I move, That the Ngāti Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill be now read a first time. At the appropriate time I intend to move that the Ngāti Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill be referred to the Māori Affairs Committee for consideration, that the committee report finally to the House on or before 27 October 2006, and that the committee have the authority to meet at any time while the House is sitting, except during oral questions, during any evening on a day on which there has been a sitting of the House, and on a Friday in a week in which there has been a sitting of the House, despite Standing Orders 192 and 195(1)(b) and (c).
Kei te mōhio tātou koinei te Wiki o te Reo Māori ā, koinei te wiki hei pānui ake i te kerēme a Ngāti Mutunga. Nō reira kei roto i te Whare nei ngā māngai kōrero o Ngāti Mutunga i haere tawhiti mai rā i te nuku o te whenua, mai i te marumaru o tō rātou maunga tihi o Taranaki, hei tautokohia i tēnei pire. E tika ana māku e tū ki te whakamihi atu ki a rātou kua tatū mai. E mihi ake ki ngā tūāhuatanga e pā ana ki a rātou ngā tini aituā kei runga i tēnā, i tēnā o ō tātou rohe o Taranaki. Nō reira me kī rā, te hunga wairua ki a rātou, ā, tātou nei ngā mōrehu ō rātou e mihi nei, e tangi nei, e poroporoaki nei ki a rātou.
E te Kaihautū, e tika ana kia whakahōnore tō tātou reo rangatira, kia mārama whānui ai ngā mema Pāremata kei roto i te Whare nei ki te hōhonutanga me te kaha o te wairua o tēnei reo ō tātou. Nā reira tēnā tātou, kia ora tātou.
[We know that this is Māori Language Week, and it should be the week for the Ngāti Mutunga claim to be announced. So, present in this House are representatives of Ngāti Mutunga, who have come from their vast region beneath the shadow of the tip of Mount Taranaki to support this bill. It is fitting that I should rise and extend greetings to those who have arrived. I acknowledge the circumstances that are upon each and every one of them in those Taranaki regions of ours in respect of their many losses. We, the remnants of the ones who have passed on into the spiritual world, acknowledge, mourn, farewell, and say to them: rest there.
Madam Speaker, it is right that we honour our chiefly language so that members of Parliament in this House are greatly enlightened by the depth and mighty spirit of this language of ours. So greetings and good health to us.]
This bill recognises and addresses longstanding and significant grievances of Ngāti Mutunga. One of eight iwi in Taranaki, Ngāti Mutunga’s traditional area is centred on the township of Urenui and extends to Tītoki Ridge in the north, Te Rau o Te Huia in the south, and inland to the Waitara River in the east. The iwi of Ngāti Mutunga numbers approximately 2,000. This bill settles all of Ngāti Mutunga’s historical, Taranaki-based Treaty of Waitangi claims. This bill will give effect to the fourth Treaty settlement in the Taranaki region. The historical claims of Ngāti Mutunga relate mainly to the confiscation by the Crown of all Ngāti Mutunga’s tribal area—muru raupatu—following the Taranaki War of the 1860s. The claims also include the waging of war, the unfair treatment of Ngāti Mutunga as if Ngāti Mutunga were in rebellion, the confiscation of all Ngāti Mutunga’s lands, the Crown’s invasion of Parihaka, and the imprisonment of Ngāti Mutunga people who were involved in the passive resistance campaigns.
In November 1996 the Crown recognised the mandate of the Ngāti Mutunga Iwi Authority to represent Ngāti Mutunga in negotiations with the Crown. In September 1999 the iwi authority and the Crown signed a non-binding heads of agreement that recorded that, in principle, they were willing to settle the historical, Taranaki-based Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngāti Mutunga. In July 2005 Ngāti Mutunga and the Crown signed a deed of settlement after an overwhelming majority of Ngāti Mutunga people had showed their support by postal vote. At the same time a representative, transparent, and accountable governance entity—Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Mutunga—was also ratified. Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Mutunga will receive and manage the settlement assets.
The bill gives effect to the undertakings by the Crown in the deed of settlement, and includes a Crown apology for the Crown’s breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles, financial and commercial redress totalling $14.9 million, and the transfer of 10 sites of cultural significance to Ngāti Mutunga, including Ōnaero and Urenui Domain Recreation Reserves. These reserves will continue to be managed by the New Plymouth District Council, and all existing third-party interests are preserved. Statutory acknowledgments of the special association of Ngāti Mutunga with 17 statutory areas include, as well as entry by the Crown of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Mutunga into the deed of recognition relating to 12 statutory areas, a granting of a renewable camping entitlement over one site, the right of first refusal over certain Crown properties, and various items of fisheries redress.
I acknowledge the Ngāti Mutunga people—including those who are no longer with us—who suffered the breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and who carried the grievances. I thank the other Ministers and the departments involved in this process. I acknowledge the Ngāti Mutunga Iwi Authority and its successor, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Mutunga, including the members of the negotiating team. They have been a constructive and positive group to work with throughout the negotiations process, and their dedication and commitment on behalf of Ngāti Mutunga have been vital in the timely introduction of this bill.
As New Zealanders, we can all be proud that real and significant grievances suffered by Māori are recognised and settled peacefully, and within the law. The public can be reassured that the Crown is certain of the validity of the claims that will be settled by this bill, and that the settlement has been negotiated with the interests of all citizens in mind. It is not possible to compensate Ngāti Mutunga fully for all the prejudices and the losses that its people have suffered over time. It is a particular grief for the people of Ngāti Mutunga that all their land was confiscated by the Crown and that, as a consequence, Ngāti Mutunga lost access to the sea and to much of their cultural resources. Although this bill enables the transfer of several sites to Ngāti Mutunga, the Crown is fully aware that all of Ngāti Mutunga’s traditional lands are of importance to Ngāti Mutunga.
