Latest News and Resources on Waitara land rights and the Peace for Pekapeka Initiative
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Waitara Land Bill shelved until next year
by Tara Shaskey, Taranaki Daily News, 4th December 2017
New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young said they "weren't quite ready" and it would now likely be tabled in February. The affected hapū required more time to revise the proposed bill, he said."Right now they are just formulating...they're making the final amendments, which I don't think are significant but they are important. But I'm yet to see those."
Meeting goes well for leasehold couple who feared losing their home
by Tara Shaskey, Taranaki Daily News 18th December 2017
A couple who feared losing their home after a 1500 per cent rent increase say their minds have been put at ease following a meeting with the landowner - the New Plymouth District Council.
Couple faces losing home after Waitara lease jumps 1500 per cent
by Tara Shaskey, Taranaki Daily News 8th December 2017
A Taranaki couple living on leasehold land are facing financial ruin and risk losing their home after their land lease increased by 1500 per cent
Waitara leaseholders fear being forced out of their homes
by Robin Martin, Radio New Zealand Checkpoint, 13 December 2017
Leases in the Taranaki town have gone from an average of $400 annually to about $4700 - an increase of more than 1000 percent.
Waitara residents face massive lease hikes
Te Aitiawa iwi member Josephine Moore said she and her partner flatly refused to pay her new lease, which jumped from about $400 to more than $5000. "We believe the land is part of the stolen land confiscated off Te Atiawa and we believe that issue needs to be addressed and that the council are administrators of the leases but they are not the legal owners of the land."
Native Affairs - Taranaki Land War Continues
(video) by Carmen Parahi, Native Affairs Maori Television, 31 October 2017
Rawiri Doorbar: "It is pretty hard to contemplate a commemoration of the Land Wars when it hasn't been resolved for us here in Waitara ... We should be proud of our history. We should be proud to resolve it properly as a country. [...] We want it sorted out. We want it fixed. We want to be able to move on in our future. We don't want our kids to have to deal with this. We don't want our mokos to have to deal with this. We want to have time for our people to flourish. We want to have time for our culture to flourish. We want all of these things and a healthy people. In the meantime we are just fighting for what's rightfully ours ... against a country which seems to have no knowledge of what happened."
Is stealing Waitara Lands twice not enough?
by Dr Leonie Pihama, Leonie Pihama Blog, 29 October 2017
The current version of the Bill is not balanced, and nor does it reflect the desire of Otaraua and Manukorihi hapū and Te Ātiawa iwi that presented in the Select committee process for the return of the lands unencumbered to the hapū [...] The Bill proposes that the council sell the lands and that the funds support hapū buying other lands. So the expectation is that hapū will have to buy back lands, with funds that come from the sale of their original homelands that were taken through invasion, war and confiscation. There is much wrong with that scenario.
Call for councils to step aside on Waitara Lands Bill compensation - Moeahu
by Mike Watson, Taranaki Daily News 29 October 2017
Moeahu said the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill should be amended by transferring the land and accrued income from rentals fully to Waitara iwi, together with caveats over reserve land for public use. The changes would remove both councils as financial recipients, he said. [...]
However Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta said amendments [to the Bill] had achieved a balanced outcome for iwi, leasees and councils. "The select committee had made significant changes to achieve this balance which reflected a general consensus," she said."It was not an easy issue to resolve but it has been fully debated. To change this again would need to have the bill relitigated."
Raa Maumahara - 28th October 2017 - the inaugural national commemoration day to mark the 19th-century New Zealand Wars
Map of key sites of the New Zealand Wars
The story of Waikato Village Killings Leads to annual commemoration of New Zealand Wars
by Martin Johnston, New Zealand Herald, 28 October 2017
Nation set to remember land wars as significant battle site in Taranaki awaits development
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News 27 October 2017
As the nation prepares to remember its land war history, a significant site in Taranaki's civil conflict remains under development. After the four hectare site in Brixton was bought by the New Plymouth District Council in June 2016 for $715,000, it has sat empty while work goes on behind the scenes regarding its future development.The site is of historical importance as it was where the first shots were fired in the Taranaki land war conflict.
