Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mike Butler: Flaky Ngati Whatua report fisked


Sometimes, light-weight bleeding-heart commentary needs to be taken to task. Today, Brian Rudman of the New Zealand Herald is in the gun for his article “Joe Hawke gains victory”. Sometimes, light-weight bleeding-heart commentary needs to be taken to task. Today, Brian Rudman of the New Zealand Herald is in the gun for his article “Joe Hawke gains victory”. A “fisking”, according to the Urban Dictionary, is where a commentator is beaten through his words, often interspersing criticisms with the original article's text. The term is named after Robert Fisk, a reporter known for anti-western writings.

Rudman: Yesterday in Parliament, the long struggle for justice, reignited by Joe Hawke and his fellow squatters in the 1970s, finally came to an end with an apology from the Crown, and ritual compensation by way of cash and land.

As I recall, the dispute around the 507-day occupation of Bastion Point, 5.3 ha of land that was taken under the Public Works Act in 1886 for military use, was settled in 1988, when the land was returned with compensation and an apology. Another dispute detailed in the Wai 9 claim lodged in 1986 by Joe Hawke and others that focussed on grievances around the 700 acres known as the Orakei Block, was enshrined in the Orakei Act 1991 in which nearly 65 hectares were returned to Ngati Whatua o Orakei . The current settlement is Ngati Whatua’s third bite of the cherry.

Rudman: The Ngati Whatua "had gained rights," according to the circumspect language of the "agreed historical account", in what is now the Super City boundaries by 1740, by right of conquest and occupation. Inter-tribal conflicts in the 1820s made them "temporarily relocate" to Waitakere and then Waikato, but from 1835 they'd started to reoccupy the Tamaki isthmus.
The fact is that Ngati Whatua had only occupied the Auckland area from the mid-18th century until 1822, probably about the same length of time that many of the residents at a public meeting at the Navy Gym earlier this year over including Navy land in the Ngati Whatua settlement, have lived in Devonport. Ngati Whatua did not occupy Auckland for very long before driven out by a Nga Puhi war expedition led by Hongi, Rewa and Patuone in November 1822. Ngati Whatua were happy to SELL large parcels of land to incoming settlers because they were too frightened to live there without a settler presence. This “temporary relocation” is claimant-speak in a bid to convey the idea that they really were in an area even though they were not there.

Rudman: To protect themselves from Ngapuhi muskets, Ngati Whatua exchanged the 1214ha triangle of today's central Auckland, stretching along the coast from Cox's Bay to Hobson Bay and south to Mt Eden - all of present day Herne Bay, Ponsonby, Newmarket, Parnell and the city centre - for 50, 20 pairs of trousers, 20 shirts, 10 waistcoats, 10 caps, four casks of tobacco, one box of pipes, 91m of gown pieces, 10 iron pots, one bag of sugar, one bag of flour and 20 hatchets.
Yes, Ngati Whatua SOLD the land, and for more than the collection of items Rudman listed. A quick check on the Office of Treaty Settlements summary of the Ngati Whatua settlement reveals that the tribe initially sold around 3500 acres of land (the central city area of Auckland) to government officials in September 1840 for £50 in coin and goods amounting to approximately £215. Over the next two years the tribe sold a further 29,000 acres to the Crown for around £640 plus other goods.

The land area of Auckland is 489,400ha. It is recorded that by the end of 1842 Government agents had purchased from chiefs land totalling 92,000ha (227,200 acres) the price being £4,196 25, or just a little over 4d (four pence – as in 240 pennies in ₤1) per acre. From 1862 to 2012, that amount would have inflated, according to the Reserve Bank inflation calculator, to $461,579.71. Remember, the government bought unimproved land, the value of which grew as the area was developed.

Ngati Whatua repeat the fiction that they "lost" the land, blaming the government. The tribe did not "lose" the land; their ancestors SOLD the land.

The fact that the land was sold by willing sellers to willing buyers was confirmed in a 1975 Court hearing presided over by Justice Speight and endorsed by Ngati Whatua elders.

Rudman: But no one reading the history could deny that Ngati Whatua were royally shafted by the servants of Queen Victoria sent out to protect their interests.
Bearing in mind that the public works taking in the Bastion Point row, and the alleged forced sales by 13 owners who allegedly should have held the Orakei block in trust, are both outside the scope of this latest settlement, the main aspect of Ngati Whatua’s third settlement is a big sense of sellers’ remorse among the vendor chiefs, a grievance that has been nursed over the decades as mothers suckled their infant sons and daughters. Sellers developed this remorse when they saw the colonial government, which had the monopoly right to buy land from chiefs and on-sell it to settlers, using the profit to fund administration, sold this land attaining a profit of £68,865. Between 1844 and 1845, the Crown allowed chiefs to sell more land directly to settlers, enacting regulations to protect Maori. Claimants argued that the Crown did not apply these regulations correctly.

