- Parliament: The New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill
- Submissions to the Maori Affairs Select Committee Against the Waitara Lands Bill
- Video - the Second Reading of the Waitara Lands Bill (9th August 2017)
- The Second Public Hearing on the Waitara Lands Bill - Owae Marae 17th February 2017
- The First Public Hearing on the Waitara Lands Bill - Novotel Hotel 18th November 2016
- Video - the Final Reading of the Te Atiawa Claims Settlement Bill, with reference to and comments on the Waitara Lands Bill (29 November 2016)
- Video - the First Reading of the Waitara Lands Bill (21st September 2016)
- back to ... Web Resources Directory - Peace for Pekapeka
New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill - Final Reading - 12th December 2018
Hansard transcripts are here ...
Jonathan Young (National—New Plymouth)
This is a bill that has come from the local people, New Plymouth District Council, the Regional Council, Te Atiawa iwi, Waitara hapū, leaseholders, and it is something which, as a community in north Taranaki, we have worked together to develop and bring to this point. It has been a long journey. The long journey of this bill has been only since 1992 and, latterly, in the last couple of years, but for the people of Te Atiawa, it's been a journey of 160 years. So we acknowledge that. My hope and my prayer is that this becomes a foundation for going forward, for establishing the aspirations and being able to fulfil the dreams that you have for your people.
Andrew Little (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Labour)
The bill is not perfect, but it could not be perfect, and the challenge for Jonathan Young and the respective mayors of the New Plymouth District Council, the other MPs who have been involved, those who have been talking and in kōrero with the various interested parties—there were so many interests over such a long period of time that it is not possible to produce, and has not been possible to produce, a perfect result for everyone. But there is now a result.
Christopher Findlayson (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, National)
I am so very pleased that today we reach what I believe is a very satisfactory conclusion to that issue. No one, as the Minister so insightfully said, is fully satisfied. What happened in Taranaki — and for me, it's been the education of a public man — was very, very serious, a blot on our nation's history, an affront to the rule of law, cruelty of a degree and of a magnitude that I think is without parallel in the history of our country. I can understand the depth of feeling and the fact that there probably, as someone said to me not so long ago, won't be true forgiveness in the Taranaki region for a couple more generations. But the good peoples in the gallery today need to understand that local and regional government have worked very hard with central government to at least try and create the conditions where, ultimately, there can be reconciliation. That is why this bill is so very important, because it was in Waitara where the Land Wars started, where there were such dreadful abuses, and the lands, the Pekapeka lands, were and are lands that mean so much to the hapū of Waitara.
Adrian Rurawhe (Labour—Te Tai Hauāuru)
Not everyone will be happy with this bill. But, as I said before, a perfect solution for one group would be an imperfect one for other groups. Thinking about the future, what this bill does is provide the avenue for both the Waitara hapū and the Waitara community to fulfil their aspirations and gives them the means by which to do it. And I think that's a really important point to note. It won't happen tomorrow but over time it will happen. I say to those who really don't want this bill to go through today that this is just one part of a long-term solution, I believe. I think I can honestly with my hand on my heart say that passing this bill today in its third reading is much better than not passing it, because not passing this bill will have implications for much longer than passing it today.
I can only just imagine the injustices for your people of having a million acres of land confiscated — quite unthinkable. I think, actually, it is of great credit to us as a nation that we have sought to redress some of these wrongs.
Our role as politicians in this House is to carefully balance the need of all New Zealanders as we seek to address the past wrongs. This bill is that balancing act in action.
Nanaia Mahuta (Minister for Māori Development, Labour)
It was evident through the first reading and the select committee process that unless we tried to do something a little bit more to address the significant historical issues that have already been referred to, which are the first confiscated lands at Pekapeka, we may create more harm than good. So while much of our contribution sounds like a Treaty settlement, it isn't. For that reason, I want to acknowledge albeit a very difficult journey for the conversations across the district of New Plymouth District Council, as well as Taranaki Regional Council. The path to reconciliation requires continual effort and commitment to do the right thing, and for New Zealand, it's a long road. And for New Zealand, albeit through a Treaty settlement process, we have a way to try and move in the right direction. It's still a long road.