One year as New Plymouth mayor for Neil Holdom
by Helen Harvey, Taranaki Daily News 11 October 2017
Holdom: "The Waitara leasehold land was a really complicated piece of work and we've been really fortunate to get it through to a second reading. We're hopeful that bill will reach a third reading and become law before the end of the year. I think the bill will be a game changer for Waitara."
Manukorihi and Otaraua Hapu Consultation on the Latest version of the Waitara Lands Bill
Resources Page at Te Kotahitanga o te Atiawa
Joint Hapu Committee Members: David Doorbar, Patsy Bodger, Donna Eriwata, Mawhaturia White, David Rogers, Alice Doorbar, Moana Denness and Hemi Sundgren.
Joint Hapu Committee Administration Support: Tiri Porter
Contact details for background documents and communications:
The Waitara Lands Bill: ‘The land was stolen, therefore return it’
by Carl Chenery, Spinoff website, 5th October 2017
Carl Chenery appeals to other Pākehā to be courageous in commemorating the Land Wars and for peace in Waitara today.
The Waitara lands in question are currently tied up in perpetual leases owned by the New Plymouth District Council. The council says they cannot just give the land back, as they are required by law to sell these properties at a proper market rate. But the government can enable the council to return these lands by passing legislation that clearly says that the fiduciary responsibilities of the Local Government Act do not apply to stolen property. They can also legislate to break the perpetual nature of the current leases on the Waitara lands, and pay some compensation to the existing leaseholders. These are all powers within the hands of government.
The Waitara Lands Report
a paper by vivian Hutchinson, 27 August 2017
As we mark the Second Reading of the Waitara Lands Bill, this might be a good time for all of us to reflect on what has taken place so far. While the Waitara hapu make their own deliberations on the legislation ... we might like to reflect on the proclamations by the local Mayor and MP that the latest Select Committee report amounts to an “Historic Day for New Zealand”.
We may even begin to recognise that the Waitara hapu are a group of people that might have their own idea of what “historic” would look like to them. And we could even realise that it would be worth everyone’s while if Manukorihi and Otaraua were able to fully make that case.
Waitara Lands Bill passes second reading, moves into committee stage
by David Burroughs, Taranaki Daily News 10th August 2017
After his speech, Young said following a further speech on Wednesday night, the bill would go to the committee after the general election, before coming back to parliament for its third and final reading, which he hoped could happen before the end of the year.
Jonathan Young: The numbers
from Jonathan Young Facebook Page 9th August 2017
New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill- Second Reading
9th August 2017
Hansard transcripts are here ...
Jonathan Young (National—New Plymouth)
This bill is the council's third attempt at resolution, after previously promoting a local bill to Parliament in 1992 and, secondly, offering the land to the Crown for inclusion in Te Ātiawa's settlement. The revised bill now before the House is innovative, but I must mention that Manukōrihi and Ōtaraua hapū are still working through the provisions in the bill, discussing this with their people. I look forward to seeing and hearing how that goes and am convinced that, with the leadership of the hapū wanting to lay this issue to rest and move forward into a stronger future for themselves, and with the council's wanting to lay this issue to rest, the relationships and outcomes this bill engenders will be long-lasting and fruitful for everyone.
06. Catherine Delahunty (Green)
I think it is because, whatever we call this bill — it does not really matter — this bill is about Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Pekapeka Block. At the heart of it is the issue of what happened historically, which is so alive to the people today in Waitara—to the two hapū, Ōtaraua and Manukōrihi ... Whatever we struggle with is nothing compared with the struggle that they have been through. I acknowledge that the leaseholders and all the people who have lived in those houses as individuals have been through a lot, but it is not the same as what has happened to those people who, from the 1860s, experienced total land loss and devastation of their culture...
It has been a positive process to see the first bill — which was, you know, quite honestly, unacceptable — transformed by the work of a select committee where people were all dedicated to trying to do what was best. We remain pleased by that, but it is in the hands of those people—the hapū te Manukōrihi me Ōtaraua. Their rangatiratanga is what is at stake here. They are not required to sort out the mess that colonisation imposed upon them, but if they can come to a party that meets their needs, we are there as well. We are still going to be listening and we are still hopeful, but justice under Te Tiriti comes first. I look forward to hearing what the hapū have to say back to us. Whakarongo ki te Pāremata—listen. We need to whakarongo, and then we can hold our heads up.