The people of Taranaki and of New Zealand generally have benefited from the land and other resources confiscated and otherwise alienated from Ngāti Mutunga. I again congratulate Ngāti Mutunga on accepting that it is not possible to receive full compensation. The goal of this Government is to reach settlements that resolve grievances of the past. The settlement with Ngāti Mutunga lays the foundation for a strong and positive relationship between Ngāti Mutunga and the Crown into the future. The resolution of historical grievances through fair and durable settlements will help build a strong and inclusive sense of national identity.
The bill makes it clear that this is a full and final settlement of all the historical, Taranaki-based Treaty of Waitangi claims. This settlement has had a very high level of support from the Ngāti Mutunga claimant community, with 94 percent of those who validly participated voting in support of the Crown’s settlement offer. The people of Ngāti Mutunga have waited a long time to have their grievances against the Crown addressed. They have worked hard and sacrificed much to realise this settlement. It is for these reasons I consider that the bill should proceed without delay to the Māori Affairs Committee and be reported back by 27 October 2006. This will allow the timely transfer of settlement redress to Ngāti Mutunga. I commend this bill to the House.
The National Party is pleased to support this bill being sent to the Māori Affairs Committee with the intention that it should be dealt with in a very timely manner and that the settlement might be concluded some time later this year. Our view is that the speedy settlement of Treaty grievance is in the best interests of the whole country. We offer our thanks and congratulations to those from Ngāti Mutunga who have for so long worked towards the day of settlement—who have worked towards ensuring that a settlement bill can be before the House for its consideration. I echo the sentiments of the Minister, who expressed gratitude for the generous acceptance of this settlement in recognition of a full and final position being taken with regard to grievances.
There is little doubt that throughout the country where settlement is conferred and accepted, the ongoing economic development that comes from those settlements is of great benefit to the whole of the New Zealand economy. Perhaps what is more important, I would observe, is that where settlement occurs and the various iwi who are settled get hold of the assets—small though they may be in comparison with what they had—and are able to hold them to be their own and to do something with them, then the general pride that exists and grows inside the iwi also has an extremely positive effect on the whole of the New Zealand population. So the value of settlements is very much about the value we put on the future we share together in this country.
I do not think it is necessary for me to say too many more words other than to conclude my remarks by saying that we look forward to going through the select committee process. It is during that process that we learn a great deal about the history of this country in the various areas where there was a significant basis for grievance. The acknowledgment of that history, the acceptance of the need to put that grievance to one side by way of redress, by way of apology, and by way of acknowledgment is very much part of the process we are committed to.
I conclude by simply offering my congratulations again to those who have brought us to this day and express our desire that the next stage of the process moves as quickly as possible so that some time before Christmas we will in this House read for a third time the Ngāti Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill.
Kia ora, Madam Speaker, and thank you for the opportunity to speak on what is a very important day for the Ngāti Mutunga iwi and all the people of Taranaki, both tangata whenua and tauiwi. Those of us who live in the New Plymouth area know of the tremendous work done by the Ngāti Mutunga Iwi Authority to negotiate a settlement offer for the comprehensive settlement of all the historical claims of Ngāti Mutunga in Taranaki. In 1996 I was impressed to be one of the people present at the discussions regarding the overarching settlement proposals and how all the 21 claims in Taranaki might be addressed. Ngāti Mutunga are to be congratulated on the way they have proceeded in an area where there is a lack of land available to try to arrive at a settlement with the Crown.
I welcome to the Chamber this afternoon a significant number of people from Ngāti Mutunga who have come here on this momentous occasion. I particularly welcome the elders. I also congratulate Jamie Tuuta and his cousin Dion Tuuta, the two legal experts who have worked through all of the issues and encouraged the development of a process in which the Taranaki Regional Council and the New Plymouth District Council were able to assist. Madam Speaker, you will know very well the great difficulties that you, in your former role, presided over in trying to arrive at a settlement that took into account the needs of those who were leaseholders—particularly of some of the very desirable baches in places like Urenui and Ōnaero—yet also provided adequate redress for Ngāti Mutunga. I also acknowledge what my colleague the Hon Mita Ririnui said when he noted that it is not possible to compensate Ngāti Mutunga fully for all the loss they have had—in particular, the total loss of their lands—because there simply is not the land available to do that adequately.
Ngāti Mutunga have also forgone full compensation because they see that that sacrifice contributes to the development of New Zealand. Their offer to negotiate ahead to a position where everyone can agree and to administer the land in such a way that existing arrangements continue as much as possible is, I think, a considerable gesture of goodwill. I think it will result in a settlement that is seen overwhelmingly to be in the overall interests of the Taranaki region and of New Zealand as a whole. The iwi took their decision in relation to the settlement for themselves alone, and they do not pretend that that should be the position other tribes should seek. But I think they have entered into this negotiation in a remarkably generous spirit. The House should acknowledge the efforts of Ngāti Mutunga to arrive at a position that everybody can feel comfortable accepting.
I am pleased to hear of the National Party’s support for the bill to proceed to the Māori Affairs Committee. I am sure that members of the House not only will offer this bill every goodwill in its passing but will do so in a way that is as expedient as possible. In that interest, I will stop my comments there and thank the House for its attention to this matter, which is of longstanding grievance to Ngāti Mutunga and to Taranaki generally.