Marama Davidson (Co-Leader — Green)
The Green Party will be opposing this bill today. Despite all of the genuine efforts, we do not feel that we have the full mandate of all hapū to be able to support this bill in its entirety, and we absolutely welcome the positives of this bill, and we absolutely uphold the mana, particularly of mana whenua katoa, Manukorihi and Otaraua in seeking to do their best. [ ] I stand here trying to uphold both the vision of what we could really actually do to see true justice, while not wanting to take away from the efforts of various Ministers, the Māori Affairs Committee, the council, Otaraua and Manukorihi leadership at all levels, to try and drive forward where hapū can make do and do the best that they can with what the Crown is offering.
Barbara Kuriger (National — Taranaki/King Country)
You've waited a very long time for this to happen.
Tamati Coffey (Labour — Waiariki)
I grew up here in Lower Hutt because my family had escaped the terrors of the land wars. So I say that as one of your whānau: I wish you all of the best going forward.
Party Votes on the Bill / Public Gallery Waiata and Haka
The New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill - Second Reading - 9th August 2017
01. 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.
02. Adrian Rurawhe (Labour—Te Tai Hauāuru) Part One Part Two
This is a vastly different bill to the one that was first brought to the House. It is a much better bill ... This does not return all of the land; however, it does provide an opportunity. It provides an opportunity to acquire land, but it also provides the means by which that can happen. I think that ought to be recognised. I understand why the hapū are wanting to take extra time in considering it. It needs to be acknowledged in the House that they are going through their own process to get to a point of whether they agree with this bill or not. But what they do agree with is the extended opportunity to discuss this bill further. They agree with this second reading in this House. So it is incumbent upon this House to take note of that and to progress this bill to the next stage.
03. Nuk Korako (National)
If Parihaka is the final chapter of the Land Wars, then Waitara was the beginning ... Even though the Crown renounced its purchase of the Pekapeka Block in 1863, the damage had already been done and was compounded by the confiscation of 1865. ... I think the councils are pretty close to succeeding this time, because their hearts and minds are open and they have begun forging a new relationship with the Waitara hapū. I commend them for having the courage to see where the original bill was flawed and recognising that if things were going to be different then they had to act differently towards, particularly, the mana whenua of Waitara.
04. Andrew Little (Labour)
The changes that have been suggested by the Māori Affairs Committee are many, and I think that is a good sign that the committee has been fully engaged. It has listened to those who have come to speak to it, and it has been willing to show that change, which, in this great Parliament of ours, is nothing more than we would expect. Giving a place for the hapū, for Manukōrihi and Ōtaraua hapū, giving them a role in the governance, giving them a role and a say over the proceeds that can be generated through the sale of the leasehold to freehold owners or the ongoing rents that will be collected from the land, is a positive step. Defining the Waitara River and vesting the Waitara River not in Te Atiawa but in a separate legal entity that will look after and provide stewardship for that river, from its origins to where it spews out into the beautiful Taranaki west coast, will, I think, ensure the voice of all relevant parties in managing that river, getting it clean again, and bringing life back to it. That is a great achievement.
05. Hon Christopher Findlayson (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations)
I think the Māori Affairs Committee has done a really good job on this legislation. It could be described as principled and clever... I was very pleased to sign deeds of settlement with Ngāruahine, with Taranaki, and also with Te Atiawa ...But there was one issue that hung over me like a cloud, and it was this question of the Waitara lands... I was very worried about this legislation when it was introduced, and I wondered what the legislative course would be. But I think, as I say, Mr Jonathan Young and all the members of the Māori Affairs Committee have done a really good job on this.
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.
07. Pita Paraone (NZ First)
This bill is a reminder to this country of the dark history of Aotearoa. I do not need to articulate anything more about that history, other than to note that the people of Taranaki suffered not only loss of life but a grave injustice.
08. Joanne Hayes (National)
The lands of Taranaki have been such a big, real dent in our history. ... This history teaches us things that we should not do and places that we should attempt to remedy.
09. Carmel Sepuloni (Labour - Kelston)
I think it has been great that there has been general consensus across the House that we need to look for the best outcome for Waitara here. It has not been used as a political football, which is unusual in this place, actually, to be honest. I think everyone is looking for the best results.
