Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mike Butler: More treaty dollars for Taranaki

More treaty dollars were assigned to two Taranaki tribes this week with deeds of settlement signed with Ngaruahine and Te Atiawa. Those who know New Zealand history will recall that a key Te Atiawa forebear both sold most of Taranaki and then went on to oppose land sales, sparking the 1860 Taranaki war.

Te Atiawa will receive a total package of $91-million, which includes a $1-million cultural fund and an accrued interest payment of $3-million. South Taranaki's Ngaruahine will receive $67.5-million. (1)

The Te Atiawa chief who sold Taranaki to the New Zealand Company in 1839 was Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake. Much of Taranaki was deserted at that time as a result of raids from Waikato.

By 1854, that Te Atiawa chief led Taranaki opposition to land sales, sparking a five-year armed feud amongst Taranaki Maori.

Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake’s occupation of the Pekapeka block in 1860, an area of land sold to the government by a Waitara chief named Te Teira Manuka, was considered an act of rebellion. Martial law was declared, troops occupied part of the block and attacked Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake’s fortified pa there on March 17, 1860.

This week’s settlements will include an apology for allegedly "unconscionable actions" at Parihaka and for the damage this caused to the community.

Parihaka was a village founded between Mount Taranaki and the Tasman Sea in 1867, by Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, after six years of sporadic armed conflict in Taranaki, on land confiscated by the government under the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act.

The presence of anti-government Maori leaders Te Whiti and Titokowaru at Parihaka, plus a campaign by them of ploughing up land being prepared for non-Maori settlement, attracted a crackdown on November 5, 1881, in which 1600 people were expelled.

Such a crackdown would be entirely reasonable when viewed in the context of the 19th century New Zealand armed conflicts, especially considering the role of Parihaka leaders in those conflicts. But with a social justice activist as a treaty negotiations Minister, what was reasonable then is unconscionable now.

Ngaruahine and Te Atiawa join four other Taranaki tribes have already received a total of $101.4-million since 2003 -- Ngati Ruanui received $41-million and Ngati Tama received $14.5-million (which it said it lost in 2012) in 2003, Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi received $31-million in 2005, Ngati Mutunga received $14-9-million in 2006.

These constitute a second round of “final” settlements since the 1944 Taranaki Maori Claims Settlement Act was also intended as a final settlement of claims in that area. Under that Act, the Taranaki Maori Trust Board had received a ₤5000 annuity since a recommendation by the Sim commission in 1926, plus a £300 lump sum payment for loss of property at Parihaka in 1881.(2)

1. Iwi to sign treaty settlements, Taranaki Daily News, June 4, 2014.
2. Hill, Richard, Settlements of Major Maori Claims in the 1940s: A Preliminary Historical Investigation, Department of Justice, Wellington, November 8, 1989.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

As usual Mike good stuff.