Tēnā koe Taranaki. Tēnā koutou Ngāti Mutunga. I am very pleased to stand and make a contribution to the first reading of the Ngāti Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have been in this House over the last 9½ years and to have been given an opportunity to contribute to these settlements, for a short while as a former Associate Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, but, generally, as a member of Parliament. Every time I do this, I feel very respectful of Parliament—that it sees fit to work through these settlements. In the beginning we devised a process by which we could address historical claims and grievances and come forward with a settlement. The process is not perfect by any means, but it is the best that is possible at this time to address longstanding grievances.
It is very humbling, as well, when one looks through this bill, which in this case addresses the claims of Ngāti Mutunga, to be reminded of the very sad history in this case—and in the case of most claims—that sits behind the settlement legislation. I am very pleased to stand and acknowledge Ngāti Mutunga. I acknowledge their patience and longstanding sufferance in these matters.
I acknowledge also the leadership that is shown when iwi finally make the decision that although they might wish to hang out for more, for a bigger or better settlement, in the end someone has to lead and make the decision to settle. Ngāti Mutunga representatives are in this Chamber today. I acknowledge them for their leadership in finally coming to the judgment that it is time to settle, time to take steps to lift the burden of their grievance, and time to move forward.
This settlement bill follows the format that generally has been in place now since the National Government introduced it. I acknowledge Sir Douglas Graham, because this is another settlement for which negotiations started under Sir Doug Graham. The deed of mandate was recognised back in 1996. National was still well and truly in Government at the time. Although it has taken 10 years for the matter to come to the House in this bill, it is still good that it has come. Of course, Madam Speaker herself was previously the Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations for a wee time, as well, so she would have played a very important part in progressing this settlement.
One or two matters arise, from my point of view. The apology, of course, is extremely important, particularly when one considers that this settlement revolves around the very sad time in our history when Parihaka was ransacked, with Te Whiti and Tohu exercising passive resistance for the first time ever that I know of in the world. When Parihaka was ransacked, people were taken. Men were sent to the South Island to be imprisoned. There were no charges. They were given no respect at all, in terms of the application of the law to them, simply because they stood in the way of what was seen to be a very important Pākehā settlement at the time. No matter how many times we read the narrative about Parihaka, every single time we realise it is sad and absolutely tragic.
I want to commend New Zealanders, because by and large New Zealanders are fair people and by and large they support the Parliament reaching these settlements. It is only right that we do so. This issue is about reparation for wrongs that were done in our history. None of us here are guilty of those but, as the elected representatives of New Zealanders, in our time we have been given the opportunity to make redress for those sad times.
Last evening, of course, we debated New Zealand First’s Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill, whereby it seeks to have deleted from a number of enactments, including settlement enactments, the phrase “the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi”. Of course, National members, last night in the debate in the House, made their views known very strongly about that. My comment, in relation to the settlement bills, was that those bills rest on the Crown’s breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles, and that if we seek to remove that phrase from settlement Acts, then we are ripping the heart out of Treaty settlements. I do not see why we would do that to tribes. It would not get us anywhere; it would not gain us anything. It is purely political posturing, and the National members in the select committee will make sure that we apply a good measure of intelligence and proper discussion to this bill. We will ensure that the heart of the claims settlements is not ripped out by a party in this House that seeks to make only a political point. New Zealand First could not be making any other point by seeking to do that.
This bill does refer to the claims of Ngāti Mutunga in relation to the breaching of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. If it was the case that New Zealand First was seeking only to eliminate the words “the principles”, that might be one thing, but there is no doubt that the Waitangi Tribunal, which heard the claim in the first place, found the Crown to be in serious breach of its obligations under the Treaty, and then in a way the mandate of this Parliament to address these matters rests on the Treaty of Waitangi.
This is a sad moment, but it is a glad moment as well. I am very pleased and privileged indeed to be here in this Parliament, when the House of Representatives is seen to be addressing longstanding grievances like this one. In the end, the underlying objective of all of this is that we as New Zealanders are able to reconcile with each other. Clearly, that is impossible to do while a significant part of the population still carries such burdens on their backs. Happily this is the first part of the parliamentary process, and this bill will be referred to the Māori Affairs Committee, of which I am a member. The National members on that committee will do their bit to make sure that the bill moves forward in a timely manner.
Ā, tēnā koe. E te Kaiwhakawā o te Whare nei, tēnā anō koe. Tēnā hoki tātou ngā mema o tēnei Whare. E tika hoki māku kia tautoko ngā mihi ki a koutou ngā uri o Mutunga, arā, Ngāti Mutunga. Ngā mihi hoki ki a koutou ngā kaumātua, ngā kuia, ngā rangatira katoa e tau mai i roto te Whare i te rā nei, koutou hoki i kawe nei te kaupapa e whakatakoto mai i mua i a tātou ināianei. He mihi hoki ki a koutou o te hau kāinga e noho ana i raro te maunga tapu, arā, Taranaki. He mihi hoki ki a koe e kara, e Jamie me tō rōpū mō ngā mahi pakeke i mahia koutou ki te whakaotingia ngā mahi i tuku tō iwi i runga ōu pokohiwi. I te rā nei ka kite ana koe, arā, koutou tētahi o ngā hua i puta mai i a koutou mahi whakahirahira mō te iwi o Ngāti Mutunga.
[An interpretation in English was given to the House.]