10. Barbara Kuriger (National—Taranaki - King Country)
This is a community that I want to see reach its full potential. We often talk in this House about housing and people buying homes and people buying first homes, and I know that for a long time those people of Waitara have wanted to freehold those homes. So for them it is a win. For the iwi and hapū it is a win in terms of being able to get some funding over time. And, look, always acknowledge that there is a generosity in all of these things. With any settlement, it takes a big heart for people to accept what is being offered, because it can never make up for the wrongs of the past.
11. Kelvin Davis (Deputy Leader - Labour)
It is great that we are on the cusp of actually resolving this for the tribes of Manukōrihi and Ōtaraua. Te Atiawa turned down this opportunity to purchase the lands themselves as part of their claims settlement. They were not happy about having to pay for the return of the land and that it was encumbered with perpetual leases. Now, let us just put that into a modern-day context about having to pay for your own property that was stolen. If someone was to steal my car and the police came along and said "Kelvin, we've got your car here, but we want you to pay to have it returned.", I would not be terribly happy. In effect, this is what Te Atiawa were being asked to do: "Here's some money, but buy back the land."
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.
The Second Public Hearing on the Waitara Lands Bill - Owae Marae 17 February 2017
2nd Hearing of the Maori Affairs Select Committee on the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands Bill)
at Owae Marae, 16 North Street, Waitara - Friday 17th February 2017
NPDC - Points of Clarification for Maori Affairs Committee 3rd March 2017
... arising after the February 2017 Public Hearings, and regarding
- The relationship between the Pekapeka Block and the endowment Lands
- What happened to the endowment lands?
- What non-leasehold endowment land is left?
- Was Waitara East also confiscated, or was it purchased fairly or otherwise?
- Are leaseholders correct when they say Te Atiawa has already received compensation in the 1940s?
- The origin and significance of section 117 of the Te Atiawa Claims Settlement Act 2016
- Why was the Head of Agreement signed one day before the Deed of Settlement?
- Is the Heads of Agreement with Te Atiawa more than a list of issues to be discussed?
- Te Atiawa contributions to the Bill based on the Head of Agreement
The signed Heads of Agreement is also attached here
Chester Borrows on Paakiwaha, Waatea Radio
(audio) interviewed by Willie Jackson, Waatea Radio 24 February 2017
Chester Borrows: [The Maori Affairs Select Committee] particularly has always worked on a consensus and so we very rarely have a vote on anything. We may state different views on it, but generally the work of the committee goes back uncontested and I don't recall having a vote on that committee, which is really important. And there is no government majority on the committee either, so its a consensus-driven, committee and so it should be. ... And the record can show that there was disagreement on the committee, and everyone can vote that it was a true record of what was said ... so you don't necessarily need to have a big stoush over everything.
Settlement putea transferred but claims unfinished
Waatea News, 24th February 2017
Taranaki Tuturu, Te Atiawa, and Ngaruahine yesterday received the remainder of their financial and cultural redress, bringing to an end this stage of the treaty settlement process [...] Despite the formal part of Te Atiawa’s settlement being completed, members have a sense of unfinished business over the Pekapeka Block in Waitara.
Interview with Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa CEO Hemi Sundgren by Dale Husband
Te Kotahitanga O Te Atiawa Continues to Oppose Waitara Bill
Press Release: Te Atiawa Trust, 20th February 2017
Trust Chairperson Liana Poutu: "We weren't engaged in the development of the detail or the drafting of the Bill. We only saw a draft two days before the Bill went out to public consultation. Some people said that we initially supported the Bill and changed our minds later, that's simply not the case. We supported the principles that were set out in the non-binding heads of agreement on which the Bill would be developed but when we saw the Bill it didn't meet our expectations.[...] There is no question that we fully support our hapu as mana whenua and our hapu should be involved in any resolution that is developed moving forward. We have this Bill which is one resolution that we tried our best to resolve but there are a number of options that haven't yet been explored. From our point of view there is a solution but this Bill is not
Te Atiawa opposes land bill but keen to be part of better solution
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News, 20th February 2017
Liana Poutu did not believe all the possible options had been properly explored and more time was needed to do
Manukorihi Hapu Chair Patsy Bodger interviewed by Dale Husband
(audio) Radio Waatea Breakfast with Dale 20th February 2017
Patsy Bodger reviews the Maori Affairs Select Committee NPDC (Waitara) Land Bill submission hearings that were held at Owae Marae last Friday.
