Press Release – Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board
Members of Auckland iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are at Parliament today to witness the Third Reading of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Claims Settlement Bill and see it pass into legislation thus completing a decade long quest for recognition of past transgressions of the Treaty.
The Trust Board lodged the Wai 388 Treaty claim in 1993 and entered into direct negotiation with the Office of Treaty Settlements in May 2003.
The Wai 388 claim covers the loss of 32,000 hectares in the Tamaki isthmus. This includes parts of the North Shore, and West Auckland, plus the seabed, foreshore, and reclamations in the Waitematā Harbour, and northern parts of the Manukau Harbour.
This was the area throughout which, at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, various sections of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei had been working their gardens and fishing grounds, backed by supporting settlements and bases.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust Chairman Grant Hawke said it has been an arduous journey to get this Treaty settlement completed.
“Many of our people have put years of work into inching this settlement to conclusion and some who did monumental work have passed on which means it is a day of contrasts, of delight and sadness.
“So putting those two emotions together I would say we are philosophical about reaching this point.”
He said the iwi has a sense of achievement to get the settlement across the line.
“I am grateful to our people for their patience. Several times when things looked like they were going to be concluded a further obstacle was put in the way. But we have made it now.”
Mr Hawke said the settlement is made up of an apology, an Agreed Historical Account, cultural redress and commercial redress.
He says the apology is important to his people as it is an acknowledgement that the Crown’s actions were wrong. He also points to the importance of the Agreed Historical Account.
“This is an important historical document that sets out what happened and that both parties agree that this account is a true record of events. I urge all Aucklanders to read this document. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has been through so much in the past but we are now looking to the future and making investments to help support our whānau and tamariki to succeed.”
The cultural redress includes the return of 33 hectares (81 acres) at Pourewa Creek which is the last remaining undeveloped Crown-owned land that was once part of the 700 acre Ōrākei Block. It also includes the acknowledgement of cultural interests of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in Kauri Point in all resource management matters and the purchase by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei of 99 Owens Road, Epsom.
The commercial redress includes $16 million quantum in cash plus approximately $1 million of interest that is to be used to part pay for $120 million of North Shore New Zealand Defence Force housing and operational land.
The Crown makes this apology to Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei and to their ancestors and descendants:
The Crown recognises that from 1840, Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei sought a close and positive relationship with the Crown and, through land transactions and other means, provided lands for European settlement.
The Crown profoundly regrets and is deeply sorry for its actions which left Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei virtually landless by 1855. This state of landlessness has had devastating consequences for the social, economic and spiritual wellbeing of Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei that continue to be felt today.
The Crown unreservedly apologises for not having honoured its obligations to Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei under the Treaty of Waitangi. By this settlement the Crown seeks to atone for its wrongs, so far as that is now possible, and begin the process of healing. The Crown looks forward to repairing its relationship with Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei based on mutual trust, co-operation and respect for the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.