[And greetings to you. Greetings to you as well, Madam Speaker of this House, and to us members. How fitting it is for me to be endorsing the acknowledgments to you, Ngāti Mutunga, the descendants of Mutunga. Greetings also to the elderly, both men and women, and all the leading figures who are in the House today and responsible for bringing the current bill before us. To those of you back home as well, living beneath the sacred mountain of Taranaki, greetings. Acknowledgments to you as well, Jamie, for the significant work carried out by you and your group in completing the tasks that your people placed upon you. You and your group today bear witness to one of the things that have come out of your wonderful work for the Ngāti Mutunga people.]
First of all, Madam Speaker, I acknowledge you, particularly in terms of your early involvement in this process while Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations. I also note that you are still in the Chamber, when I have noticed on previous occasions that because of your many duties you have had to leave as soon as the oral questions section of our agenda is concluded each day. So I just acknowledge that.
On behalf of New Zealand First, it is my pleasure to participate in the introduction of this bill, which is a continuation of the whole settlement process involving Treaty of Waitangi claims. What is more pleasurable about this bill is that it helps to bring some closure to events of the 19th century that saw the people of Ngāti Mutunga, and other of their Taranaki kin, suffer what I believe was one of the darkest hours in the history of our country, all in the name of meeting settler demands for more land. The Waitangi Tribunal commented in relation to this claim and other Taranaki claims that there may be no other claims that have as many Treaty breaches that had equivalent force and effect over a comparable time.
We in New Zealand First certainly recognise the fact that any settlement cannot change events of the past. However, it is hoped that this bill will help compensate Ngāti Mutunga with some form of redress. I say this in the context of the view expressed by the Waitangi Tribunal: “Generous reparation policies are needed to remove the prejudice to Māori, to restore the honour of the Government, to ensure cultural survival, and to re-establish effective interaction between the Treaty partners.”
The introduction today of this bill addresses the claims made by Ngāti Mutunga—the descendents of Mutunga. Ngāti Mutunga is one of eight recognised iwi of Taranaki and is geographically located in the northern reaches of that area. The history of this Taranaki iwi is steeped in blood and injustice, and it is only right that a formal apology and compensation be given by the Crown for its breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. It should be noted that although based in the shadow of Mount Taranaki, the deed of settlement that has given rise to this bill did not include any specific redress relating to the confiscation of the mountain. The reason for this was clarified earlier today in a response to a question I put to the Minister. I believe—and the Minister has confirmed this—that it is intended that this matter will be addressed at a later date in the settlement process in Taranaki, when all iwi are in a position to negotiate on this issue.
The basis of the claim that this bill addresses relates to breaches by the Crown of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi. I want, in particular, to articulate what those breaches were. They included the waging of war that resulted in loss of life—although Ngāti Mutunga as an iwi were not in rebellion, but unfairly treated as being so; the use by the Crown of a scorched earth policy involving the destruction of villages and cultivation; loss of life, including the killing of unarmed children by militia; the imprisonment of Ngāti Mutunga people following the passive resistance campaign at Parihaka; and the confiscation of all Ngāti Mutunga land.
Of course, we would not be introducing this bill to the House today were it not for the support given by the people of Ngāti Mutunga to the ratification of this settlement agreement. To this end, I congratulate them and, in particular, the Ngāti Mutunga Iwi Authority board, chaired by Jamie Tuuta, and its negotiation team, managed by Dion Tuuta. Both of those men give substance to the oft cited whakatauki: “Ka pū te ruha ka hao te rangatahi.” This bodes well for the iwi of Ngāti Mutunga. I should also say that their decision to answer the call of their iwi has, in all probability, been at some personal expense to them and their whānau. The leadership, commitment, and courage of kaumātua negotiators to reach this stage of accepting an apology and redress from the Crown for past Treaty breaches will allow for the iwi of Ngāti Mutunga to move on, acknowledging that their history of loss, and, some may say, betrayal, can never be fully compensated for. Also, in order to move forward and progress, the shackles of past injustices must be recognised and compensated for. I believe that this bill does that.
It is important to note, in terms of the ratification process and governance arrangements involved in this particular settlement, that of the 1,313 adult members eligible to vote, just under half of that number voted on the deed, and, of those, 597 voted in favour of its acceptance. Of course, this begs the question of what the views were of those who did not participate in this process. I say to them—some of whom may be present or listening to this debate—that by this House referring this bill to a select committee, they will have the added opportunity to advise of their reasons for their non-participation. If that non-participation is related to any disagreement with the deed of settlement, the settlement itself, or the new governance body that will receive the proceeds of this settlement on behalf of the iwi, then we would like to hear from them. I say these things because the issue of mandating and the reluctance to participate in the process—whatever the reason might be—has become a common concern when hearing submissions on Treaty settlement bills.
This settlement, as described in the bill, is one of redress. It covers financial and commercial redress; relationship and cultural redress, which involves the importance to Ngāti Mutunga of all land in their rohe being acknowledged by the Crown; protocols for how the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, the Minister of Conservation, the Minister for Economic Development, the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Fisheries, and the Minister for Land Information will interact with Ngāti Mutunga; and the appointment of the iwi governance entity as an advisory committee to the Ministry of Fisheries.
It would be remiss of me not to respond to the comments made by the previous speaker, Georgina Te Heuheu, particularly with regard to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. I do not believe it is political posturing to seek clarity and definition of any part of the laws of our land. I say to this House that I believe this settlement and all future settlements could still proceed without references to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. However, if, in the thinking of New Zealand First, reference to the articles of the Treaty was included in the settlement, then I believe it would address the very issue of those words.
But, in conclusion, I want to again congratulate Ngāti Mutunga. I hope this House will certainly support referring this bill to a select committee, and New Zealand First is quite delighted to do so. Kia ora.