12. Chester Borrows (National)
I think the saddest thing in looking at this, in considering the Te Atiawa settlement bill, was that it set Te Atiawa against the hapu of Manukōrihi and Ōtaraua. It is sad when you see families fighting, and that is the situation that we had here. The hapū walked away from the Te Atiawa settlement, and quite justifiably so. But it is great to see that through the work that has been done ... and the fact that they have managed to sit down with one another, they are now in the space where they are having the opportunity to have a look at something that is much more palatable in reconciling history and also in acknowledging the hurt that still continues today.
Jonathan Young interviewed by Bryan Vickery on Hokonui Radio
(video) 4th August 2017, from Morris West / Facebook
Jonathan Young: "The community rejection of the initial Bill was massive ... I was driving across to Hastings with Maura, my wife, and I said; Look, we've got to do something around this. I had some ideas, and talked to her ... came back, went to the NPDC, to the hapu and to different people. Everyone thought my plan would work ... and it has."
Waitara Bill change needs hapu debate
(audio) Rawiri Doorbar interviewed on Radio Waatea by Dale Husband 3rd August 2017
The chair of Te Atiawa's Otaraua hapu says changes to the Waitara Land Bill represent a significant concession by new Plymouth District Council, but they may still not be enough to satisfy everyone in the iwi. "We'll be discussing it and I daresay we will have some pretty robust discussions. They will range from 'stick to your guns, stick to the korero of our tupuna, i riro whenua atu, me hoki whenua mai,' and then some may be saying this is an opportunity to do something productive and move forward"
Waitara Bill sweetened for hapu
(audio) Mayor Neil Holdom interviewed on Radio Waatea by Dale Husband 3rd August 2017
New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom says getting the Waitara Land Bill to the second reading astage is an historic moment for New Zealand. "It's about taking a past injustice and turning it to a positive future and for me that is real progress."
vivian Hutchinson: Comment on the Select Committee Report
Facebook 2nd August 2017
vivian Hutchinson: "Yes, the new version of the Bill contains substantial changes. But the Bill has not changed its primary purpose and objectives..."
Historic Day for New Zealand: Maori Affairs Committee Recommends NPDC's Waitara Lands Bill Be Approved
Press Release by the New Plymouth District Council 2nd August 2017
Neil Holdom: "The Maori Affairs Committee’s recommendation that Parliament approves a Bill to free up leasehold lands in Waitara is a historic moment for New Zealand."
Hapū support for revised Waitara land bill conditional
by Robin Martin, Radio New Zealand News 3rd August 2017
Otaraua hapū chairman Rawiri Doorbar said Waitara hapu considered the revised version a fresh start, but there was more consultation to be done. "The timeframe we were given hasn't allowed us to take the complete revised Bill out to our people, so ultimately the jury is still out on whether this is a Bill our people can live with."
Manukorihi hapū chairperson Patsy Bodger said any decision that resulted in the land not being returned to Waitara hapu would be difficult for some members to stomach. "It will be a huge discussion point with some of our hapu members because it's always been seen that what they wanted was to have the land back."
Maori Affairs Select Committee recommend Waitara Land Bill be approved
by Tara Shaskey, Taranaki Daily News 3rd August 2017
Waitara residents are one step closer to buying the confiscated Maori land they live on but one leaseholder says the proposed legislation is a win-lose result. Trent Hall: "The win is we finally get freehold...the loss is the Bill was before Parliament in '92 so we're back at the start. The real loss is the value in what we're going to have to pay." Hall said if the Bill was passed the first time he would have paid about $8000 to purchase the land but 15 years on he's looking at paying about $85,000 due to inflation. "We've already had a 25 year mortgage and now I have to go and get another 25-30 year mortgage to pay for the land."
Otaraua leader Rawiri Doorbar: "We've always believed our Waitara hapu have a primary claim to our whenua and any other claimants to our Waitara land are secondary. So our intent with this process is to consult with our people and to provide some ongoing dignity with this kaupapa."
