Monday, August 24, 2015

Mike Butler: Tribes compete in Auckland claim

It was only a matter of time that some tribe would claim the city of Auckland. Then, lo and behold, when the frail, intellectually challenged Maori king did just that on Friday, a second claim for the City of Sails was revealed.

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,
2. Ngapuhi leader tells Maori king 'of Huntly' to keep out of Auckland.
3. Ibid


Anonymous said...
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The Crown and Auckland Council's genuflecting to Ngati Whatua and its various hapu based on their claim to mana whenua over the Tamaki Isthmus is arrant nonsense.

Further, it is often asserted that Ngati Whatua “gifted” the land on which Auckland City now stands to the Crown, thus entitling them to be involved on an ongoing basis in running the city.

The land was not “gifted” at all, but sold to the Crown for cash and goods. Once something is sold, it’s gone for good, and the seller has no further claim over it or ongoing rights to say what happens with it.

Claims to the contrary can be likened to selling someone a house, then demanding a perpetual say in how it is renovated, decorated and landscaped.

In any event, like so many early New Zealand land sales, Ngati Whatua’s claims to ownership at the time of sale are tenuous at best.

Ngati Whatua were not the first occupants of the Auckland area. Originally based further north, they colonised the locality around 1750 by exterminating its former occupants, Te Waiohua.

What goes around comes around. In the 1820s, the Tamaki Isthmus was repeatedly invaded by musket-toting Ngapuhi. The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand records that as a result: “much of the isthmus was abandoned as tribes sought shelter in the Tainui region.”

Historian, RCJ Stone, notes: “fear of Ngapuhi prevented them [Ngati Whatua] from occupying their old home for many years afterwards, indeed, not until Auckland was founded [in 1840] did they feel safe.”

Ngati Whatua thus “sold” to the Crown land they’d cravenly vacated more than a decade before. Land they no longer occupied or controlled in any meaningful sense. This placed the Governor and his troops between Ngati Whatua returnees and renewed hostilities from Ngapuhi.

Payment from the Crown also underscored to neighbouring tribes that the mana of the land remained with Ngati Whatua, though if you run away rather than standing up for yourself, that mana is clearly gone for good.

While a clever stroke of business from both a practical and a Maori perspective, this historical action hardly supports demands from Aucklanders of Anglo-Ngati Whatua descent for special treatment based on having some Maori ancestry.

Brian said...
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Reading Mike's well written account of the relevant position of the Tribes in the 1840's plus Anonymous comment. I just wonder whether anything will deviate Maori from their incessant demands for, what in real terms, is the return of New Zealand to Maori so-called sovereignty.

The position really revolves around the actual political power the Maori Party has in keeping the National Party as Government. This is the clear message that MMP has totally failed as a political system. We all as a nation, are paying a very heavy penalty for a system which has virtually removed any democratic majority rule, into the shackles of minority party control.

The use of ideology driven history now being indoctrinated in our schools ensures that future generations will continue the great game of continuing to fund more and more Maori claims.

Again to quote Kipling "WE NEVER PAY ANY-ONE DANE-GELD


ONZF said...
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The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
A second capital
"Hobson was subsequently offered land by several Māori chiefs for the purpose of establishing his capital in a more favourable position. The land, some 250 kilometres south of the Bay of Islands on the shores of the Waitematā Harbour, was known as Tāmaki-makau-rau (Tāmaki of a hundred lovers). Hobson accepted the offer, made his purchase and named the site Auckland, after his patron, Lord Auckland, governor general of India and former first lord of the admiralty. The new town – the colony’s new capital – began to be built on 15 September 1840".

Hobson accepted the offer, made the purchase, end of story!

Mike said...
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I have no confidence that the Government will simply cave in.

Barry said...
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I think this is a good post and the two comments are good comments.

Anonymous said...
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I wonder when New Zealand is going to finally wake up and stop this nonsense and scrap the treaty completely.
It has been an illegal gravy train from the start and the ruination of a true New Zealand.
Maori are not the true indigenous people of New Zealand but are mere immigrants and as such should not have any more rights than the rest of us that have immigrated here.
Wake up New Zealand before its to late.

Anonymous said...
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I have just read the book "Poenamo" by John Logan Campbell. A very interesting read. He and a friend purchased Browns Island from Chiefs at Thames,Kanini, Katikati, and Ngatai, with a written and signed deed, at Waiomu, They were not Auckland maori. This was in 1840. He then travelled to Browns Island, met some Auckland maoris, the Ngati Tai, the head was Te Tara. Then he tried to buy pigs from the Ngati Whatua chief Kawau, offering blankets etc in exchange. Kawau produced a whole lot of gold sovereigns, which he wanted to swap for the blankets etc, rather than pigs. Gold sovereigns were useless to maori in those days (how things have changed) It turned out that the sovereigns were the payment given to Kawau as payment for land at Auckland. His words were " For this land (Onehunga) and the Waitemata land. We have been to Kororareka (Russell) to get the utu (payment) and sign the pukapuka, and this is some of the money" and when asked if he had sold Orakei,he said "Kahore, kahore! (no, no!) The land sold to the Pakeha was "of a very miserable quality" in maori terms. "it was a maori bargain, and he had been equal to the occasion. He always kept the cream of the land, and sold the skimmed milk to the Pakeha In after years it came proverbial that if in travelling through the country and crossing poor tracts of land of stunted fern you asked "whose land is this?" the reply would be "The Queens land" And of these beautiful fertile spots?" "The land of the maori, of course; you need not to ask."

So who got the better of the land transactions? It seems from Logan Campbell, that it was the maori, so how come they could successfully claim through the Waitangi Tribunal? Why can't the Crown claim against the maori where the maori conned the Crown, such as in this one?

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