Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mike Butler: Volcanic cones, islands, harbours

A treaty deal for 11 volcanic cones in Auckland was signed on June 7, 2012, but what does it all mean? According to the Tamaki Makaurau Collective Deed of Settlement summary, the deal provides redress for the shared interests of the collective in volcanic cones, islands, and lands within Auckland. It does not settle any historical claims, which will be made with separate tribes.

Thirteen part-Maori groups are involved. Names of these entities are Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, Ngati Maru. Ngati Paoa, Ngati Tamaoho, Ngati Tamatera, Ngati Te Ata, Ngati Whanaunga, Ngati Whatua o Kaipara, Ngati Whatua Orakei, Te Akitai Waiohua, Te Kawerau a Maki, Te Patukirikiri, and Te Runanga o Ngati Whatua.

The deal is to recognize the traditional, historical, cultural and spiritual association of the entities that make up the Tamaki Collective with volcanic cones and islands owned by the Crown within their shared area.

The settlement will vest 14 volcanic cones in the Tamaki Collective, on the condition that they are held in trust (by the Tupuna Taonga o Tamaki Makaurau Trust) for the common benefit of the part-Maori entities of the Tamaki Collective and all other people of Auckland. The volcanic cones will vest as reserves and public access and existing third party interests will be protected.

The 14 volcanic cones transferred are: Wiri, One Tree Hill, Mount Wellington, North Head, Mount Eden, Mount Albert, Mount Roskill, Mount St John, Mount Hobson, Pigeon Mountain, Mount Richmond, Mount Smart, Mount Victoria, and Te Tâtua a Riukiuta.

With the exception of North Head and Mount Smart, the volcanic cones will be under a co-governance body called the Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority.

The co-governance body will be made up of six representatives from the Tamaki Collective and six representatives from the Auckland Council, plus a non-voting Crown representative appointed for a single three year term which can be extended. The Auckland Council will be responsible for the day-to-day management.

Mount Mangere is included in the co-governance arrangements with the Auckland Council, but remains in Crown ownership. North Head sits outside of the co-governance regime for the time being, with the Department of Conservation retaining responsibility for day-to-day management. Mount Smart remains outside the co-governance regime due to the provisions of the Mount Smart Regional Recreation Centre Act.

A sum of $400,000 has been allocated towards the set-up costs of the governance body.

The settlement vests four islands in the Tamaki Collective for a one-month period, after which the Tamaki Collective will vest them back to the Crown. Those islands are: Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe, and Tiritiri Matangi.

The summit of Rangitoto (to be named Nga Pona-Toru-a-Peretu) and two sites at Islington Bay associated with historical waka mooring (Islington Bay Community Hall and Islington Bay Bach 80) will vest in the permanent ownership of Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau.

Public access to these sites will be protected.

The Crown acknowledges the cultural, historical and spiritual importance of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours to the Tamaki Collective, but redress will be developed in future separate negotiations.

The collective enters into a relationship agreement with the Department of Conservation on issues regarding the Auckland Conservancy, the collective will be involved in developing a conservation management plan for Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motukorea and Motuihe Islands, and the collective will get three seats on the Auckland Conservation Board.

The Department of Conservation and the collective’s volcanic cones trust will meet annually to discuss strategic governance issues relating to Crown conservation lands within the Auckland Volcanic Field.

Eighteen existing geographic names, mostly relating to the volcanic cones, will change and two sites that do not have official names will be assigned geographic names.

Since there is a financial component to all these deals, this deal specifies commercial redress intended to recognize unspecified “economic loss suffered by the iwi / hapû” of the recently created Tamaki Collective, arising from similarly unspecified breaches by the Crown of its treaty obligations. Note that inter-tribal carnage before 1840 left Auckland deserted, and chiefs willingly sold large areas of the region for large sums of money to attract white settlers to make the area safe to return to.

The deal gives the Tamaki Collective a right of first refusal for 172 years (yes, for the next three or four generations) to buy Crown-owned land and certain Crown entity-owned land that becomes surplus in the area specified in the deed. The collective also gains the right to purchase any deferred-selection properties included in the individual iwi settlements of the members of the Tamaki Collective, but not selected or acquired by the individual iwi / hapu concerned. This means first dibs on sales of assets in the area in sweetheart deals for many, many years to come.

Other financial redress for historical claims to the Tamaki Collective will be made in separate iwi / hapû-specific negotiations.

The one-sentence version of all this is that Auckland’s volcanic cones, islands, and harbours are Maori areas, to be controlled by part-Maori entities and government bodies together, non-Maori are allowed to visit, and while some financial redress is allowed for in the deed by a 172-year right of first refusal to buy government assets, most will be arranged later with the separate components of the collective.

1 comment:

Wayne said...

Incredible! I wonder how long it will be before access to those volcanic cones and the islands mentioned becomes "limited" in some way?