Report of the Maori Affairs Committee, New Zealand Parliament,
and copy of the new version of the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill
2nd August 2017
"... We note that there are ongoing discussions between the Waitara hapū, the Trust, and
our advisers. The Waitara hapū are yet to finalise their position, but support the bill to
the second reading."
Waitara Lands Bill report to be published
by Andrew Owen, Taranaki Daily News 1st August 2017
The long-delayed report on a contentious Taranaki land settlement is finally due to be published on Wednesday.
Overdue committee report on Waitara Land Bill postponed for the fourth time
by Tara Shaskey, Taranaki Daily News 28th July 2017
vivian Hutchinson: "If the delays are because the council and the Taranaki Regional council and the Crown are belatedly but finally recognising that the Waitara hapu have a primary claim over the endowment lands...then that is a long overdue shift worthy of most of the submissions made on the Bill so far. I don't know what is in the coming report from the select committee, but I do hope they would put all the hopeless last-minute deal-making aside, and simply withdraw the Bill and choose to start again."
Waitara land bill controversy posted up in city's main street
by Tara Shaskey, Taranaki Daily News 14 July 2017
Rawiri Doorbar said he did not know who was responsible for the billboard but said it was less about who ordered it and more about the message it carried."It's clear to me that that the person or persons who put this up are saying it's about time someone did the right thing and returned the land."
Opinion: Dr Leonie Pihama - Violence, Abuse and The Theft of Waitara Lands
by Leonie Pihama, Blog 7th July 2017
None of the abusers in this scenario want to relinquish their power. The Crown, NP District council and the Taranaki Regional council want to place some part of the responsibility of this issue at the feet of the Iwi and the existing Te Atiawa treaty settlement. It is also clear that the Taranaki Regional Council have sat in arrogance throughout this process and have positioned themselves actively against the return of any lands.
Opinion - Carl Chenery: Stolen Taranaki land should be given back
by Carl Chenery, New Zealand Herald, 6 July 2017
If we take on the Prime Minister's statement from Waitangi Day this year about being able to look back from 2040 and be proud of steps we have taken between now and then, the current New Plymouth (Waitara Lands) Bill clearly fails that test. We need courageous and creative politicians to do the right thing. We need more of us as citizens to be involved in understanding and owning our history to ensure this is done.
Future of Waitara Land Bill still unclear after report postponed for third time
by Tara Shaskey, Taranaki Daily News, 30th June 2017
New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young: "It is vital that a contentious Taranaki land bill is settled before the general election in September."
Reconciliation, healing theme of Sir Maui Pomare Day celebration
by Catherine Groenestein, Taranaki Daily News 25th June 2017
"Parihaka leader Te Whiti had prophesied that a son of Waitara would pick up the crumbs of Waitara and 46 years later that was fulfilled when a Government Commission of Inquiry driven by Sir Maui Pomare investigated the grievances experienced by Maori from the land confiscations. This was the forerunner of the Maori Trust Boards and the Waitangi Tribunal, and the ongoing treaty claims process..."
A second extension granted for committee report on Waitara Land Bill
by Tara Shaskey, Taranaki Daily News, 7th June 2017
The report due back to Parliament from the select committee in charge of a costly and controversial land bill has been put off for the second time.The committee's most recent postponement has seen a new date of June 30 set down for the report, which should become available to the public shortly after.
He Puanga Haeata - The Parihaka-Crown Reconciliation Ceremony
Friday 9th June 2017 at Parihaka Pa
New Plymouth council denies it reaped up to $140m in income from stolen Maori land
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News, 10th May 2017
Claims it pocketed up to $140 million in income from stolen Maori land have been refuted by the boss of New Plymouth's council.
Council earned $140m from stolen land - Treaty Workers
by Robin Martin, Radio New Zealand News Te Ao Maori 4th May 2017
(audio) from RNZ Morning Report Council's earnings from Waitara land bone of contention
It's being argued millions of dollars the New Plymouth District Council has earned from stolen Waitara land should be included in the fraught discussions about settling one of New Zealand's longest-running land disputes. The Tamaki Treaty Workers group used the Official Information Act to get access to council documents and did their own analysis. They found the council had pocketed between $95m and $140m, excluding interest and any money from land sales.
