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Rangitane: Wai85 ‘is a confiscation’

Rangitane Tu Mai Ra Trust has rejected Rangitane O Wairarapa’s inclusion in the Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki-nui-a-Rua Claims Settlement Bill, calling it a “modern-day raupatu” [land confiscation].
After a Maori Affairs Select Committee report on the bill, published recently, the trust has called the iwi’s inclusion “a form of identity theft”.
“Rangitane Tu Mai Ra does not support the inclusion of its hapu within the Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki-nui-a-Rua Claims Settlement Bill, as recommended by the Maori Affairs Select Committee.”
The trust said the select committee had recommended that the Rangitane hapu of Ngati Hamua and Ngati Te Rangiwhaka-ewa were retained within the claimant definition of Ngati Kahungunu, based on advice from Te Arawhiti.
“Rangitane rejects this and will be taking all available steps to remedy this raupatu through the remaining parliamentary stages.”
The trust said the report acknowledged “differing views” expressed by the Green Party, the National Party, and Te Pati Maori in the select committee report.
Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa’s settlement deed was ratified in 2018.
The Settlement Trust and the Crown signed a deed of settlement in October last year, hoping to end decades of deliberation.
By November 2021, Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Incorporation [Wai 3058], Ngai Tumupuhia-a-Rangi hapu [Wai 429], and the Rangitane Tu Mai Ra Trust [Wai 3068] had succeeded in having an urgent hearing through the Waitangi Tribunal.
The tribunal said all three groups had argued that the Crown had decided to sign the deed of settlement with the Settlement Trust on an “unfair or wrong” basis.
They argued that the Crown had proceeded with “undue haste” to resolve matters with the Settlement Trust without involving them and that the Crown had been unwilling to stop to mend matters with them.
The Maori Affairs Committee report said the committee had examined the Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki-nui-a-Rua Claims Settlement Bill and recommended it be passed.
“We recommend all amendments unanimously.
“We note we were unable to agree to an amendment to clause 14, and some of us intend to pursue this matter further.”
Clause 14 discussed the meaning of “historical claims” and listed dozens of other claims that would be included in the settlement legislation.
The report said the deed of settlement would include some elements that did not need legislative authority and were not specified in the bill.
“These include provisions for cultural redress and financial and commercial redress of $115 million.”
“A separate bill before Parliament – Te Rohe o Rongokako Joint Redress Bill – would give effect to specific cultural redress shared between Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki-nui-a-Rua and Rangitane o Wairarapa and Rangitane o Tamaki-nui-a-Rua, as provided for in their respective deeds of settlement.”
The report said that submitters who were opposed to including the claims in the settlement and those in favour, had “very differing views over the nature of the appeal currently before the Supreme Court”.
It said the committee was advised that removing the claims would mean the settlement could not progress.
The report said the Crown did not consider it appropriate to remove the claims from the bill.
“We recognise that, for many Treaty settlements, there will be disagreements both within settling groups and between settling groups and those with overlapping interests.
“These conflicts ultimately have arisen due to the Crown’s historical actions.”
The report said the committee acknowledged the positions of the parties involved.
The Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki-nui-a-Rua Claims Settlement Bill has reached the second reading phase.
There is no recorded date for royal assent.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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