E te manuhiri tūārangi, ngā kaumātua rangatira, ngā tungāne, ngā tuākana koutou o Ngāti Mutunga kua tae mai ki te tautoko i tēnei ahiahi, nau mai, haere mai, whakatau mai.
[To the visitors from afar, to the chiefly elders, brothers, and older siblings, to you of Ngāti Mutunga who have arrived here this afternoon in support, welcome, welcome, welcome.]
The Green Party congratulates Ngāti Mutunga on their settlement. Although we state regularly our objection to Government policy on the settlement process, there is no doubt that extraordinary work and effort by the iwi has gone into the settlement, and we acknowledge and applaud that work. Ngāti Mutunga is one more of the eight Taranaki iwi to bring their settlement to the House. Their history is similarly one of dispossession and disenfranchisement at the hands of the New Zealand settler Government, which—out of pure greed—unlawfully confiscated their lands and imprisoned their people. The confiscations were indiscriminate and the entirety of Ngāti Mutunga’s rohe was stolen from them. The compensation process established to mitigate the thefts was never implemented.
Ngāti Mutunga rightly supported the acts of passive resistance organised by the prophets Te Whiti and Tohu Kākahi at Parihaka. The subsequent military invasion of Parihaka led to the destruction of homes; the confiscation of assets, like stock; imprisonment; and the forced removal of some 1,600 women, men, and children—Māori effectively made refugees in their own country. I would like members to just reflect on that for a moment, with the indulgence of Ngāti Mutunga, who are here in the gallery today.
One of the things that truly confounds me about modern-day Pākehā objections to the Treaty—and perhaps not just Pākehā objections, if we consider the New Zealand First bill that came before the House last night—and to Māori struggles for recognition is that they are constructed entirely within a Pākehā experience of living in Aotearoa that has been comparatively benign. By saying that, I mean that the settlement of New Zealand post-1840 has, for the most part, been without significant violence for its Pākehā inhabitants. It has been a peaceful process for those people, because the violence committed in those early years of colonisation was done on behalf of the Pākehā settlers by a Government that had the resources to take extraordinary military action against tangata whenua. Most—although certainly not all—of the settlers and their descendants have been insulated from the impact of that military force and the subsequent violence and dispossession that occurred.
For mana whenua, of course, it has been a completely different experience of living in this country. Who here has great-grandparents who—in this country, in Aotearoa—were forcibly removed from their land at the point of a Government’s gun? Ngāti Mutunga—the Taranaki iwi at least—could all put up their hands in answer to that question. Who here has grandparents who, in this country, had to stand on the side of the road, surrounded by their belongings, while they watched bulldozers smash through their houses because their land had been taken under the a public works Act? Anyone from Ngāti Tūrangitukua could put up their hands in answer to that. Who here has parents who were punished in a New Zealand school for speaking their own language—the language indigenous to this culture and this country? I could put up my hand to having had that experience. Those are not the experiences of Pākehā in this country, but they are the lived, real experiences reflected on every day by Māori, by tangata whenua.
It is the relatively peaceful and benign settlement of this country that distorts what has been a brutal history for the tangata whenua and the mana whenua of our communities. We cannot undo those experiences, and we certainly do not want to recreate those experiences for those who have not suffered them, but we must find the means by which to bring real recognition and make restitution for those experiences.
That requires us to take our disapproval of past events—which we have heard expressed here today, and will no doubt hear again when similar bills come up—to our analysis of current-day attitudes and legislative action, because if we do not apply that analysis, everything that is said in this House about those historical roles or that disapproval is meaningless and—what is worse—hypocritical. To that end I think that we should all, Māori and Pākehā alike, be enormously grateful to Ngāti Mutunga and to all the other hapū and iwi who bring their settlements to us. They provide us with a window to the lived experience of war, forced removal, unjust imprisonment, and even murder—real experiences of whole communities only a few generations old. I do not expect every member of Parliament to understand this, but we have to find a mechanism for a just process for the restitution of these claims that is based on the Treaty text and the full promises it contains, because our only alternative to doing that is to have a society founded on war and destruction.
Surely, we should celebrate the fact that we are in the globally enviable position of having a choice between either a nation built on bloodshed or a nation built on an agreement, fully honoured, understood, and implemented. Yes, it does require us to face very unsavoury and frightening facts. For example, although most people would agree that the actions concerning the sacking of Parihaka were unjust, many will still deny that it was racist, even though the purpose of that sacking and thefts was to destroy the mana whenua and their tikanga. Knowing our history is a first, critical step towards finding that process, and this settlement is part of doing that.
I think that we must also remember that Māori—the hapū that have come here today and who will, no doubt, come in the future—are extremely generous in accepting these settlements. Like Taranaki iwi before them, Ngāti Mutunga have agreed to accept less than they would otherwise be entitled to for the significant loss they have suffered. They have agreed to cooperate with the Government, and within a Government process that does not recognise their tikanga but that requires them to operate within a Pākehā framework. Let us not forget that only about 1 percent of the value of compensation is paid in Treaty settlements, and that any initiatives designed to lift Māori to any kind of equal footing with the rest of the community are considered by many politicians in this House to be far too generous.
The Greens have in the past been very clear that but for the work of the iwi in concluding these settlements, and the costs in time, money, and people this awful process requires, we would vote against settlements. But we will not; we will support them. We remain in complete opposition to a process by which the Government dictates the way in which things should be done in the tangata whenua domain, and in complete opposition to a process by which the wronged party is expected to submit to terms imposed by the wrongdoer. That method of dealing with injustices of the past cannot possibly hope to achieve a real resolution. I have said it before, and I will say it again: an unfair process for the resolution of wrongs does not have any durability. Our own history, which we can reflect on every day, proves that, and it is about time that the Government and parliamentarians learnt from those mistakes. If that lesson could be learnt, there would be a far healthier relationship with Māori and with the community overall in this country, but, as it stands, I believe that that relationship remains a dysfunctional and abusive one.
