the very early years of the historical settlements process, around 1985. Part 2 deals with “Claims to Waitangi Tribunal that relate to Affiliate (or representative entity)” and, unbelievably, the first one mentioned is Wai 7, which deals with the Te Ariki lands claim. In the course of his speech, Mr Henare said that Te Arawa have been waiting since Māui was a little boy. Just before he left the Chamber he challenged me to come up with a more colourful expression, but I have to confess that I surrender—I cannot. He hit the nail on the head.

The legislation has been introduced very soon after the signing of the deed. As I said earlier, clause 3 records that the deed was signed on 11 June, and I hope all interested parties have had an adequate opportunity to digest all the detail of the agreement. As the explanatory note of the bill states, an initial deed of settlement was signed on 8 August 2006. A number of other iwi and hapū raised concerns about the proposed settlement. The Waitangi Tribunal intervened urgently, and then released a number of reports that were very critical of the Crown’s behaviour during the negotiating process. I record and I praise the steps taken by Te Arawa to allow the concerns of other iwi and hapū to be heard and to allow other negotiations to proceed. The affiliate generously agreed to delay the introduction of legislation giving effect to the 2006 deed of settlement. During the course of negotiations between the Crown and the various iwi and hapū interests in the central North Island Crown forests lands, the affiliate agreed to participate in those negotiations and to amend the 2006 deed of settlement so that its interests would be addressed through the central North Island iwi settlement deed. I think that is wonderful statesmanship, and I join with other members in applauding its actions.

The explanatory note of the bill does not refer to some of the criticisms of the tribunal. Of course, this is a day for rejoicing and a day for multi-partisanship; it is not a day for tendentious criticism, but I briefly mention some of those criticisms that the Crown had usurped the rangatiratanga of iwi and hapū and had failed to act fairly and impartially towards all the claimants. They were very critical reports, and that it why it is so good that we have moved beyond that kind of criticism to this positive day today.

The legislation being introduced this week will, if passed this year, triple the number of Treaty settlements that Labour has taken from start to finish in 9 years. The present record is that, to date, it has taken just one settlement from start to finish.

Let me emphasise that I congratulate Te Arawa on the faith they have shown in the process and on being prepared to work things through with other iwi for the benefit of everyone. I am pleased for them that this matter is now to proceed, and I can assure them that the members of the select committee will take a good look at the bill and try to progress the parliamentary stages of this matter as quickly as possible. There are, as Mrs te Heuheu said, a number of matters that will require careful scrutiny, and I can assure the affiliate that the members of the committee will do just that. They will look at issues, for example, relating to public access to land and other issues that other members have raised. Let me end this part of my speech by congratulating Te Arawa once again on the great leadership shown by real gentlemen, as Mr Paraone described the negotiators. I really enjoyed my meetings with them and look forward to working with them in the future.

This is certainly one area of politics that should be bipartisan, or, in these days of MMP—and I see Mr Paraone just about ready to scold me—multi-partisan. If possible, there should be no place for party politics in the resolution of historical grievances. It is the responsibility of all parties to cooperate to progress these matters.

Hon Parekura Horomia: You’ve changed your tune.

CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON: That sounds a bit like the Prime Minister, who said that she was waiting for the National Party to agree to any Treaty settlement, but the member well knows that that is wrong. He knows that we have voted against one or two because of our concerns about durability. We have been enthusiastic supporters, because we initiated this process and we strongly believe in it. I have respect for that member, and I would advise him not to make those kinds of misrepresentations. I fully endorse what Sir Douglas Graham brilliantly expressed during the third reading debate of the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Bill, when he said: “For answering a cry for justice must be above politics. If we are to ensure a just, peaceful, and prosperous future for those to follow, we must continue as we have begun.”, and I say amen to that. In that spirit, I too want to congratulate the Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations on his achievement here today and, in doing so, show him the generosity of spirit he has never shown anyone else during the course of his parliamentary career. At least I can say he has done a good job here. He has not bungled the settlement or got in the way of iwi as they have negotiated this settlement.

I conclude by saying I am very pleased that this matter is being referred to the Māori Affairs Committee, of which I am a member. I look forward to working on the bill with my hard-working colleagues on that committee. We will do our level best to get it through all parliamentary stages as quickly as possible.

