Today the Waitangi Tribunal released Part Three of Te Mana Whatu Āhuru: Report on Te Rohe Pōtae Claims. The report addresses all claims relating to Crown actions within the Te Rohe Potae inquiry district after the Treaty of Waitangi signing in February, 1840.
The first two reports recommended that the Rangatiratanga of Te Rohe Pōtae Māori be enacted in legislation in a way that recognises and affirms their rights of autonomy and self-determination within their rohe, and imposes a positive obligation on the Crown to give effect to those rights.
The reports stated that for Ngāti Maniapoto or their mandated representatives, this will require legislation that recognises and affirms Te Ōhākī Tapu (agreement signed by Maniapoto me ōna hapū maha and the Crown in 1883-85), and imposes an obligation on the Crown and its agencies to give effect to the right to mana whakahaere.
The third report focusses on how to give effect to these matters by addressing land policy and legislation enforced by the Crown after 1900, and discusses the implications this had on Māori who expected to be able to exercise their mana whakahaere. Not only did these expectations reflect promises within the Treaty of Waitangi, but also within the Te Ohāki Tapu agreement.
The Waitangi Tribunal have identified numerous breaches relating to Crown land legislation, how it was applied within the rohe, and the actions carried out by various Crown agencies during this time. Consequently, the Tribunal have recommended that during treaty settlement negotiations, the Crown should discuss with Te Rohe Pōtae Māori, or their mandated settling group(s), a possible legislative mechanism
that will enable Te Rohe Pōtae iwi and hapū to administer their lands, either alongside the Māori Land Court and Te Tumu Paeroa (the Māori Trustee), or as separate entities.
Maniapoto Māori Trust Board (MMTB) Chair, R. Tiwha Bell says MMTB are satisfied with the Tribunal’s findings and is confident that the recommendations provided to date can be applied under current negotiations with the Crown. “As the mandated body to represent Maniapoto in treaty settlement negotiations, the MMTB is fully focused in holding the Crown to account through the negotiations process. The Tribunal report is comprehensive and the evidence clearly sets out the deliberate actions of the Crown to disenfranchise our people from their lands. The report is timely and we will be re-engaging our negotiations with the Crown once the urgency tribunal process has ended.”
The first two parts were released in September 2018 and the fourth is due for release in September 2019.
More information on the Maniapoto Treaty Settlement can be found here and a link to Part Three of the report can be found here.