The Green Party looks forward to hearing the concerns and views of Ngāti Mutunga, and those concerned with the settlement, during the select committee process. We would like again to congratulate them on their perseverance and commitment to achieving a settlement for the benefit of their people. Kia ora.
E te Kaiwhakawā tēnā koe. E te Whare tēnā tātau katoa. Ngāti Mutunga, koutou i haramai i te hauāuru, koutou i haramai i raro o te tihi o te maunga Taranaki, tēnā koutou. Haramai e te raukura i titia ki ngā hau o Taranaki. Haramai Tokomaru. Haramai te hunga i rongo nei i te raupatu me te muru o te whenua. Haramai ki te Whare, nāna koutou i tūkino, nāna, nā ōna ture koutou i patu. Kua hīkoi mai koutou ki ngā kuaha, ki ngā pakitara o te Whare nei, ahakoa kua rongo koutou i te makariri o te ringa o te tangata nei o te Karauna. Nau mai, haramai ki te rua o te taniwha. Tēnā koutou i a rātau i para nei i te ara mō tēnei rā. Rātau kua haere ake ki tua o te pae o maumahara. Haere ngā mate, haere koutou, whakaoti atu.
E hoa mā, anei tātau o te Whare e whakawhitiwhiti kōrero nei, e whakawā ana i tēnei o ngā pire. E whakawā ana mātau mēnā kua ea ngā nama ki a koutou o Ngāti Mutunga i runga i te tika me te pono, me kī ko ngā mamae o ngā mahi a pokokōhua me ōna kāwai uri, a tāhae, a whānako, a kōhuru, a mūrere, a kūare, a whakaiti, a patu tangata, a patu mahara, a patu mauri. Nō reira Ngāti Mutunga ahakoa kua ea te wāhanga ki ērā i ūhia i te kākahu pūtiotio a te kuia nei a mate i ngā tau, ki a mātau o te Pāti Māori, kāre anō kia ea te wāhanga ki ngā uri whakatipu.
Kia mōhio mai koutou anei te āhuatanga ki a mātou o te Pāti Māori. I te tuatahi ko tā mātau e kī nei, e tika ana mā tēnā iwi, mā tēnā hapū ia, e kōrero, e whakarite, e whai i ōna ake huarahi, ko ngā huarahi e tika ana mōna. Koia rā te tikanga o te tino rangatiratanga e kōrerohia ake nei, e waiatatia ana i runga i ō tātau marae. Ko te mate kē i tēnei take ā koutou, otirā, a iwi kē anō hoki ki te whakaae mātau ka riro mā te whānako anō te whānako, e whakawā, e whakarite i tōna ake nama ki te hunga i rongo nei i te hara, me tana kī mai: “Aroha mai, anei ngā kongakonga o taku tēpu.”, ko te ngākau kei te kī, kāore tērā i te tika. Koirā te mutunga mai o te hē.
Kāore mātau o te Pāti Māori te whakapono, kei te tika ngā mahi a te Karauna, kore, kore, kore rawa mātau e whakaae. E kī, e kī! Nā wai i kī mā te tāhae tonu e whakatau ko te wāriu o te whenua i whānakohia e ia? Nā wai i kī mā te tāhae e tohu ko tēhea o ngā rawa ka whakahokia mai e ia? Arā anō te kōrero: “He kitenga kanohi, ka hoki ngā mahara.” Kei te maumahara mātau Ngāti Mutunga i te kōhurutanga o ō koutou tūpuna e te Karauna. Kua tuhia ki roto i ngā kōrero o te motu. I tīmata mai ai ngā pakanga i te wā i pakū mai ngā pū o ngā kaipuke i waho ake o Waitara. Ko te tangata tōna kai. Nāwai rā, ko te katoa o Taranaki i rongo i te ngau o te ture, arā, ko te muru me te raupatu. Kei te mōhio tonu au, kei te rongo tonu a Taranaki i te mamae e te āhuatanga o te raupatu, e kore e taea karo. I te mauheretia ō koutou whanaunga, mō te aha? Ko tō rātau hara, he whawhai kia kore ai a whānako e mahi i āna mahi, kia kore ai o rātau whenua e riro ki a tāhae. Koirā anake tō koutou hara.
Ka hoki ngā whakaaro ki a rātau mā, ko “ō rātau pona kei muri i ngā taringa”. Ko rātou i mauheretia i Ōtākou, i Wharekauri rānei, ngā wahine i tūkinohia e ngā hōia o te Kāwana. Me pēhea e taea ai te whakamāmā i te ngau o ērā tū momo mahi, ko te tūkino tangata. E kore e taea e te moni, e kore e taea e te kupu kōrero, e kore e taea e te tuohu o te māhunga. Arā anō te kōrero: “Mā te wā a te mamae e whakaora, e whakamāmā.”E kare mā, e kore e taea mēnā ka patua te kino ki tētahi kino anō. Koia nei te mahi o te Karauna i te rā nei. I tēnei rangi kei te aroha atu mātau ki a koutou, kei te taumaha te ngākau.
He aha te rongoā hei panipani, hei whakaora i ērā tū momo taumahatanga. Anei pea wētahi whakaaro. Kohia ngā kōrero i kōrerotia e koutou, pānuitia i roto i ngā pukapuka, tohatohaina ki ngā marae me ngā kura o Taranaki kia kitea mai ai e te katoa o ngā rēanga whakatipu, anei kē ngā kōrero a Ngāti Mutunga.
