Ngāi Te Rangi hui with Crown over Hauraki Collective treaty claim
Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little met with Ngāi Te Rangi regarding Hauraki Collective treaty claim.
Charlie Tawhiao, of Ngāi Te Rangi, told media the objective of the hui was to clarify to the minister what the issues were over the handling of the Hauraki Collective treaty claim.
"Ko te hiahia o tēnei hui, kia whakamārama ai ki te minita, kia mārama pai ia he aha ngā raru. "
Tauranga Moana iwi have long objected Hauraki Collective's treaty claim, saying it encroaches over their traditional authority in the area.
Iwi spokesperson Hauata Palmer refers to a tribal saying that outlines the borders of their lands - 'Mai i Ngā Kurī-a-Whārei ki Tihirau'. According to Te Ara-The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Ngā Kurī a Whārei is the name given to a reef west of the headland at the Katikati entrance to Tauranga Harbour, and Tihirau is near Cape Runway. Mr Palmer explains that this contradicts Hauraki Collective's own claim that their authority extends 'Mai Matakana ki Matakana' (from Matakana in Northland to Matakana in Tauranga).
"Ko te rohe ki a mātou, mai i Ngā Kurī-a-Whārei ki Te Tumu. Ki konei mai i Ngā Kurī-a-Whārei ki Tihirau mō te rohe o te waka o Mataatua. Anā, kei reira tonu tērā take e tau ana ki a mātou, engari ki a rātou kua rerekē, kua kī rātou mai Matakana ki Matakana, koia tērā tō rātou rohe. Kāre tērā i te tika."
While it was their first meeting with the new Treaty Negotiations Minister, they're urging him to listen to their concerns. Charlie Tawhiao says the point of the discussions is to not derail Hauraki, but that the issue lies between the Crown and Ngāi Te Rangi, not Ngāi Te Rangi and Hauraki.
"Ehara i te mea…e hiahia ana kia patu i a Hauraki, ko te mea kē e hiahia ana mātou ki te huri i wō mātou nei riri ki te Karauna i te mea nā rātou i tīmata i tēnei whawhai."
In a show of displaying mana motuhake, sovereignty, over their tribal area, Ngāi Te Rangi have been involved in a protest blocking port access to Tauranga with a flotilla of vessels, as well as protesting by foot. The iwi are adamant they will continue to fight for sovereignty in their area.
Mr Palmer reiterates that their aim is not to detract from Hauraki being able to seek a treaty settlement.
"Ko tō mātou, tuatahi, ko te tautoko i te whakatau i te kerēme raupatu a Pare Hauraki, kāre mātou i te whakahē atu i tērā, engari kia tauwehengia ngā take e kōrerohia ake ana i waenganui i a mātou me Pare Hauraki, kia wehea, kia motuhake tērā take, arā, kia haere tonu te whakataunga i tō rātou kerēme."
Mr Tawhiao adds that it is about ensuring that any inter-iwi issues that arise should be left for iwi to settle themselves.
"Kia hoki mai te mana ki ngā iwi, ki a tātou ngā iwi, a Ngāi Māori. Mā mātou anō e whakatika ngā hara i waenganui i a tāua."
Tauranga Moana iwi hopes this hui will help to settle the matter.