Waikato-Tainui files High Court Proceedings

Wednesday, 10 January 2024

Waikato-Tainui has today filed proceedings in the High Court in Wellington.

Executive Chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says they are seeking declarations to affirm the rights and interests of Waikato-Tainui and the corresponding obligations of the Crown.

“We are concerned about recent statements that have been made by Ministers within Cabinet and others within the coalition government (regarding prospective Crown decisions and actions) which would be in direct conflict with the Crown’s commitments and related obligations to Waikato-Tainui” he says.

These statements risk undermining decades of work and progress to mitigate the adverse effects of the Raupatu and improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Waikato-Tainui, our whenua, wai and other resources within the Waikato rohe.

The Crown have an obligation to protect Te Reo Maaori under Te Ture moo te Reo Maaori 2016 so today will also address immediate concerns on those matters that are now under threat.

“We do this to protect what has been hard-fought, as we will not have the rights and interests of Waikato-Tainui or the relationship between Waikato-Tainui and the Crown undermined” says Mr Morgan.

The Raupatu saw 1.2 million acres of Waikato-Tainui lands including a significant part of our tupuna awa wrongfully confiscated by the Crown with devasting intergenerational effects on the economic, social, cultural and environmental health and wellbeing of Waikato-Tainui and its people.

In early 1863 and in response to the threat of advancing colonial troops, the first Maaori King, Pootatau Te Wherowhero I, declared an aukati (a line not to be crossed) at the Mangataawhiri Stream in the northern Waikato.  Under orders of Governor Grey, on 12 July 1863 the troops proceeded to cross the aukati and invaded the Waikato.  Armed conflict and the Raupatu ensued.

“Following discussions with, and the blessing of, both Kiingi Tuuheitia and our tribal parliament, Te Whakakitenga, Waikato-Tainui has today drawn a contemporary aukati with the filing of proceedings in the High Court.”

“Our two Te Tiriti settlements and the related Kiingitanga Accord represented a significant move forward in the long journey of Waikato-Tainui to address and redress the harmful impacts of the Raupatu.”

Mr Morgan welcomes the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister and his Ministerial colleagues to discuss these concerns.

“Together we must resolve these issues that lie before us through direct engagement and agreement, without further advancing the proceeding before the Court”.