Tuarua, e kī mai ana te ngārara, ka mutu ngā take katoa e pā ana ki ngā kerēme nā tēnei pire. Ko tā te Karauna, kāore he hokinga tuarua mai. E hoa mā pēnei i tērā waiata rongonui, ko tā mātou o te Pāti Māori e kī nei: “Hoki mai e Mutunga ki roto, ki roto i ngā ringa e tuwhera atu nei.”Ā, kāti i reira. Kī atu ki ō koutou tamariki ki te hoki mai ki te Whare nei, pātōtō ki te kuaha, ahakoa ko wai te hunga o roto. Tērā pea, he parāoa nui nei kei te tēpu a taua wā.
Hei tā tētahi kōrero a Mokomoko o Te Whakatōhea: nāna te kī: “Tangohia te taura i taku kakī, kia waiata au i taku waiata.” Ki taku mōhio he momo taura anō kei ō koutou kakī, he pene i te ringa. Kei te ringa o te Karauna ko te taura, ko tāna mahi ko te kukume mai hei mirimiri i te kakī. Kei te pai, hoki mai. Tangohia te taura kia waiata anō koutou i ō koutou waiata. Kia poi atu anō koutou i ō koutou poi. Kia rongo anō te motu i te paopao mai o te taramu.
Nā, ka tahuri tātau ki ngā kōrero a te Kāwana i tērā tau arā, i Hōngongoi i te marae o Urenui. E ai ki taku rongo, i reira i puta ngā kōrero mō Pōmare rāua ko Te Rangihīroa, ngā uri o Ngāti Mutunga, ko ā rāua whakaahua kei te pakitara i waho ake i ō mātau tari. Kei te tangi tonu te ngākau ki a rāua i mua i taku taenga mai i te ahiahi nei. He tangi aroha, he mamae, he pōuri nei. Kei konei a Tariana, tō koutou mema Pāremata o Te Hauāuru e tangi nei, ā, kei te mārama koutou ki tōna āhua me ngā take kua kōkirihia e ia. Ko tana he tū pakari, he tautoko, he whawhai, he akiaki i te Kāwana kia tika, kia pono ngā mahi a pokokōhua mā, ahakoa te uauatanga o ērā mahi. Kei te mōhio koutou i tōna tū i Pākaitore i roto o Whanganui, tōna tū hoki i te wā i murua e tēnei Kāwana i te takutai moana i te tau rua mano mā whā.
Me kī kei te harikoa a whānako i tēnei rangi. Ko tā te Minita i Urenui i tērā tau he mihi atu ki a koutou mō ō koutou whakaaro rangatira. “Mō Aotearoa whānui te painga” e ai ki tāna. “Mā Aotearoa whānui te painga”, i whiwhi i a koutou te tekau mā rima miriona taara kia ea ai te nama mō ngā mahi nanakia engari ko tōna tikanga, arā noa atu te utu. “Mō Aotearoa whānui te painga”, ahakoa nāna koutou i kōhuru i ngā rau tau ki muri tae rā anō ki ēnei rangi.
Arā anō te kōrero: “He hōnore, he korōria, he maungarongo ki runga i te mata o te whenua he whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa.” Ko tāu he aroha ki te iwi. Ko tā te Karauna, he whakaaro mōna ake, he matapiko. Nō reira kei te aroha ake. Heoi anō Ngāti Mutunga, tēnā koutou i kaha nei ki te kōkiri i tēnei take tō koutou tono ki te whānako, arā, ki te Karauna kia taea ai e koutou te whai te huarahi ki te paenga.
Kia mōhio mai koutou ka noho wahangū te tokotoru, ko tētahi ka tautoko. Ko tā mātau kē—he toka tū hei akiaki i te Karauna ki te whakatikatika i ngā tikanga ā-tono ki a ia, kia mahi rangatira ia, kia ea ai ōna nama. Ko te mate kē, kei te mōhio mātau i te mutunga kei a nanakia te kōrero whakamutunga. Kei a ia te kī, me pēnei, me pērā. Kei a ia te kī, me pēnei, me pērā, kei a ia te kī anei ngā taonga ka whakahokia, tōna whakahīhī! E te karauna, arā anō te kōrero: “E kore te uku e piri ki te rino, ka whitingia e te rā ka ngahoro.” Kei te tika tērā kōrero i tēnei rā. Kaua e pōhēhē ka ea katoa i tēnei rā. He rā anō āpōpō. Nā reira, Ngāti Mutunga, kei te tangi, kei te tangi mātau. Kia kaha, kia māia. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou. Kia ora tātau.
[An interpretation in English was given to the House.]
[Greetings to you, Madam Speaker, and to all of us in the House. Ngāti Mutunga, you who have come from the west, you who have come from beneath the crest of Taranaki, greetings. Welcome the raukura, the feather of peace that has blown throughout Taranaki. Welcome, Tokomaru. Welcome, you who have suffered from confiscation and loss of lands. Welcome to this House, which is the place responsible for your downfall, whose laws were used to silence you. You have come to the door, to the walls of this House, even though you have felt the cold hand of this person, the Crown. Welcome, welcome to the lair of the taniwha. Welcome as you bring with you those who set the scene, those who have passed on beyond the veil. Depart the dead, farewell, and rest there forever.
