Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mike Butler: Whangarei land sold, not ‘lost’

Allegations at the Nga Hapu o Whangarei hearings last week that “culturally significant” sites were “lost” or “taken” as a result of ‘‘unscrupulous tactics sanctioned and assisted by the Crown” disguise the fact that the land was not lost, it was sold.(1)

Tribunal officials and tribal representatives visited harbours, rivers, forests and urban areas on which sit Government and corporate entities between Whangarei's east coast and Kaipara District's west coast. The hearings process began on Sunday with ritual welcomes.

Those 19th century transactions are detailed in 44 deeds collated by Henry Hanson Turton and held in government archives as well as the Victoria University NZETC website, each bearing the names of landowners who either asserted their claim to the land or proved it through a rigorous court process. Numerous deeds are worded thus:
This Deed, written on . . . ., is a paper of the full consent of us the Chiefs and Freemen of the . . . . . whose names are affixed to this document:—written on behalf of ourselves, our relations, and our descendants; to give up for. ever a certain portion of our lands to Victoria, the Queën of England or to the Kings or Queens who may succeed her for evér.
And in consideration of our full consent to sell a certain portion of our land, Victoria the Qùeen of Englànd, on her part, agrees.
Receipt for . . . . . . to pay us the sum of . . . . ., which monies we have this day received.
The boundaries of the land are these . . . . . . .
All our interests in this land have ceased, and we have for ever given up and transferred this land, which descended to us from our ancestors, with its rivers, streams, lakes, fresh-water, timber, pastures, minerals, hills, ranges, with all its fertile spots, with all its barren places, with all above and all below the surface and all thereunto appertaining, in the light of this day, to the Queen of England, or to the Kings or Queens who may succeed her for ever.(2)
The Ruakaka Block (Deed 96) was sold by 14 individuals for ₤350 on February 16, 1854. The Purua Block (Deed 96A) was sold by one individual for £1861. Three individuals sold the Tangihua Block (Deed 96B) for £1164, and so on.

An analysis of 10 deeds showed 193 people signed away 10 blocks for £6521. Without going through all 44 deeds, it is possible that 849 people sold the Whangarei area for ₤28,692, which according to the Reserve Bank inflation calculator, would be $3.2-million today.

Remember, the land was unimproved. Remember too that the vendors did not own the land as freehold title in the Torrens system. They merely had a claim to the area, for whatever reason, and they were selling that claim to the government.

The historians involved in this case will know that claims for more money frequently followed Crown purchases, sometimes by individuals who alleged they missed out on sale proceeds, sometimes by vendors after the money from the original sale ran out. Such claims have been presented to what was called the Native Land Court. Some claims were made as petitions to parliament.

When the 1984-1987 government decided to reopen all old claims back to 1840, anyone with any inkling of a claim was invited to ask for more. The public was told that the claim would be investigated by a fair and impartial Waitangi Tribunal.

In fact, in our topsy-turvy world, there is no fair and impartial Waitangi Tribunal process.

You would be surprised to know that the first step involves claimants and the Crown agreeing to a negotiated statement of facts. The next step involves the Waitangi Tribunal writing up a report based on the agreed statement. The third step has claimants and the Office of Treaty Settlements negotiating settlement compensation, and the fourth step has parliament rubber-stamping an already legally binding deed of settlement.

The fertility clinic doctor presenting the claim for Nga Hapu o Whangarei apparently had no idea of the 44 deeds of sale and the $3.2-million (2013 dollars) already paid to those 19th century great-grandparents who quite happily sold their claims to the area. He repeated the emotional and inaccurate claim that the land was “taken” then cited the example of a former Maori farmer of the year to show “what practical support rather than taking their land might have done for the hapu”. (3)

So when the serial protestor Titewhai Harawira challenged the Crown to produce receipts for the land it says it bought from her people after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, (4) she seems unaware that all these receipts exist along with Crown purchase deeds, just like the Whangarei deeds already mentioned.

Claimants know we have a soft-touch government so are claiming as much as they can before the tide turns.

1. Waitangi Tribunal hearings begin in Whangarei, NZ Herald, October 16, 2013.
2. Deed 100, Takahiwae, July 7, 1854. Maori Deeds of Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand: Volume One, Province of Auckland. — Part I.—Maori Deeds. H.H. Turton.
3. Land ‘ taken from’ hapu, Northern Advocate, October 17, 2013.
4. Harawira wants proof of land receipts, Radio NZ, October 16, 2013.


Anonymous said...

The Waitangi Tribunal was founded upon the English Treaty which states "Done at Waitangi on 06-02-1840, wasn't written until March and was used, unauthorised, as a piece of paper to catch the overspill of signatures to the Maori Treaty in the Waikato during April 1840. Hobson approved the signatures (hence 06-02-1840) but not the document they were written on.

The Treaty of Waitangi Acts 1975, 1985, the Principles of the Treaty and all settlements and privileges approved by them depend on the false English treaty to survive.

What lawyer, organisation or private individual might be interested in Court action?

To encourage such action I'll disclose a long held secret.

Lieu. Gvnr. Hobson was Lieu to Governor Gipps of NSW, Australia and when the treaty was signed NZ was annexed to NSW. Secret, what ratified the Treaty, split us from NSW, promoted Hobson to be our Governor, gave us our first constitution, own English law, own Government and flag was Queen Victoria's Royal Charter of 16-11-1840, our true founding document, New Zealand as we know it was born.

Why not celebrate 16-11-1840 as NZ's independence day in commemoration of our true founding document, the Queen's Royal Charter?

No mention of the Treaty in this Charter, the Treaty had already made all of us British subjects.

ONZF said...

Why are these proceedings heard by the Waitangi Tribunal when they are alleged breached of the laws of New Zealand. Nothing to do with the Treaty of Waitangi as Queen Victoria did not have the power or authority to give Maori special right in the Treaty not already enjoyed by the people of England under English Law. All land transaction in New Zealand after the Treaty was signed were made under New Zealand Law.

Judy said...

Thankyou for keeping tabs on all these issues. There is so much going on that most of us are unaware of. Please keep up the vigilance on behalf of "us lot" who cannot keep up with it all. We depend on people like you gaining all the facts (and publishing them)and ensuring that NZ belongs to NZrs not just to some sections of it.

Helen said...

In the name of a reinvented Treaty billions of our dollars and assets are being given to one racial group. These are fraudulent and done with the blessing of a corrupt Waitangi Tribunal.

The true Treaty was a done deal in 1840 and a far more important document came into being - Queen Victoria's Royal Charter on 16 November 1840. This document gave our country independence from NSW and was for ALL of us, unlike the Treaty which was solely to bring the Maori people under the same laws as the rest of us.

ONZF said...

Just to follow on from anomynous, the Treaty was only to give Britain sovereignty over the Islands of New Zealand under the juridiction of NSW and Maori the same rights as the people of England under English law. The Treaty did that without question. The next stage in the development of NZ was to make New Zealand into a British Colony. This was achieved with Queen Victoria's Royal Charter dated the 16 November 1840. The Royal Charter enacted the Colony of New Zealand with our own Governor, government and Constitution. While the Treaty gave sovereignty of NZ to Britain, the Royal Charter gave NZ its first Constitution - the fudamental principles by which a country is governed, therefore was our Founding Document and must be celebrated on the 16 February as our Independence Day. The first day in becoming an Independent Sovereign Nation - New Zealand under one flag and one law.