Monday, August 24, 2015
Mike Butler: Tribes compete in Auckland claim
First, Maori king Tuheitia told more than 500 people at his annual speech at Turanagwaewae Marae that he was determined to launch a claim for greater Auckland.(1)
Then Ngapuhi leader David Rankin confirmed on Saturday plans were “well under way” for his tribe to make a claim on the same area.(2)
Both claims include the Mahurangi Peninsula near Warkworth, the Firth of Thames, and across to the Manukau Harbour and Piha.
The Maori king’s spokesman Tukoroirangi Morgan said “throughout Auckland there are a number of sites that Te Wherowhero, the first Maori King, had predominant mana over”.
Rankin said "Ngapuhi's history in Auckland extends back for several centuries, and that there are numerous sites in the city that are sacred to the iwi."
"The King of Huntly is being a bit cheeky. His ancestors didn't even sign the treaty and now he wants a piece of the action. But Ngapuhi's message to him is clear: keep out of Auckland until we've finished with it,” he said.
If this is an historical claim, the deadline for historical claims passed on September 1, 2008. Tuheitia has been “king” since 2006, and this is the first time he has aired this claim publicly.
Rankin said the basis of the Ngapuhi claim will be that because the Crown ignored Ngapuhi when settling the Auckland claim with Ngati Whatua, a breach of the treaty occurred.
A spokeswoman for Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said the Crown recognised Waikato-Tainui was one of several groups with historical Treaty of Waitangi claims in the Auckland region.
As reporters sought comment, the usual suspects enabled the outrageous claim to take on some semblance of credibility.
Former Maori studies professor and Waitangi Tribunal member Ranginui Walker told television that the deadline for historical was merely a unilateral decision by government.
Treaty expert Professor Paul Moon of AUT University said it was a huge claim that could lead to a stoush, with the risk that a great deal of division between claimants - Ngaphui, Ngati Whatua and now Tainui”.
Looking at history, the Auckland isthmus was largely uninhabited in 1840, at the official start of British settlement.
Ngati Whatua had occupied the Auckland area from the mid-18th century until 1822 when driven out by a Ngapuhi war expedition. From 1840, Ngati Whatua people were happy to sell large parcels of land to incoming settlers because they were too frightened to live there alone.
As settlers bought pieces of the isthmus, Patuone of Ngapuhi supported the British governor by acting as a buffer against attacks from the north. Te Wherowhero of Waikato protected from the south.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the claims were absurd. "National's indulgence for Maori separatism is leading to ever more ludicrous claims,” he said. "In all seriousness National is keen to put iwi before Kiwi and that's not something people voted for." (3)
Waikato-Tainui celebrated in May the 20th anniversary of its 1995 settlement in which the tribe was given $170-million to settle grievances over land confiscation.
A relativity clause in that settlement gives the tribe 17 percent of all settlements since the $1-billion (in 1992 dollars) mark was reached three years ago.
The 1995 settlement was the tribe’s second confiscation settlement.
The Waikato-Maniapoto Maori Claims Settlement Act 1946 provided a £10,000 lump sum and payments for 45 years to compensate for land confiscations. The Act has the words “final settlement” on page 1.
These two claims for Auckland by Waikato-Tainui and Ngapuhi follow 30 years of successive governments seeking to placate escalating demands by simply acceding to their ultimatums.
The claims will only stop when a government says no or when the government runs out of cash.
1.Maori King lays claim to Auckland, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11500880
2. Ngapuhi leader tells Maori king 'of Huntly' to keep out of Auckland. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/71363090/ngapuhi-leader-tells-maori-king-of-huntly-to-keep-out-of-auckland
at 10:10 AM