Rudman: It was the servants of the Crown who proved to be the worst diddlers of all, locking Maori into derisory sale prices, supposedly to protect the simple natives from the speculators.
The Deed of Settlement details how Ngati Whatua o Orakei hosted the month-long Kohimarama Conference in July of 1860, where the bulk of 200 chiefs attending gave emphatic support to the colonial government and the Treaty of Waitangi. It would appear that Ngati Whatua were happy with the situation at that time, which was after the bulk of the land had been sold. Why did they become unhappy? Most likely, the prestige of being able to sell such large tracts of land had faded, and the sales proceeds had been spent.

Rudman: In Ngati Whatua's case, the Crown was supposed to set aside land for Maori in perpetuity and use the land sales profits to build schools and hospitals for the locals. Little or none of this happened.
Er, excuse me. Auckland Hospital, Middlemore, schools as far as the eye can see, universities, roads, water reticulation, sewage, electricity. Does this not count? Or does Rudman believe the government should have provided a school and hospital for every kaianga?

Rudman: Yesterday's agreement doesn't erase old wrongs, or fully compensate for them.
This is what claimants always say when the settlement windfall lands. Let me see. British settlement enabled Ngati Whatua to return to Auckland, sell undeveloped land, benefit from settlement, and get paid for it all over again. How wonderful are the ways of the wicked white coloniser.

Rudman: I was on the phone to Ngati Whatua firebrand Joe Hawke hoping for a story. He didn't disappoint.
Joe Hawke and the Hawke family never disappoint when it comes to a news story. Joe has the esteemed reputation of having lodged Wai 1, in October 1976, when Joe Hawke, Henry Matthews, Te Witi McMath, and Rua Paul became the first claimants to the Waitangi Tribunal with a claim relating to fishing rights in the Waitemata Harbour. Specifically, the claim concerned the matter of prosecutions brought by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries pursuant to regulations 106K(2) and 106KA(3) of the Fisheries (General) Regulations 1950. Does not Joe Hawke's Wai 1 claim sound like the numerous fishing situations in which the treaty is invoked?

Source

Joe Hawke gains victory, NZ Herald, November 16, 2012,http://www.nzherald.co.nz/maori/news/article.cfm?c_id=252&objectid=10847713

5 comments:

Barry said...

This "settlement" (ie gift) is illegal and immoral and racist. key and heatley should go to jail for it - should share a cell with finlayson

Anonymous said...

AS the Queen is Sovereign of this nation and people, why not ask Her to intervene and uphold Her rights as Sovereign?
The Crown is the official owner of lands and fisheries etc. How is it legal for any government to give any of this away to deceitful, treacherous land and money grabbers?
I now of many Maori people who do not agree with the changing of the meaning of the treaty, and are happy to live peacefully as an integrated nation. Isn't this what the majority of us want?
Democracy will be an historic memory unless the Waitangi Tribunal and the Treaty are consigned where they belong - historical archives, never to be revisited.

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments are incorrect as you stated the Maori sold the land.

In 1840, Ngati Whatua of Orakei invited English settlers to share the land with them. Te Kawau, their paramount chief, wanted to offer hospitality, but he also wanted to gain some security against other tribes, especially the northern tribes which had muskets. So, in February 1840, Te Kawau and six other chiefs travelled to the Bay of Islands to invite Governor Hobson to come and live with them, partly to seek protection from their enemies. On 20 March, Te Kawau and other chiefs of Ngati Whatua of Orakei signed the Treaty of Waitangi. By September, the British flagstaff was raised at a point which is now the top of Queen Street, and Auckland became the capital of New Zealand.

Ngati Whatua of Orakei agreed to hand over approximately 3000 acres of land for a township to be established. The details of the sale of the land were to be worked out later. In the following years, the peaceful, loyal, and law-abiding hapu defended the new Auckland settlement many times against invading tribes.

Ngati Whatua made other gifts of land. In 1858, they gave land at Orakei to the Anglican Church for a chapel and school. The following year, they gave a headland at Orakei, Takaparawha Point, to the Crown for a defence post against a feared Russian invasion. The land was given on the condition that if it was no longer required, it would be returned to them. This was part of the Māori custom of giving gifts to friends.

As more settlers arrived, more and more land was required. Thousands of acres were sold by Ngati Whatua of Orakei to the Government and, over a couple of years, to private settlers. The tribe probably believed that these sales meant that both parties, themselves and the buyer, then belonged to the land together. Later, Governor Grey decided that much of the land should not have been sold to private settlers, so most of it was bought or simply taken by the Crown, without compensation.

The Crown paid £341 for the original land handed over for the settlement (3000 acres). Six months later, just 44 acres of that land was resold by the Government to settlers for £24,275. The money was used to build roads, bridges, hospitals, and other services for the new town. The early development of Auckland was paid for by profits made from the sale of tribal land of Ngati Whatua of Orakei.