Liana Poutu - Te pire whenua mo Waitara
(audio) Radio Waatea 20th February 2017
I te Paraire kua hipa tuu ai te hui a te koomiti whiriwhiri whenua Maori me ngaa kaikereme kua whai paanga ki te tuku tono mo te whenua o
Peeni Henare - Nga take nui o te waa
(audio) Radio Waatea 20th February 2017
Nga nekehanga oona i mua i ngaa koowhiringa pooti me te hui mo te whenua Pekapeka i Waitara, Taranaki
Parihaka solution mooted for Waitara
by Robin Martin, Radio New Zealand News, 18 February 2017
Liana Poutu, chairwoman of Te Kotahitanga o Te Ātiawa says a reconciliation process similar to that for Parihaka offered a way forward: "I don't think it is something we pick up and dump here and replicate but what it shows and indicates to me is that this can be dealt with outside of Treaty settlements and it can be dealt with outside of legislation and we need to take some time to explore it."
Kill Waitara Lands Bill – Te Atiawa Leader
(video) by Heeni Brown, Maori Television 17th February 2017
Peter Moeahu: "We look to you our Political All Blacks we ask you to search your heart of hearts and ask yourself what is the right moral and just thing to do. What is the right moral and just thing to do? There can only be one right answer that is to return the land to tangata whenua. Mr Chairman, this may be done at the time of the Taranaki Maunga settlement by inclusion in that bill provisions to remove the endowment from the Waitara land and return it to tangata whenua ensuring the leaseholder rights are protected are guaranteed under that transfer provision. In the meantime let’s kill bill."
Select committee meeting hears widespread opposition to land bill
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News, 17th February 2017
Awhina Cameron, chief executive of Tu Tama Wahine and a member of the Taranaki Maori Women's Network, tabled a petition to the select committee during her submission.The document, signed by 2340 people, calls for all MPs to challenge and vote against the bill and asks for the council and government officials to get back around the table and come up with a better solution.
'Give it back' refrain at Waitara Lands Bill hearing
by Robin Martin, Radio New Zealand News, 17th February 2017
Manukorihi Hapu Chairperson Patsy Bodger rejected the bill and said the bottom line was that the land should be returned. "If the land is not returned it will only perpetuate the grievance that exists to this today and our tamariki and mokopuna will be left to continue the challenge to have the stolen lands returned. We want our lands back so that our whanau and our community can start healing and build towards a positive future."
Maori Select Committee hearing Iwi on controversial Waitara Lands Bill
by Kelvin McDonald, Maori Television, 17th February 2017
The iwi says the final bill is not in the best interests of Te Atiawa. It believes significantly more Waitara land should be returned and that the bill should provide solutions that have a less polarising impact on the local community. It also says it would like to see the bill recognise the truth about the Waitara land confiscation.
Waitara hapu air Pekapeka grievance
by Radio Waatea, 17th February 2017
Only one of the 14 submitters in the morning session, a Pakeha lessee, spoke in favour of the bill, while other Pakeha lessees supported the iwi position.
Waatea Radio News on Survey Pegs marking the history of struggle (audio) Interview with Leonie Pihama
2nd Hearing of the Maori Affairs Select Committee on the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands Bill)
at Owae Marae, 16 North Street, Waitara - Friday 17th February 2017
Full coverage at Owae Marae on Facebook Live by Waatea News
Part One (1 hour 47 mins)
- Kiterangi Cameron, Glen Bennett and Te Aorangi Dillon
- Lynne Holdem - NZ Association of Psychotherapists
- Awhina Cameron - and presentation of Petition with 2,340 signatures
- Fiona Clark - Te Ara o Pekapeka Trust
- Andrew Larsen - Leaseholder
- Jocelyn Millard
- Kuia Te Rau Aroha Watene Taungatara Denness
- Peter Moeahu
- Moana Denness - Manukorihi Hapu o Waitara
- Pat Bodger - Manukorihi Hapu o Waitara
- Ria Julian (... not fully recorded)
Part Two (40 mins)
- Sue Comrie
- Urs Signer and Emily Bailey
- Veronica Tawahi
- Chona Telford
Part Three (1 hour 22 mins)
- Kirsty Ngamata Skipper
- Carl Chenery - Tamaki Treaty Workers
- Tiri and James Porter
- David Doorbar - Otaraua Hapu
- James O'Carrol and Christopher O'Carrol - Ngatiawa Whanau Otaraua
- Nganeko Eriwata
- Trent Hall - Leaseholder
- Grant Knuckey
- Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust
Peace for Pekapeka -
Taranaki Maori Women’s Network
Friday 17th February 2017
Karakia and Blessing of symbolic pegs at the Carrington statue outside New Plymouth Courthouse,
Robe Street Park, New Plymouth -
Facebook Live video by Leonie Pihama
New Plymouth District Council and Taranaki Regional Council presentation to the Maori Affairs Select Committee
in Wellington on Wednesday 15 February 2017.
