Hauraki settlement signed despite opposition

By Regan Paranihi

The Pare Hauraki collective redress deed was signed today as protesting iwi clashed with police and security on parliament grounds.

Ngāti Paoa is amongst many iwi from Hauraki who did not partake in the signing.

Ngāti Paoa delegated negotiator, Morehu Wilson says, “Minister Little has decided to sign the Hauraki Settlement today with those Iwi who are available to sign. Ngāti Paoa remains steadfast in our commitment to uphold Tikanga in order to reach a mutually beneficial outcome for all."   

He says one reason for the decision not to sign today is the commitment the iwi made to follow the Tikanga process.

“We made a commitment to follow a tikanga process. It's about doing it right the right way. That's what tikanga means. That's what tika, pono, and aroha means so all iwi can grow and flourish.  Meeting face to face on our marae, celebrating our kinship and connections, so we can have the brave conversations in a respectful manner.”

The total value of the Hauraki settlement package is more than $250 million, and includes the return two mountains Moehau and Te Aroha along with 25,000 hectares of commercial forests.

The Māori King, Tūheitia Paki, has called a hui to bring together Hauraki and Tauranga iwi under his kinship ties to resolve tension and an opportunity for people to engage in a proper Tikanga process.

Haydn Solomon, Kaiārahi for the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust says, "The sad thing is there are Iwi in both Tauranga and Hauraki who are closely related on both sides. I truly feel aroha for those families. Surely the preservation of those kinship ties has to be worth something - if not for historical reasons then surely for posterity's sake and for future generations.”

He says tikanga is a means of safety for the iwi and is something they will keep intact.

"Ngāti Paoa will continue to advocate for a Tikanga-based process to resolve outstanding overlapping claims and to future-proof our settlements with Maori-based solutions rather than using stale and flawed bureaucratic processes. The current approach only serves to confuse or pit people against each other and waste precious iwi resource in expensive litigation.

"We know our Tūpuna always had the answers, we just need to trust in them."