Hon PAREKURA HOROMIA (Minister of Māori Affairs) :I a koutou o Te Arawa whānui e mihi kau ana. Tēnā koutou mō te kaha ki te tae ake ki konei ki te Whare Miēre, i te mau hoki ake anō te take nui nei, me ngā āhua katoa i roto i a koutou. E tino mihi hoki. Āe, e tika i waihotia ake anō wētahi i waho rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou. E mōhio ake anō tātou te roaroa hoki a te take nei.

E tangi hoki te ngākau mō ngā rere haere pērā i te matua a Sonny, tētahi o ngā hōia toa o te rōpū rā e mōhio ake anō tātou e whai atu i tērā wāhi hei tū kaha pēnei tonu mō tātou katoa. Nō reira, i a koutou katoa mō ngā rere haere katoa ngā mate e tuku ake anō, e tangi hoki te ngākau. Nō reirā, tēnā tātou.

  • [An interpretation in English was given to the House.]

[To you of Te Arawa at large, I acknowledge you. You are to be complimented on your efforts in respect of getting here to the Beehive, bringing this important matter here and all your thoughts about it. What a wonderful effort! Yes, it is correct that some were left out of it. However, that aside, congratulations. We know that the process has been a very long one.

The heart grieves for ones like Sonny, who has since passed away, a stalwart of the group, and his efforts for all concerned. So to all of the departed, I mourn your loss. Greetings to us as well . ]

I stand today to support the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill. I recognise the effort made by those people from the affiliate who are present here today. I recognise their tenacity, their perseverance, and their effort in getting here to express what they have been through. The journey has not necessarily been smooth; rather, it has been rocky over generations. I mihi to Rāwiri Te Whare, the negotiator, for the fashion of his practice in relation to those issues that were relevant to the bill being here today. I also mention Eru George and his trustees, and everybody else.

I a koutou o Whakauē, e pīhopa e mihi kau ana. E nui ake anō ngā whakaaro i roto i a au mō wētahi e kore i konei, e mau kaha mō te take nei.

[To you of Whakauē, a real tribute to the bishops. There are others, too, who have since died, whose contribution to this matter has been enormous.]

It is in my mind that I sat with a whole lot of people who were on this journey and who are not here today—who have passed on. They were great people, and this settlement could not have been reached without them. It is those people whom I want to remember today, and some others I will leave out. I can recall sitting down and talking about this settlement with Kapiti Wikiriwhi and Pātariki Rei—gentlemen of their own time. That has been espoused in the way that the people have dealt with the Crown and have managed the settlement, and we need to respect and recognise that—even though they may be from other hapū, te koroua rā te pīhopa, a rātau mā, the bishops, who have at times agreed and at other times have disagreed.

It is important that we show unity today, and that we are not sanctimonious and trying to prove what could have been, what should have been, and what has not been, because it has been done, under the fine stewardship of Dr Michael Cullen. And for that I recommend him to Te Arawa iwi, who have had to deal with him and his two colleagues Mita Ririnui and Shane Jones. I also remember the effort that Margaret Wilson put in during our first session on the marae—and Mark Burton, for that matter. They have been effortless in the sense of supporting this settlement.

The speakers today, from across the parties, have supported the settlement. We can pontificate at length about what should have happened and what could have happened, but this settlement is about to happen. Today is a historic day in this fine House. It is a day of coming together. The raupatu and the dastardly deeds that were done are etched in the waters of the lakes that Te Arawa iwi manage and control, and the business assets that they have looked after. They do not need the Government to help them, to tell them how to run them. I for one understand that there will be fine stewardship in managing this settlement.

I commend Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa for the way that, when things were getting āhua up and down, they stepped back. They stepped back so that others could come forward, then they stepped forward again, then they stepped back again. That is real rangatiratanga, even as there is disagreement. I want to say to one of my colleagues in this House that indifference is an unnatural thing, and Māoris at times tend to set to arguing with each other. It is no different from what I dared mention that has happened in the Churches over successive generations. What is new, though, is that Te Arawa iwi have had the courage to step forward on behalf of all the future generations to agree that now is the time to settle and the time to move on. We do have a great future.