NPDC: The Council is not the Crown and is not a Treaty settlement partner. The established law is clear that land vested in a local authority, such as the Waitara land, is private land and not available for inclusion in settlements. To separately legislate to require NPDC to transfer all of the confiscated Waitara land to iwi would be inconsistent with this established approach.
- Full live coverage of presentation, by Waatea News on Facebook
- download the NPDC written submission for 15 February 2017
2nd Hearing of the Maori Affairs Select Committee on the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara
will be held at Owae Marae, 16 North Street, Whaitara - Friday 17th February 2017
9am Powhiri, followed by cup of tea
10am Hearing to commences
3pm Hearing closes
Te Korimako O Taranaki and Radio Waatea will be providing visual and audio live coverage.
If you would like to be involved or further information, please email [email protected]
The First Public Hearing on the Waitara Lands Bill - Novotel Hotel 18th November 2016
Chester Borrows: A Treaty decision that requires the wisdom of Solomon
Comment by Chester Borrows, Taranaki Daily News, 22nd November 2016
Allowing for compensation to be granted by one bill and returning the land under another bill would be seen as double compensation and would probably set other iwi off around the country coming back to the government trying to get the same terms and conditions as Te Atiawa would enjoy.This would be like a red rag to a bull to the New Zealand public who have believed the settlements are supposed to have been 'full and final'.
Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust Submission to the Maori Affairs Select Committee, 7th November 2016
Te Kotahitanga Trustees engaged with NPDC in good faith to work through the high level principles upon which the proposal for the Bill had been developed. However, it was clear from the outset that there were significant limitations on what Te Kotahitanga could achieve through this engagement, as a decision by NPDC as to what land would be available for transfer has been made prior to the Heads of Agreement being signed.
[...] The decision of Te Kotahitanga to oppose the Bill, following good faith engagement with NPDC on its high level principles, was not a decision made lightly. As such, our submission sets out our views based on the following rationale: A. Te Atiawa people deserve to have more land returned; B. The Waitara community deserves certainty and prosperity; and C. New Zealand deserves to know the truth about Waitara.
Iwi withdraws support for Taranaki land deal
by Robin Martin, Radio New Zealand, 18th November 2016
Te Ātiawa has withdrawn its support for a bill designed to end one of the longest and most bitter land disputes in New Zealand. [...] It said the bill was not in the best interests of Te Ātiawa, and iwi members and Waitara hapū members were overwhelmingly against it. The iwi said the original non-binding Heads of Agreement with the district did not allow it enough time to consult with iwi members and it was not directly involved in the drafting of the bill. Its preference was to have more land returned, but the council determined what land was available for transfer, it said. Te Ātiawa said it made submissions to council when it was publicly notified, but most of the amendments it suggested were not adopted.
Te Atiawa tables opposition to land bill as public hearing gets underway
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News, 18th November 2016
Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa chairwoman Liana Poutu said the bill was not in the best interests of the people of Te Atiawa. [...] Poutu said the iwi deserved to have more land returned to it and the Waitara township as a whole should have "certainty and prosperity." She said the level of discontent among iwi and hapu members about the bill was also a factor. Many from within Te Atiawa have called for the land to be returned, with no price tag attached. In September, a Peace for Pekapeka march was organised by the Taranaki Maori Women's Network as a show of opposition to the bill.
Committee backtracks on decision to side line Waitara from land bill hearing
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News, 16th November 2016
The Maori Affairs select committee has done a u-turn on its decision to exclude Waitara as a venue for a public hearing about a controversial land bill. The committee announced there would now be two hearings about the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill - one in New Plymouth this Friday and another in Waitara in February next year.
