Tauranga Iwi Ngāi Te Rangi Get Assurances That No Sleight-of-Hand Deal with Hauraki Will Be Signed During The Election Process
Following a letter to Prime Minister Bill English asking for his intervention, Ngai Te Rangi Iwi received a response last evening giving assurances that a deal giving rights in Tauranga to a collective of iwi from the Hauraki areas would not be rushed through under the cover of the election.
The letter was received from Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson who said that in the absence of agreement between iwi groups, it was not possible to sign the Hauraki Collective deal “at this time.” Minister Finlayson said it will now be for the new government to take that decision following the upcoming general election.
Ngai Te Rangi Chairman Charlie Tawhiao said that he was pleased that common sense was brought to the fore on this matter.
Mr Tawhiao said there was no point arguing that agreements should be ‘honoured’ when we now know what had been signed had misrepresented the actual situation. We have to reconfigure arrangements so we can avoid creating further grievances that can ignite decades of future conflict.
The people of Ngai Te Rangi are not going to accept iwi from outside the area trying to shoulder their way into the Ngai Te Rangi rohe where they have no history. Hauraki have been trying to do that in a whole range of areas in Northland, Waikato and Tauranga. This behaviour threatens the integrity of the Treaty settlements process which was never intended to be used by tribes to expand their territories as Hauraki seem intent on doing.
“What we are heartened by is the knowledge that the Prime Minister’s Office is watching this issue and is prepared to intervene.”
Mr Tawhiao said what must be remembered is that we all need to find an agreement that will be sustainable and not create further grievance. He believes a tikanga process where discussion takes place on marae will create a lasting way forward. It won’t be easy, but it works, he said.
“We need to get the lawyers out of the way. They have created this mess which they are now arguing is unimpeachable. Well, it is not. We need to get away from secret meetings in lawyers offices and get back to the marae where we can bring to bear the full power of our cultural processes. That is where the integrity of the Treaty process will be found again.”
For further comment contact:
Charlie Tawhiao 027 2328470
Paora Stanley 027 772 7961