The redress package has been cited and stated, and I will not go over it. But I want to think of some people. I want to think of Auntie Bubbles. Another member mentioned all the blokes, but I want to mention Auntie Bubbles and all the other great women. I want to mention Maria Tiini, and other people whom I shared time with during this journey. It is really important that Te Arawa iwi go forward with this settlement. It is important that, with the opportunities that are available, it is managed well. Over time, Te Arawa iwi will have the opportunity not only of managing their own forest but also, as major producers, of moving into higher-value areas of the timber industry. This settlement will represent an enormous step forward for the Te Arawa people. They will move from earning wages as workers for the big forestry companies to becoming industry leaders in their own right. We will not continue to have just a generation of manual labourers—although there is nothing wrong with hard work, whether it is pruning, thinning, or whatever else.

This settlement is a serious challenge to all of us. It is a commitment that the Government has made, under Dr Cullen’s leadership, to get on with the business. In this regard, Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa has shown considerable flexibility to accommodate the needs of those Te Arawa iwi and hapū who are not party to this settlement. That includes arrangements with Ngāti Mākino in relation to the Matawhaura and Ōtari Pā sites. I refer to the agreement that an undivided half share of the Te Ariki site be held by the Crown in trust for other iwi with an interest in it, and the agreement with Ngāti Whakaue in relation to the Whakarewarewa family reserves. It takes a lot of leadership and courage to come to that sort of agreement. It is time that we recognise that.

The thing that I have relished in watching this journey go forward is that our rangatira Michael Cullen has met and talked with the iwi’s rangatira, and that is how business should be done. It should not be done as it was in the past, me ngā mea tamaiti hoki te tae atu hei kōrero ki ngā mea pakeke.

[with the young ones also being able to talk to ones older than them.]

The unique lakes and geothermal sites of the Rotorua district are of huge significance to Te Arawa iwi. That is reflected in the cultural redress sites mentioned in the Affiliate Te Arawa Iwi and Hapu Claims Settlement Bill. These sites include land adjacent to lakes, lake beds, and land containing iconic geothermal sites. The cultural redress sites in this bill amount to over 670 hectares. The transfer of these sites recognises the cultural and historical ties of the affiliate Te Arawa iwi to the whenua of that area.

I commend again those of Te Arawa who have come here today. I thank all my colleagues for the effort they put in—our team and the other parliamentarians who have supported the bill generally. I am really pleased that a member of the National Party has said that the bill will be passed quickly, because it is business that can be done quickly if we all agree across the House. I come from a great area called Tai Rāwhiti. We write songs and we are very good at it. We are not as good at te hakahaka haere o ngā tamariki. [the children carrying on] I know that Dr Sharples and others think they are better! But we are good at writing songs.E mihi kau ana tēnei uri o te wāhi i tuku ake anō te waiata o “Paikea” i a koutou, e whai kaha mō tō koutou waiata. Tēnā tātou.

[This relative from the place that gave you the song “Paikea” acknowledges that. Greetings to us.]

Hon SHANE JONES (Associate Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations) :Ā, e te Whare tēnā tātou katoa. Hei tīmata, e ōku mātua, e ōku whāea mai i tērā waka rangatira o tātou a Te Arawa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Me pēnei e hara mā ngā kōrero. Te tuatahi, ko Houmaitawhiti kātahi ka puta ko Tamatekapua rāua ko Whakatūria, haere atu ki te kimi i te mōkai, Pōtakatawhiti. Kitea rawa atu kua pau i te tupuna o Ngāpūhi, a Uenuku. Arumia, kātahi ka kāhakina ngā poroporo tapu mai i te rākau. Ka mau, ka haria ka whakatūria ki roto i te Whare, ka whakapaoaangia ai. Otirā, tō tupuna a Tamatekapua ihumanea, ka puta, kātahi ka huri, e kore te riri e mariri. Ka hangaia he waka, he waka rangatira, he waka kei ngā hau e whā o te ao Māori e kōrerotia tonutia ana.

Te ingoa ko Te Arawa. Kātahi ka tope te rākau ki Tawhitinui, ka haria ki te wai ki Hauhou. Kātahi ka whakaterengia, ka oti i a Rata, i a Wahieroa, i a Ngahue, i a Te Pārata. Tēnei waka ka oti i a koutou i tēnei rangi, tōna pai, tōna rite, tōna hōhonu pēnei me te waka i mauria mai ai ō koutou tūpuna ki Aotearoa. Koia tēnā te tauira hei kōrerotanga mā tātou i tēnei rangi. Ko tā tātou i tēnei rā, he whakatū i ngā nawe mai o te ao kōhatu. Atu i te whakatūtanga, he whakaterenga, he whakarewanga o te waka hei hari i ngā moemoeā, i ngā wawata o te iti me te rahi ki te whitinga o te rā. Nā reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou, kia ora tātou katoa.

