Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei dispute Ngāti Paoa Deed

By Heeni Brown

The Crown and Ngāti Pāoa have initialled a Deed of Settlement with a total financial redress of $23.5mil, but it comes with opposition from neighbouring iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei who say the Treaty Negotiations Minister signed it secretly. 

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are disputing lands negotiated in the initial Deed of Settlement between Ngāti Pāoa and the Minister of Treaty Settlements.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei board member Renata Blair says, "Minister Finlayson is giving properties considered sacred sites within Ngāti Whātua's boundaries and that's what we're disputing. Don't give those lands to other iwi."

The matter is currently before the Court of Appeal and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei find the Treaty Minister's actions 'not only arrogant but disrespectful'.

"We wrote many times to the minister and emailed the minister weekly but with no response or any signal of wanting to meet with us over the matter. All he wants to do is get all the claims across the line because we're coming up to elections."

In response, Ngāti Pāoa negotiator Hauauru Rawiri says Ngāti Whātua Orākei's use of the courtroom is nothing more than 'cheque book' justice.

Ngāti Pāoa negotiator Hauauru Rawiri says, "To my Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei relations, we need to take this matter to the marae and discuss it there for the benefit of our children and the next generations to come." 

Rawiri says Ngāti Pāoa is trying to follow the same process Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei used to get their settlement in Tāmaki Makaurau.

"We are just focussed on getting our agreement back to our iwi and have them decide yes or no to the deal."

The Ngāti Pāoa initial Deed of Settlement was signed August 18. It will now be ratified by the iwi and Hauauru Rawiri hopes to complete this process by the end of the year. 

For more information on Ngāti Pāoa initial Deed of Settlement https://www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/ngati-paoa/