Hapu 'dumbfounded' by decision to hold land bill hearing outside of Waitara
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News, 11th November 2016
Rawiri Doorbar: "I am just "I'm just dumbfounded. There's no reason why it couldn't have been held in Waitara. The whole matter is all about our community."
Cultural snub if land bill hearing not held on marae, says hapu
by Deena Coster, Taranaki Daily News, 8th November 2016
Patsy Bodger says no booking had been made at Waitara's Owae Marae, a place which is arguably Te Atiawa's most important meeting point and a site closely connected to the confiscated land at the heart of the proposed legislation.
New Plymouth District Council Submission to the Maori Affairs Select Committee, 3rd October 2016
While this Bill provides for approximately 45 per cent of the endowment land to Te Atiawa, either through direct vesting or by rights of first refusal, and co-governance of the proceeds of the remaining lands, and that Te Atiawa negotiators declined the uptake of the leasehold lands in their Treaty settlement, some in the community have called for the return of all endowment land to Te Atiawa and, in particular, the hapū. This reflects that it was confiscated land and should therefore be returned.
To do this would be inconsistent with the Council’s wider statutory obligations regarding prudent financial conduct. Irrespective of how the Crown acquired the Pekapeka Block, endowing it on the predecessors of the Council was a legal act and the land is an asset in the Council’s books.
The logic behind statements that the Council is the receiver of stolen goods and should give them back could apply to endowments granted to local authorities, universities, health boards, and various other public bodies all over New Zealand. Similar land will now likely be held by and in the books of other related entities such as port companies (some of which are privatised and even listed, but still Council controlled).
If the concept is valid, it should apply to all endowments, or indeed even sales for value, by the Crown of land taken or purchased unfairly from Māori by the Crown, but to require forfeiture of what is now regarded as private (i.e. non-Crown) assets would cut across one of the key principles of Treaty settlements. Further, the bona fide receiver of the land (which did not even exist when the Crown took the land) would be entitled to look to the Crown for compensation.
The Maori Affairs Select Committee Considering the Waitara Lands Bill
The 2016 Maori Affairs Select Committee is Tutehounuku (Nuk) Korako, Chairperson National List; Nanaia Mahuta, Deputy-Chairperson Labour Hauraki-Waikato; Chester Borrows, National Whanganui; Marama Davidson, Green List; Kelvin Davis, Labour Te Tai Tokerau; Marama Fox, Maori Party List; Joanne Hayes, National List and Pita Paraone, NZ First List.
Video - the Final Reading of the Te Atiawa Claims Settlement Bill
with reference to and comments on the unfinished business of the Waitara Lands
Te Atiawa Claims Settlement Bill — Third Reading - Parliament, Wellington 29th November 2016
Parliament: Te Atiawa Claims Settlement Bill
Summary of Summary of Deed of Settlement between Te Atiawa and the Crown (9 August 2014)
Maori Affairs Select Committee Report on the Te Atiawa Claims Settlement Bill
The Te Atiawa Claims Settlement Act 2016
01. Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations)
I acknowledge that one of the emotions being felt by some Te Atiawa today will be frustration around the issue of the Waitara endowment lands. I hope this will be a generation that reaches some resolution over this land...
02. ADRIAN RURAWHE (Labour—Te Tai Hauāuru)
I have to say, after hearing submissions on the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill, I do think that a shadow has been cast upon this settlement. I read those out specifically in relation to the Pekapeka Block. [...] The other bill before this House, potentially, if we are not careful, will impact negatively on this settlement and the people of Te Atiawa. I want that recorded because I think it is important that we go into this with our eyes wide open and fully cognisant of the potential of that other bill.
03. JONATHAN YOUNG (National—New Plymouth)
What we see is broken trust. What we see is not just the loss of the land but the loss of a relationship that should have been based on trust.
04. MEKA WHAITIRI (Labour—Ikaroa-Rāwhiti)
In our settlement we were offered a farm. It was not productive, and our negotiators thought it was too big an issue to take on a farm that was not productive. And so that decision by negotiators at our time was to take it back to our people and to pānui through our ratification to ask the people of Rongowhakaata whether we wanted to purchase a farm that was not productive. I distinctly remember the kaumātua who told us at that time that our Number One priority was to get land back. They never saw the farm as turning money. They saw the farm as being land in our rohe and we had lost so much. So I am making that point because we can get into difficulty if decisions are made by the few and not taken back to the many.
