Government Swamped by Tuhoronuku mandate submissions
The Government's been swamped with submissions on the Ngapuhi mandate.
The Office of Treaty Settlements says more than 2000 submissions came in by closing date last Sunday and there could be another 1000 in the mail. The Ngapuhi runanga organisation, Tuhoronuku is claiming the right to settle the northern claims. It's strongly opposed by the hapu organisation Te Kotahitanga. Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson advertised the mandate last month and called for public submissions. If he recognises it - negotiations on the last of the major land claims could begin immediately.
But a spokesperson says 2000 submissions on a mandate is a record: the usual number, depending on the iwi size, is 200 - 300. Officials say they will analyse the submissions and report to Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples and Mr Finlayson in late September with advice.
Ngapuhi's Fisheries Trust, Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi, will attempt to make constitutional changes at their next Annual General Meeting on the 19th October which could undermine hapū representation. In an unprecedented move, the Trustees are attempting to make changes to its constitution which would give them the power to call hui on behalf of hapu and marae and appoint representatives to a takiwa. This constitutional arrangement would disempower hapu who have refused to mandate the Runanga to represent them, allowing for a straw person to be appointed instead as a representative of the takiwa to the Runanga. The move is considered an attempt by the Trust to sure up their mandate in the face of serious misgivings that have arisen from their struggles to control the mandate to settle all of Ngapuhi’s Treaty claims. It is widely expected that the vast majority of recent submissions to the Minister, will have been in opposition to the mandate, reflecting the TVNZ poll of Ngapuhi run shortly after voting on the mandate closed, which also demonstrated wide opposition to the Tuhoronuku sub-committee receiving a mandate. To be eligible as a potential post settlement entity, the Trust would also have to demonstrate its ability to represent all of Ngapuhi, and these constitutional changes would provide the Runanga with a mechanism to create an illusion of iwi wide support and representation. Hapu such as Ngati Hine, who have refused to mandate the subcommittee to settle it claims, or participate at a Runanga level, are most at risk as non-participation would be a condition in the recommended constitutional changes which would allow the Trust to call a hui on their behalf which could see a straw person appointed to represent them. The details and implications of these constitutional changes have also not been communicated or explained to the iwi in the Trust's public notice. The Trust has merely described the proposed changes to the constitution as; "These amendments will: (a) put the term of Takiwā and Taurahere Executive Committee members on the same three year cycle as the Trustee and Proxy Trustee from that Takiwā/Taurahere; and (b) correct minor typographical errors." The Annual General Meeting to consider and vote on the changes has also been called at a Marae in one of the most remote valleys on the western extremities of Taitokerau in Waimamaku, far away from the populations and hapu of Ngapuhi which will potentially be effected and undermined by these changes, making it extremely difficult and expensive for iwi members to participate in the process or cast a vote in opposition. The meeting has also been timed to follow directly after a very busy week, when Ngapuhi's entire attention has been on Waitangi Tribunal hearings for Whangarei hapū and claimants. Participation is expected to be lower than should be expect for such significant constitutional changes. These constitutional changes follow changes made by the Trust at last years AGM which removed the limit of three terms for Runanga Trustees, allowing for them to stay in their positions indefinitely. Challenges at that AGM to the process taken for those constitutional changes resulted in a chair being thrown, people ejected from the hui and the police being called.
The proposed amendments to the constitution can be viewed here.
Tuku Morgan talks about Ngapuhi Settlement Processes
Tuku Morgan, lobbied to remove police vetting from his report as a requirement for negotiators and directors of Ngapuhi iwi asset holding entities.
Constitutional Changes Will Disqualify Ngapuhi Runanga from Settlement
Attempts made by Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi (TRAION) to amend their Trust Deed at the recently held AGM in Waimamaku may disqualify the Trust from taking part in the post settlement arrangement for Ngapuhi Treaty claims.
The Ngapuhi claim Wai 1040, is based on the premise that Ngapuhi hapū never relinquished their sovereignty, and to this day maintain their mana and tino rangatiratanga over their lands and resources.
However suggested amendments to the Deed made by the Trustees at the AGM would empower the Trust to call representation hui over the authority and mana of Ngapuhi hapu and marae. Hence the settlement of Wai 1040 for Ngapuhi, could not be received by an entity set up under the constitutional arrangements currently being pursued by Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi.
The suggested amendments also seem to conflict with the existing Trust Deed for the Runanga. Section 3.2 of the TRAION constitution says under Kaupapa and Principles section that the Trust will;
(c) Be accountable to Ngapuhi and be guided by the principles embodied in; (i) Te Tiriti o Waitangi (ii) Kaitiakitanga, and (iii) Ahi Ka. (d) Exercise its powers in the spirit of consultation with and empowerment of the whanau, hapu and marae of Ngapuhi. (e) Make decision consistent with the Tikanga of Ngapuhi… (f) Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840 and to act in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Independence 1835 (He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Niu Tireni) and (o) Promote and actively pursue cooperation between the Trust and representatives of other Maori organisations within the rohe of Ngapuhi.
It therefore appears that the attempted constitutional changes being sought by the Trust may in places be in conflict with the existing constitution for Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi, as well as effectively rendering the Trust ineligible for consideration in the Post Settlement Arrangements for a Ngapuhi settlement of Wai 1040, and all other hapu claims.
Ngāpuhi hapū, Tuhoronuku and the Minister agree in princple on a five region structure for Ngapuhi, however hapu are calling for police checks on anyone nominated to negotiate Waitangi Tribunal settlements on their behalf.
At a hui held at the Whitiora Marae, Te Tii on 21 July 2011, the hui issued a clear message that they wanted to see a united approach to the settlement of their Tiriti o Waitangi claims.
Te Rōpu o Tūhoronuku (Tūhoronuku) and Te Kotahitanga o Ngā Hapū Ngāpuhi (Kotahitanga) have both indicated a preference for a united Ngāpuhi settlement process.
To facilitate this desire, the concept of a technical group (Te Rōpū Whāiti) was suggested which would generate a range of settlement processes and sequences that could be put forward to Ngāpuhi hapū, whānau and claimants for consideration.
The follow report is a result of this working group's mahi.