Marama Davidson - Ngāti Tūwharetoa Claims Settlement Bill - First Reading

I'm going to start, as have many of my colleagues in this House, by acknowledging the incredible generosity of Ngāti Tūwharetoa 

MARAMA DAVIDSON (Green): Madam Speaker

Madam Deputy Speaker – Hon Anne Tolley: I call Marama Davidson

Marama: Tēnā koe e te Māngai o tēnei whare. Huri noa ki a tātou katoa, ōku kaimahi. Te tuatahi nei rā taku mihi mai oha, taku mihi aroha ki a koutou, ngā uri o Ngāti Tūwharetoa. Nau mai ki tēnei whare, ki ō whare, o te whare paremata. He mihi aroha tēnei ki ō maunga, ngā maunga teitei. He mihi kau ana tēnei ki ngā moana, ki ngā awa. Nei rā te mihi, te tuku mihi ki a koutou. kua tai mai nei i tēnei rā hirahira. He mihi anō ki a koutou, ngā mokopuna, ngā tamariki, ngā whānau, ngā kaimahi o tēnei pire i whāriki nei i mua i a tātou katoa. Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora mai tātou katoa.

Anō hoki he mihi ki a koe e te ariki Tā Tumu Te Heuheu me te mana me te aroha o koutou e tu ana kei muri i a koe. Tēna tātou katoa.

I'm going to start, as have many of my colleagues in this House, by acknowledging the incredible generosity of Ngāti Tūwharetoa arriving at this settlement before us. The generosity in the face of what cannot be overstated—in the face of the Crown's aggression on a number of levels, including physically; including economically, culturally; including violently; and definitely including spiritually aggressive hunger for what Ngāti Tūwharetoa had kaitiaki responsibilities over, including Tāupo Moana, including the maunga, including the cultural connections to all of the whenua and the incredible benefits that all of Aotearoa have gained from the time—and ongoing—that those connections were broken and that those responsibilities and kaitiaki responsibilities were broken by the violent acts of the Crown.

On that note, I start my contribution by deeply acknowledging that generosity in light of the Crown breach of what was a tiriti agreement that we were to have a good faith partnership and that the Crown was to always uphold the mana motuhake of hapū and iwi of Aotearoa.

Te Tiriti, in its essence, supports hupūtanga, and the Green Party has always made it very clear that we want to review the entire settlement process, particularly in terms of its tendency to want to deal with large natural groupings, a particular part of the settlement process that continues to wedge hapū, that continues to undermine hapū, and that continues to create all sorts of raruraru around the motu. I acknowledge all of the raru that Tūwharetoa have faced on this particular matter and that, also, Tūwharetoa have remained open to the communications that continue to need to happen along the settlement process, which pits hapū against each other.

I am going to focus quite deeply into the historical account. For me, the historical accounts—and I acknowledge that, while this is the first meeting that this House is having with your settlement legislation, that for many years, and alongside all sorts of hard work and losses, the kōrero for this negotiated settlement has taken place since long before today. I always want to deeply understand at least the historical account that is presented to us in the bill, which, in my opinion, I welcome and think these are one of the most important parts of the legislation, but I know that they in no way capture all the nuances and all the impacts that the historical journeys have had on Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

In saying that, I do appreciate what iwi are able to have put into the records—into the written records—and into this House as a historical account. I noted that, before 1860, of course Ngāti Tūwharetoa actively opposed the Crown's aggressive purchasing programme and that, in those actions of actively opposing the Crown's grab of land, they set themselves up as a target. This happened around the motu. Having set themselves up as a target of the Crown by stubbornly and fantastically wanting to protect their kaitiaki and whakapapa links to their whenua, alongside the later invasion of Crown forces into the Waikato rohe, that brought upon Tūwharetoa a series of aggressive actions and breaches by the Crown of Te Tiriti agreement.

So I want to acknowledge that from the get-go, Ngāti Tūwharetoa have made it very clear that they weren't going to have a bar of the land negotiations.

It also happened that native land laws were then put in place—all the different mechanisms and tools are used by the Crown to try and usurp and undermine the whakapapa kaitiaki responsibilities that Ngāti Tūwharetoa had over their whenua and their land holdings, and, absolutely, legislation was a part of that mechanism and that strategy, particularly the mechanism of removing collective title into individual title. That meant that by 1900 the alienation of Ngāti Tūwharetoa had become incredibly significant and damaging and that today, much of this—say, 430,000 acres of Ngāti Tūwharetoa—had been acquired by the Crown, and that today much of this land remains in Crown ownership and has, right back from that time, continued to benefit everybody, except for the detrimental impacts it has had on Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

These are the benefits of colonisation. These are where we need to always remember who has benefited from colonisation. The Crown most certainly has, and parts of the community most certainly have. The cumulative injustice has gotten stronger and stronger every single day that we do not make appropriate restitution for that cumulative impact and breach of Te Tiriti.

I also want to pick up specifically on Ngāti Te Maunga and the mountain peaks and, in particular, Horonuku Te Heuheu Tukino IV and his action of wanting to make a tipu—wanting to grant—in the spirit of generosity. It was a type of gifting whereby those maunga would be protected and preserved for Ngāti Tūwharetoa, for other iwi, and for all New Zealanders.

Consistently, despite an unfortunately and completely untrue narrative that Māori and iwi are greedy, we have in fact done completely the opposite and have wanted to maintain our generosity, manaaki, and aroha to communities with upholding those whakapapa connections and responsibilities to rohe and including the maunga. So I am grateful, and this is just a small example of some of the historical account that is the starting point for me in looking at what has happened.

I'm going to conclude that this settlement that the Greens have always maintained that these settlements are not full and final, and we will always advocate for a review of the large natural groupings process and how that is dealt with by the Crown. But also, Te Tiriti should be a positive force for social cohesion and a way forward, but it needs to happen by making sure that restitution is full.

No reira, tēnei te mihi aroha ki a tātou katoa. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, huri noa kia ora tātou katoa.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, and I do apologise for not giving the two-minute bell. I call the Honourable Peeni Henare.

Hon Peeni Henare: Tēnā koe e te Māngai o te whare.