05. MARAMA DAVIDSON (Green)
As far as I am concerned across Aotearoa, the Crown has not yet gained that trust from Te Iwi Māori. The injustices are ongoing and continue to this day, and there is lots of work for us to do if we are ever to be in that fully trusting and fully just relationship. Although I acknowledge the good work of the Crown in negotiating the difficulties of these settlements, we are a long way away—we need generations of time to pass where the Crown stops creating further injustices, and then we might think about some trust.
06. PITA PARAONE (NZ First)
Of course, with this settlement there is still the issue of the Waitara lands, and [...] that is a matter that is still to be considered by this House. It is now before the Māori Affairs Committee and we have yet to hear all the submissions that have been made, but we will do that by visiting Waitara early in the new year.
07. MARAMA FOX (Co-Leader—Māori Party)
Te Rere-tā-whangawhanga, in his ōhākī, lay on his bed and reached out to his son, Wīremu Kīngi Te Rangitake, and said "Do not sell our lands, ever." That is the essence of what he said: never sell. And all Wīremu Kīngi ever did was try to uphold the wishes of his dying father and refuse to sell the land.
08. Hon NANAIA MAHUTA (Labour—Hauraki-Waikato)
This is the first time in any Treaty settlement debate that I have made any contribution on where I have a real sense of concern, and where I need to call on the moral fibre of the character of each of us as decision makers and as leaders to ask the question: have we got it right? ... I feel that there is one matter outstanding, which has not been addressed and must be, and it is the Pekapeka Block.
09. Hon TE URUROA FLAVELL (Co-Leader—Māori Party)
If anybody thinks history is all the way back there — confiscation, and so on — no. It is still around us now. I want to make that point because, actually our people have to deal with these things on a daily basis. At least this settlement allows our people to move forward.
Video - the First Reading of the Waitara Lands Bill
New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill - First reading - Parliament, Wellington 21st September 2016
01. Jonathan Young (National, New Plymouth) introducing the Bill
... it is clear that there are various and competing interests in the land held in Waitara by the council. Te Ātiawa seek the return of their lands, leaseholders seek to freehold their houses, and the community is not able to best use the proceeds from the land. [..] the council has worked with Te Ātiawa and the community to present us with a new resolution of these issues for us to enact. The council and Te Ātiawa entered into a heads of agreement on the broad principles of the bill. The council then developed the bill and consulted with the wider Waitara community. The council listened and changed aspects of its original proposal as a result of feedback, and has provided us with the
[...] Although the size of the funding will depend on many things—freeholding rates, interest rates, and so forth—New Plymouth District Council and Te Ātiawa could be releasing half a million dollars a year by 2020, rising to $2 million a year by 2040. This is a significant boost to a community of 7,000 people. Waitara can be progressed positively with these funds. New Plymouth District Council and Te Ātiawa will be equal partners in spending these funds to the benefit of the Waitara community. These funds could be used for a wide range of social, economic, environmental, and cultural purposes, perhaps including commemorating Waitara's pivotal role in New Zealand's early history.
02. Adrian Rurawhe (Labour, Te Tai Hauāuru)
I still feel strongly for the people of Manukōrihi and Ōtaraua. Their rights under [Te Atiawa Claims Settlement] bill will be extinguished and I think it should be noted in this House today. They will never give up their fight to have that land returned; that is very clear. They will never forget. They will carry it generation to generation, and it is an unfortunate thing that it was not able to be settled to their satisfaction through Te Atiawa settlement
[...] So to each one of those competing interests, I say to all of you that you must ensure that you have your say. You must make sure that you give the select committee compelling arguments and reasons as to why your interests should be above someone else's. That is really up to the communities, the interested parties in this bill. So I highly recommend ... that this bill would go to the Māori Affairs Committee. I think it ought to go there ... the membership of the Māori Affairs Committee would have an in-depth knowledge and skill and ability to decipher all of the issues associated with the competing interests on this bill.
03. Barbara Kuriger (National, Taranaki-King Country)
04. Barbara Kuriger ... Part Two
I just want to talk today about a change in conversation that might enable us again to hear the words of Wīremu Kīngi Te Rangitāke ... As a leader of Te Atiawa, he spoke for the original owners of these lands. Wīremu Kīngi often wrote of his wish for friendly relations with Pākehā, but he did not believe he should have to sell the land to achieve this result.