  • [An interpretation in English was given to the House.]

[Greetings to us all, the House. To begin, greetings to my elders, men and womenfolk, of that chiefly canoe of ours, Te Arawa, greetings, greetings, and greetings to us all. The story goes like this, you know. First, there was Houmaitawhiti, who begat Tamatekapua and Whakatūria, who went in search of the pet dog Pōtakatawhiti. Eventually they discovered that Uenuku, the ancestor of Ngāpūhi, had eaten it all up. They followed that up by stealing the sacred poroporo fruit from the tree, but were captured, trussed up in the meeting house over a smoking fire. Yes, your crafty ancestor Tamatekapua escaped, and, to defuse the situation, set about to build a canoe, a chiefly one at that, and the envy of the day. It continues to be talked about throughout Māoridom, even to the present day.

The name of the canoe was, of course, Te Arawa. The tree was felled at Tawhitinui and taken to the sea at Hauhou. It was set afloat, and Rata, Wahieroa, Ngahue, and Te Pārata finished it off. The quality and depth of this craft that you will end up with will be similar to the one that brought your ancestors to Aotearoa. That, then, is the model for us to talk about today. Ours is also to settle past grievances, create the craft, set it afloat, and launch it to take the dreams and aspirations of the minority and majority in the direction where the sun rises .]

I have greeted the leaders of the Arawa people. I have recounted—admittedly, with a slight Ngāpuhi flavour to it—the history recounted to me by my own grandmother, and corrected occasionally by my former bishop, Manuhuia Bennett. The Arawa canoe, which was made from a fantastic tree, came from Hawaiki after a dispute involving him whom we Māori call te ihumanea—the crafty, skilful one—Tamatekapua, to save his brother. The children of Houmaitawhiti realised that salvation for them lay in committing to a voyage across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, away from Te Korokoro o Te Pārata, to arrive in Aotearoa. Really, the vision and the promise that we celebrate today are not unlike the journey that Te Arawa’s own ancestors took to arrive at te whenua hou, Aotearoa.

This is a day for celebrating the passage of history so that we feel that we have dealt with honour with the debts of history. We can look with confidence, pride, and belief into the future that will be acted out and eventually embodied by not only young Māori but all future New Zealanders. That is why we come here today, saluting the Arawa leadership, and saluting Dr Cullen, who shows that there is no alternative to a career that spans from 1981 up to this day. The fact is he has been able to cobble together competing agendas and bruised personalities; agendas that, quite frankly, ought to be sorted out on the marae, I say to Mr Flavell, and not in this House. This day is not about acre, rood, and perch; this day is about New Zealanders backing an attempt to put our history on a level playing field, so that we can all go forward and capture equity, opportunity, and fairness. That is why I stand to support the Arawa today.

The leadership has already been named, but I single out Mr Rāwiri Te Whare. I sat in Dr Cullen’s office for some of the meetings, and as my old tupuna from Ninety Mile Beach would have said, Rāwiri Te Whare, ko tō tuarā, ehara i te ngorengore, kāhore. Otirā, he mārōrō. Kua pau katoa i a wai rānei te kārawarawa e tū tonu ana koe: the backbone of that man, Rāwiri Te Whare, is not made of sap; it is made of something very durable, because it has been scratched, poked, and prodded, and, much to the amazement of his own people, he is still standing! I say to Rāwiri Te Whare that this is a day for him, his iwi, his whānau, and his supporters including Eru George, including my fellow Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commissioner Ānaru Rangiheuea, Te Pōroa Malcolm, Pīhopa Kīngi—koutou katoa. It is a day to go home and celebrate that the prestige of the Arawa people still looms strong and they will be the dominant force in their own tūrangawaewae, the Bay of Plenty. Kia ora tātou katoa.

  • Bill read a first time.
  • Bill referred to the Māori Affairs Committee.
  • Waiata; haka .