Remaining ClaimsKawerongo 2023
Tuuria te moana nui
Tuuria te moana roa
Tuuria te moana kerekere
Tuuria te moana irokia
A Snapshot of 2023
As we near the end of the year, we provide you with a snapshot of some of the key initiatives that have been traversed in progressing negotiations for the Waikato-Tainui remaining claims. Moving forward we seek to ensure that mana moana, mana motuhake and mana whakahaere underpin settlement negotiations and form the basis of what will be negotiated moving forward.
Special Factors Presentation
Earlier in the year, Rahui Papa and the Waikato-Tainui Negotiations Team travelled to Wellington to present to the former Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, the Hon Andrew Little on our special factors for the remaining claims.
In relation to Kaawhia specifically, the presentation reiterated the uniqueness of Kaawhia Moana to all Tainui iwi, being the resting place of the Tainui Waka, a marker of tribal identity and a place of significance for Kiingitanga.
The Raupatu or “opening up” of Kaawhia Moana is a special factor that was referenced as a reminder to the Crown of how mana motuhake over the moana – Kaawhia Moana was usurped against the wishes of the people and in opposition to the words of Taawhiao who objected to the institution of Crown authority over Kaawhia – the whenua and moana. It is our view that such action was an act of raupatu and was a clear breach of te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Raupatu whenua and raupatu moana at the hands of Crown militia saw a livelihood of traditional practices taken away – a way of life that was centralised around the moana. A unique factor of this settlement draws on the social and cultural impacts of raupatu on our people.
Other special factors we are urging the Crown to recognise include the undermining of te mauri o te moana, the nature of land loss post-raupatu (across Waikato as a whole), the impacts of climate change and environmental issues generally.
The consideration of special factors in negotiations is something that the Crown takes into account when looking at financial redress and a quantum figure for settlement.
During May – October of this year we set out on a round of engagement hui across the motu to update our Taura Here groups on what the remaining claims are and a background to the settlement negotiations process.
The different pou of the Takarangi Framework were explained – Taiao, Whai Rawa, Hapori, and Kaupapa around which redress is being developed and negotiated. Progress was shared on the historical account (to be included in settlement legislaiton) and special factors for settlement.
Through this series of engagement hui, we were able to connect and engage with around 200 tribal members from Whangarei in the North, to Dunedin in the South. This provided an opportunity for our tribal members to be informed and give feedback on what has been developed so far.
We look forward to a more intensive engagement programme in 2024, centered on a mana whenua voice to inform settlement progress.
EY Tahi - Valuation of the Moana
As a part of the quantum discussions in negotiations, we have commissioned EY Tahi to assess and report on the environmental impacts of industries in and around Kaawhia Moana, the change in land use, and economic activity to quantify economic loss suffered over the past 50 years at the hands of the Crown and because of loss of control and authority. In the first phase EY Tahi will collaborate closely with our negotiators, industry experts, local experts and historian Vincent O’Malley.
Our goal is to create a comprehensive understanding of the historic economic landscape and develop an approach that can be applied to assess the remaining harbours. EY Tahi will be focusing on Kaawhia Moana initially, with plans to look to Aotea, Whaaingaroa, and Manukau harbours within the remaining claims area of interest subsequently.
This report will build on our previous collaboration evaluating economic losses in relation to the Waikato River. The assessment will aid in negotiations in terms of environmental issues, economic issues and an agreed quantum amount.
Development of Settlement Redress
A key focus over the past year has been refining potential redress mechanisms to achieve the principles of mana motuhake, mana moana and mana whakahaere in relation to the moana and whenua as well as social, cultural and economic redress appropriate to support the aspirations of the people. We have been in negotiations with the Crown to see the return of significant whenua, mechanisms where decision making over the moana is enhanced, and better environmental mechanisms are put in place to protect our taiao. We are looking at ways to address and provide for social and cultural issues like housing, wellbeing, financial wellbeing and education. We look forward to continued engagements in 2024 with our coastal marae, hapuu and whaanau to cement the cornerstones of what this settlement should entail.
With the incoming new government, we will be re-setting our negotiations approach and meetings with Minister Paul Goldsmith – the newly appointed Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations are already underway. We will be reinforcing our position – that the remaining claims are unique and that this is an unorthodox treaty settlement that needs to be approached in a holistic and innovative manner.