05. Catherine Delahunty (Green, List)
This bill has been described as an effort to balance competing interests. I do not accept that. The leaseholders who accepted perpetual leasehold homes at least have the security of their leases. But the mana whenua have no security through this bill. The homes and the whenua can be sold, many will be. This is a form of alienation, a modern form and a permanent
[...] I pray that this bill is amended strongly to address mana whenua rights at the select committee because we cannot support it any further without that change ... Pākehā have to step up, councils and citizens, and say that we are the ones who hold the power. We are the ones who have enjoyed the privileges of those perpetual leases, the privileges of the use of the lands, the vast quantity of land, that was taken under raupatu. We actually need to be more generous than this ... We cannot allow ourselves to believe that these huge compromises are the final piece. If they were final piece there would not have been a hīkoi today. The people marched today because they want to be heard.
06. Carmel Sepuloni (Labour, Kelston)
I do believe that this is not one of those issues that will be used as a political football in this House and that we will have the best intentions here to work towards a good result for Waitara, for the hapū in Waitara, and for all those who are affected by this in Waitara.
07. Nuk Korako (National, List)
Te Atiawa would like their land returned and we know that, but they have actually agreed, even in discussions and korero with them during the Treaty settlement bill—they actually see a true resolution coming out of here, working together in unity with the council itself.
08. Pita Paraone (NZ First, List)
New Zealand First will certainly be supporting this bill to the select committee, because I think it is going to be a very interesting time for this bill during that process.
09. Te Ururoa Flavell (Maori Party, Co-Leader)
On the one hand, I know that there are people who disagree with this particular bill—absolutely—because they were marching in the streets of Waitara today. I have got to say that this is not about Treaty settlements; this is about a specific issue with respect to the endowment lands—but, in a sense, they are actually almost tied together, because they came about from raupatu, so you cannot get away from that.
10. Meka Whaitiri (Labour, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti)
We are now in 2016 and, of course, the land that is at question here resides with the council, but we cannot overlook the fact of the history of how the council came upon that land ... Yes, we are dealing with the Treaty settlement bills through a separate process, but they are actually indivisible because we are talking about whenua, and we are also talking about a history that happened to a particular people in this country—namely, the hapū of Waitara. By simply saying "Well, we addressed your issues through the Te Ātiawa settlement. This is a completely different matter.", I think we are overlooking, and I think we are being
[...] It is a can of worms, but that is New Zealand's history. That is New Zealand's history. It is a can of worms, and we cannot put that can of worms apart and think that we can deal with it in a linear way. There are interrelated relationships, and our history is tied up in this bill that reflects a part of our history that led to a whole lot of hurt and a sense of loss of identity. If we, through this House, can enable the healing of that history by giving all those parties a fair shot, then I think we have done our job not just as parliamentarians but as legislators.
11. Meteria Turei (Green, Co-Leader)
[...Voting for this bill to go to the Māori Affairs Committee] is not an attempt to hijack what the council is trying to do. It is enormously controversial, what the council is doing with this land, and although the parties in Waitara have been trying to work together to get it to this point, we too have been in contact with Te Atiawa and we know that there are still very serious concerns. We know that there are concerns from others in the community who marched today and who are deeply fearful that this bill will be, in effect, another raupatu.
12. Jonathan Young (summary and concluding remarks)
... in terms of the confiscation of land, this occurred in 1865, but it started prior to that. It goes right back into the nub of the relationship between Europeans and Māori, and has been, in a sense, very much a part of the DNA and development of this nation. Coming to this place, to this House, to look at this issue—is it a settlement bill? I think it is bigger than that. It is a nation bill. It is a bill that is about New Zealand. Yes, it is addressing the confiscations. It is addressing all of those issues. It is addressing how the New Plymouth District Council have sought to work with all the competing parties around this to come to a
[...] I think that what we want to see is this community and the past resolved. We want to have a vision for the future. We want to see a people who have been injured healed. We want to see people today who have a sense that Waitara is their home—both Māori and non-Māori—to be able to feel settled and feel together that this is their community. Would it not be great if this Parliament could help in that process?