Tamaki Treaty Workers Spokesperson speaking to Dale Husband
(audio) Waatea Radio 8th May 2017
Who’s the We? Maori, Pakeha and an anthem's bonds of love
Essay by Peter Walker, North & South Magazine 27 April 2017
Walker asserts that Te Whiti did decide the future of Maori and Pakeha in our country: "... racism was so strong in the early 1880s that a state assault on Maori might have taken place elsewhere, and without Te Whiti present to arrange the outcome, the results could have been deadly. But once Parihaka had happened, it was almost impossible for it to happen again."
Extension granted regarding select committee consideration of Waitara land bill
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News 10th April 2017
The date for the report has now been pushed out to May 31. The committee report should be available to the public about the same time. A select committee spokeswoman said more time was needed to consider "the large number of submissions" it received.
Insight: Is Taranaki Coming to Terms with Its Colonial Past?
(audio) by Robin Martin, Radio New Zealand Insight, 9th April 2017
Taranaki Māori have paid dearly for their defiance of colonial rule, and the dodgy land deals that came with it, and many feel they are still suffering today. The first shots of the New Zealand Wars were fired at Te Kohia Pa, Waitara in 1860 and within a decade scores of warriors had been killed and vast tracts of Māori land confiscated. Ultimately even non-violent resistance was crushed at Parihaka in 1881. But even as treaty settlements progress, tensions persist and there are calls for "ignorance" to be overcome for the region to move forward.
Taranaki Tensions are rooted in Pakeha collective amnesia
(audio) by Robin Martin, Morning Report, Radio New Zealand 7th April
Maori have done historical research as part of the Treaty Settlement process, but there hasn't been similar work done by pakeha because the Crown has done that work. vivian Hutchinson: "The unspoken contract that goes into this arrangement is: Don't disrupt the amnesia. Don't disrupt the intentional and organised forgetting of our history that is a huge part of our pakeha culture."
Legacy of Taranaki land wars still lingers 157 years on
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News 17th March 2017
Hoani Eriwata says the land wars have been "forgotten on purpose", superseded by New Zealand's participation in the World Wars. That's what tends to dominate New Zealand's war history, not what happened in our own backyard, Eriwata says. "It's not part of the education system either," he says. "But you can only have amnesia for so long."
Maniapoto commemorates with Taranaki seige at Te Kohia Pa
(audio) Waatea Radio interview with Dale Husband
On this day in 1860 British troops bombarded Te Kohia pa near Waitara, which had been built by Te Atiawa warriors led by Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake over the preceding days to resist just such an attack.That incident and other battles are being remembered this weekend not just by Te Atiawa but by other iwi whose ancestors stood with Taranaki.
Growing interest in remembering Taranaki's land war history
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News, 3rd March 2017
From March 16-19, the public will have a chance to find out more about the Taranaki land wars and the roles Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi played in Parihaka's passive resistance movement. Called Riri me te Raukura or War and Peace, organiser Hoani Eriwata said the event was designed to commemorate what happened between March 17, 1860, when the first shots were fired in the land conflict at Te Kohia Pa, and November 5, 1881, when the coastal settlement of Parihaka was invaded by 1500 British troops.
Details of $9m reconciliation package for Parihaka revealed
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News 1st March 2017
A novel $9 million government reconciliation package offered to the people of Parihaka has been widely criticised as being too low. The Crown offered the multi-million reconciliation package to the Parihaka Papakainga Trust, as a form of recognition for the historical injustices suffered by those living at the site due to the actions of the colonial government, including the 1881 invasion. The offer differed to a Treaty of Waitangi deal as it was not a negotiated process but followed a unique pathway designed by agreement between the trust and the government.
Parihaka rejects $9m Crown payment offer
by Robin Martin, Radio New Zealand Te Ao Maori, 2nd March 2017
Parihaka, the village at the centre of non-violent resistance to land confiscations in Taranaki during the 1870s, has rejected the cash on offer as part of a deal with the Crown.In an arrangement that sits outside the usual Treaty settlement process, Cabinet has approved a payment of $9 million to help Parihaka with its water supply, construction of a waste water facility and building refurbishments.