Te Kawau had always made it clear that the 700-acre Orakei block, the papakainga of the hapu, was not for sale. It was to be reserved in tribal ownership for Ngati Whatua of Orakei forever. By 1854, only 14 years after their initial offer of land for Auckland, it was all the land the hapu had left. Orakei was their 'last stand'.

Where did I source this from?

from an official government website:

http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/resources/school_info/resourcekitsforschools/thefoundingofauckland.asp

Mike Butler said...

To the anonymous, who copied and pasted a page from the Waitangi Tribunal’s resources for schools, Ngati Whatua Orakei’s latest settlement revisited transactions involving 32,000 hectares in the Tamaki Isthmus. The tribe, which was only able to reoccupy the Auckland isthmus after white settlers made the area safe, was happy with the transactions in 1860, when the bulk of them had been completed, but became unhappy with them after 1985, when claims back to 1840 were allowed, and lodged their Wai 388 claim in 1993. Let us go through the basic facts again.

1. Ngati Whatua occupied the Auckland area (53,100 hectares city area or 108,600ha greater Auckland) from around 1750 before being driven out by a Nga Puhi war expedition led by Hongi, Rewa and Patuone in November 1822.

2. The Tamaki isthmus was largely unoccupied from 1822 to 1840 because the desirability of the land made it too dangerous for tribes to live there.

3. Ngati Whatua chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi on March 20, 1840, after which a delegation of chiefs invited Captain William Hobson, the new Governor, to settle in the Tamaki isthmus.

4. In September 1840, Ngati Whatua Orakei sold around 3500 acres (1416ha) of land, which today covers the central city of Auckland for £50 in coin and goods amounting to approximately £215.

5. Over the next two years the tribe sold a further 29,000 acres (11,736ha) to the Crown for around £640 plus other goods.

6. By the end of 1842 Government agents had purchased from chiefs land totalling 92,000ha (227,200 acres) the price being £4,196.25.

7. Between 1844 and 1845 the Crown allowed direct dealing in land between Maori and settlers. In total around 47,000 acres of land in which Ngati Whatua Orakei had interests were alienated.

8. From 1846 the Crown carried out further purchases, including around West Auckland.

9. By 1855 Ngati Whatua Orakei held only 700 acres (283ha) of land on the Tamaki isthmus at Orakei.

10. Ngati Whatua Orakei hosted the month-long Kohimarama Conference in July of 1860, at the time of the first Taranaki war. Most of the 200 chiefs attending the conference gave emphatic support to the colonial government and the Treaty of Waitangi. It would appear that Ngati Whatua were happy with the situation at that time, which was after the bulk of the land had been sold.

11. Ngati Whatua Orakei subsequently sold the 700 acres (283ha) of Orakei land.

12. In 1886, 5.3 ha of land at Bastion Point was taken under the Public Works Act for military use.

Mike Butler said...

Auckland history 2

12. In 1886, 5.3 ha of land at Bastion Point was taken under the Public Works Act for military use.

13. In 1941, when the Crown decided it no longer needed Bastion Point land for defence, it gave the land to Auckland City for a reserve.

14. In 1952, the remaining village and marae were burned to the ground after the residents were evicted and re-housed in rental state houses so that their old waterfront village could become a public park.

15. In 1976, the Crown announced that it was about to develop the remaining land at Bastion Point for high-income housing and parks, sparking the Bastion Point occupation.

16. A dispute around the 507-day occupation of Bastion Point, over the 5.3 ha of land taken under the Public Works Act in 1886, was settled in 1988, when the land was returned with compensation and an apology.

17. The Wai 9 claim was lodged in 1986 by Joe Hawke and others. This claim focussed on grievances around the 700 acres (283ha) known as the Orakei Block. A settlement between the Crown and Orakei meant nearly 65 hectares were returned to Ngati Whatua Orakei under the Orakei Act 1991.

18. Ngati Whatua Orakei’s Wai 388 claim, lodged in 1993, covered the sale of 32,000 hectares in the Tamaki Isthmus, parts of the North Shore, and West Auckland, plus the seabed, foreshore, and reclamations in the Waitemata Harbour, and northern parts of the Manukau Harbour. Claimants objected to the government selling land for a profit, they claimed regulations to protect Maori in transactions between settlers and Maori were not applied correctly, and said the government was supposed to set aside 10 percent of the land area sold for use or special benefit for the original owners.

19. On November 5, 2011, a settlement was signed in which Ngati Whatua Orakei received financial redress of $18-million plus interest, which enabled the tribe to buy the property at 99 Owens Rd, Epsom; the Wakakura block on the North Shore; buy and lease back to the Crown the Narrow Neck block on the North Shore; and buy and lease back to the Crown the Beresford, Birchfield, Hilary, Marsden and Plymouth housing blocks on the North Shore.