Statement from NZ Government
Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples paid tribute to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Manuhiri descendants today as their respective Treaty of Waitangi settlements became law. Dr. Sharples said “today marks a significant day for these two iwi who have walked a long road to have their grievances settled by the Crown.”
“As we moved through the final reading of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Claims Settlement Bill and the Ngāti Manuhiri Claims Settlement Bill we were reminded of the terrible injustices inflicted upon these iwi.”
“We remembered together the history that has shaped both the hapu and iwi, and the nation.”
Dr. Sharples said “the evictions of whanau from Takaparawhau, the ancestral lands of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, resulted in one of the most courageous displays of mana that will forever be remembered in our history.”
“Likewise, Ngāti Manuhiri also suffered many injustices in the form of evictions from tribal lands in the late 1800’s which has since left the north Auckland iwi virtually landless.”
“Today this history was formally recognised in the House. The injustices were acknowledged by the Crown, and we moved through the final reading of the settlement legislation which would go some way to allowing both Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Manuhiri to move forward with their heads held high.”
“It’s on days like today when you see kuia, koroua, mokopuna heading into these buildings, you know behind these people walk their tūpuna. In front of these people walk their future generations. And alongside these people today stands the Crown.”
Dr Sharples said “I commend Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Hon Chris Finlayson for moving through this legislation, and the House of Representatives for the widespread support of this legislation.”
“Finally, I acknowledge the iwi of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāti Manuhiri. Today will forever be marked in your history as the day that the many wrongs that were done to you were acknowledged and settled. I was humbled to be a part of this proud moment in history.”
Statement from NZ Labour Party
Labour is hailing the passing of the Ngati Whatua Orakei Settlement Bill as a watershed moment for Auckland.
The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Ngati Whatua virtually landless, delivers an apology from the Government, and a financial settlement of $18 million.
“This settlement at last addresses Ngati Whatua’s historic grievances in a comprehensive way. It sets a platform for Maori, Pakeha and the new Auckland to move forward together,” Labour’s Treaty Negotiations spokesperson Parekura Horomia said.
“Strong Maori leadership can help unleash the creativity and talents of the young generation of Maori and Pasifika who are such an important demographic in Auckland’s future.
“It has been a long road for Ngati Whatua. Almost since the first 3000 acres were sold to settlers for building Auckland, Ngati Whatua have battled to retain some land as a place to stand. The Waitangi Tribunal report makes it clear that successive Treaty breaches by the Crown rendered the tribe virtually landless by 1885,” said Parekura Horomia.
Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford said the occupation of Bastion Point in 1977 brought the issue to a new generation of Aucklanders and ushered in an era of protest that led to the current round of Treaty settlements.
“I want to pay tribute to Joe Hawke who led the occupation. He was part of a long line of Ngati Whatua who fought to hold onto the land. In doing so he touched the hearts of many Aucklanders.
“Today Bastion Point is not only one of Auckland’s most stunning places, it is a permanent reminder of a people’s will to survive and find justice,” Phil Twyford said.