Marama Davidson - Ngāti Tamaoho Claims Settlement Bill - Third Reading

I am particularly delighted to stand in this third reading, celebrating the longstanding generosity and strength and resilience of Ngāti Tamaoho.


E Te Māngai o te Whare, tēnā koe. Tēnā tātou katoa. Ōku hoa kaimahi i roto i tēnei whare pāremata. Ko te mea nui o tēnei rā, ka tū ahau ki te whakautu i a koutou, i ō koutou kaha i tēnei rā o Ngāti Tamaoho. Tēnā tātou katoa. Nei rā taku mihi aroha. Kī ana tēnei whare i o koutou wairua i te hau o Ngāti Tamaoho. E ngā uri o Ngāti Tamaoho i roto tēnei whare. Tēnei te mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa. Kia ora.

E Te Māngai o te Whare, Things happen for a reason, and today I am particularly delighted to stand in this third reading, celebrating the longstanding generosity and strength and resilience of Ngāti Tamaoho, especially considering what you have been through over the generations and over the centuries, because I wasn't supposed to speak on today's bill. I had even let Warahi Paki know that I wasn't going to be able to be in the House to greet you all today and to stand here ā-tinana [in person] to feel your wairua all around us. So I'm particularly happy that I am here to address you. My colleague who was supposed to speak on this, who is our fantastic Pākehā tangata Tiriti spokesperson for Te Tiriti, Jan Logie, is unable to make it back from the plane in time. I am incredibly honoured to take her place and be able to address you today.

Because I spoke in the first reading and, in the whole 20 minutes that I had to prepare for this, I went back and had a look and remembered—and remembered your story, and remembered your history, and remembered your whakapapa, and remembered your strength—from my reading in the first reading on this, and why. And all of the connections that I have to your story came back to me just in time for me to stand.

So I'm going to concentrate on kaitiaki today, because Ngāti Tamaoho are kaitiaki not rebels. And Ngāti Tamaoho have always been kaitiaki, even when they were made virtually landless. So the connection and the importance of whakapapa and the accountability that you have always held to your ngahere, to your awa, to your maunga, to your people, to your tupuna, and to your mokopuna to come, was never severed. You have continued, despite all of this; despite being, in Warahi's words, underserviced forever by all authorities, by all powers, by local government, by regional government, by central governments—underserviced with all of the basic living needs that communities need, having had your land, environmental responsibilities, taken by shady manner, by shady actions, or by outright theft.

You have maintained, through wit and ingenuity and sheer accountability, the leadership and connection to your lands. So those shady deals and shady sales that happened around the South Auckland area, around your whole iwi tribal rohe—and including, I've read, some lands in Remuera, which is a good thing to remind us all in this House, which is quite typical of many of the Treaty deals that happened—some of our prime lands and whenua were absolutely stolen from iwi. So I did want to put that on the Hansard as well.

Now, I wanted to pick up on your words, Warahi—and all of you from Mangatangi Pā, from Waikato Awa, from Maungaroa Maunga, and from Tamaoho and Waikato iwi and the long agonising wait, says Warahi, which is the actually the patience and generosity that Ngāti Tamaoho have had and have benefited our country with, despite being underserviced by powers, as I mentioned, and not having the full affirmation of your kaitiaki mana over your waters—for example, the work you have done to maintain māra kai, water kirihi, the pūhā, the tuna, the tuna heke the koura, the catfish, and all the whakapapa parts of our ecosystem and the biodiversity that you have had to struggle to care for despite the settlements, the colonies that happened as a result of the land rip-offs, and the Pākehā colonies that rose, and the infrastructure that was put in place in a shoddy, ad hoc way that caused the environmental degradation that you have then had to try and keep tabs on. What that did the water supply, the dam; what that did to rerouting, water distribution—now this has happened all around the country. Our awa have been rerouted from our valleys, from our hapori, and from our families, to be rerouted away from us. So that has happened for ever, and absolutely happened to Ngāti Tamaoho as well.

I'm a South Auckland resident and have been for all of my adult life. I have visited Hunua Falls and the Hunua Scenic Reserve for most of my adult life and have gifted that place to my tāmariki to be able to take them there to benefit in our ngahere. And I cannot wait to see the affirmation of the cultural mātauranga Māori and leadership that Ngāti Tamaoho will have to have over our ngahere if we are truly going to save them and if we are truly going to protect them for mokopuna.

I look forward to your leadership on being able to work with the authorities, including DoC and all the authorities that have the power levers, and being able to insist on the benefits of mātauranga Māori, Māori science, and Māori whakapapa knowledge of ecosystems and biodiversity to help guard against things like kauri dieback. And I look forward to supporting your voice and making sure that this House upholds your expertise and your background and your connection to those areas for the benefit of all of us.

So, in closing, I am here. I am taura here living in Auckland for my iwi of Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, and Ngati Porou, living on your lands alongside the other mana whenua of Tāmaki-makau-rau. I am here appreciative for all the benefits that my whānau and tāmariki and parents and grandparents, as long-time residents in South Auckland, have received with the benefit of living on your whenua.

I am here as a co-leader of the Green Party, who understand that dealing with large unnatural groupings, such as iwi, have really caused some frustration. And we are very clear that it should go back to the actual natural groupings of hapū and, indeed, whānau. I am here because the Green Party knows that there is no such thing as full and final settlement and that Te Tiriti is a relationship between Crown and rangatira, who have rangatiratanga over their whenua rohe and rohe moana. And I am here because Warahi sent me an email. And I replied to you, Warahi, saying, "I'm so sorry I'm not going to be in this House today, but I take on board your words." And I have taken on board your words and put them on this floor in this whare, because the words of Ngāti Tamaoho are the most important words.

Nō reira, tēnei taku mihi aroha, nō taku ngakau, nō taku wairua, nō taku tinana, nō aku tupuna, ki a koutou, ki ō koutou tupuna, ki ō koutou maunga, ki ō koutou awa, ki ō koutou ngahere, me ngā rākau rangatira o te wao nui a Tāne, ngā mea katoa ngā kararehe katoa, o tātou whakapapa, ki a koutou ngā mokopona kāore anō ki a tae ki tēnei ao marama. No reira, he mihi hōhonu, he mihi aroha, he mihi kau ana. Kia ora mai tātou katoa.