Friends, here we are in the House exchanging thoughts, examining this bill. We are considering whether the debts owed to you, Ngāti Mutunga, have been settled in a fair and honest manner. That is to say, let the pain of those whose heads should roll come down on their descendants—namely, for the greed, theft, murder, treachery, ignorance, belittling, and destruction of people, of mind, and of spirit. Ngāti Mutunga, although it has been settled with those who have been covered in the prickly cloak of death in years gone by, to us, the Māori Party, the debt has not been settled with this generation.
You should know, this is what we of the Māori Party believe. Firstly, we say that it is appropriate that each iwi, each hapū, speaks for itself, organises itself, and follows its own path—a path that it sets for itself. That is the expression of tino rangatiratanga that we speak about and we sing about on our marae. The problem with this issue of yours, and indeed of other iwi, is that if we leave it for the thief to judge the thief, to determine the debt to those who suffered by his actions, although he may say: “I’m sorry, these are the crumbs at my table, it is all that I have.”, the heart says that this is not correct. This is the ultimate crime.
We of the Māori Party do not believe that the Crown is behaving honourably—never, never, never will we agree. How dare they! Who said that it is for the thief to determine the value of the land that he stole? Who said that it is appropriate for the thief to determine which of the resources will be returned? “Seeing the faces stimulates the memory.” We remember Ngāti Mutunga, we remember the murder of your people by the Crown. It has been written in the history. The battles began at the time of the firing of the cannons out of Waitara. People were the cost. So it was that all of Taranaki was to feel the gnashing of the law. I know that Taranaki still grieves. The grief will be eternal. It cannot be removed. Your relatives were incarcerated, for what gain? Their crime was to oppose the Crown so that the thief would not steal. That was your solitary crime.
Our thoughts go back, today, to those who have passed on, whose knees are behind their ears—those who were incarcerated at Otago or the Chatham Islands; the women who were raped by the soldiers of the Crown. How can you possibly lighten the pain of those actions? Neither money, nor apology and the bowing of the head, will ever erase from the memory the scars of that time. There is another saying:“Time will heal all pain.” Friends, this is not possible if you layer one injustice upon another. This is what the Crown is doing today. Today we grieve with you. Our spirits weep, our hearts are heavy.
What remedy do we have to smooth over and heal such deep wounds? Here are some thoughts. Gather your stories. Publish them. Distribute them to the marae and schools of Taranaki so that the coming generations can see that these are the truths of Ngāti Mutunga.
Secondly, the Crown says that this is a full and final settlement. According to the Crown, there is no return. Friends, just like that famous song, we of the Māori Party say: “Return, o Mutunga, welcome back to our open hands.” Enough! Let us leave it there. Tell your children to come back to this House and knock on the door, no matter who resides within. Perhaps there will be a bigger loaf on the table.
Recalling a statement from Mokomoko of Whakatōhea, when he said: “Take the rope from my neck, so that I can sing my song.”, I believe there is a type of rope, also, around your neck. The Crown has its hands on the rope. Its actions are to tug at the rope, to give you a reminder. It is OK. Come back, take off the rope so that you may sing your song; so that you can swing again your poi; so that the nation can again hear the beat of the drums.
Let us now turn to the statement by the Crown in July last year at Urenui Marae. According to what I heard, tales were related about Māui Pōmare and Sir Peter Buck, the descendants of Ngāti Mutunga, whose pictures adorn the walls outside our offices. I grieved for them as I came here this afternoon. It was a loving, painful, and gloomy time. Tariana, your member of Parliament, grieves with me. And it goes without saying that you know the type of person she is, and the issues she has addressed. Despite the difficulties, her position has always been one of strength, of supporting, of battling, and of raising the issues with the Government so that those whose heads should roll would act honourably and with integrity. You know of her actions at Pākaitore within Whanganui, and the actions she took at the time of the passing of the foreshore and seabed legislation in 2004.
Let us say, the thief is indeed celebrating today. At Urenui last year, the Minister praised you for your generosity. This was for the benefits that, according to him, were bestowed upon all New Zealanders. It was for the benefit of all New Zealanders that you accepted only $11 million to repay the debt; however, we know that the value of your losses was greater. It was for the benefit of all New Zealanders, even though it was he who inflicted the suffering from that period of 100 years ago to the present.
There is another saying:“Honour and glory, peace throughout the land, goodwill to all people.” Your action was generosity to the nation. The Crown’s was mean-spirited. So we lament for you. However, Ngāti Mutunga, we congratulate you on your strength in advocating with the thief—that is, the Crown—so that you can forge the path to the future.
You need to know that three of us will not be voting, and one will be supporting. The problem is that we know in the end, they have the final say. They will determine what will be, how it will be done, and what resources will be returned and distributed. How arrogant! For the Crown, there is another saying: “Clay will not stick to iron; when the sun shines, it will dry and fall away.” And so, Ngāti Mutunga, we are grieving. Be strong and brave. Greetings, greetings. .]
I rise to take a call on behalf of United Future on the Ngāti Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill. I must say that I regard it as a great honour and a privilege to do so. It is the first time I have had the privilege of speaking on a settlement bill in this Parliament, and it is likely to be the last, because it is not actually within my spokesmanship area. But, as I say, I am very honoured to do so.
I am very honoured today to extend greetings on behalf of United Future to the Ngāti Mutunga iwi—to the members who are here today and to those who might be listening from afar to the radio or otherwise—and to say that I rejoice greatly in this day. I rejoice in the day that begins the process of formalising a settlement that is already signed off with endorsement by Parliament and therefore by the people of New Zealand.
As other members have said, each of these settlement bills that we look into is the result of a process—a process that, in this case, has gone on for, I think, about 146 years, from the date when the wrongs were originally perpetrated against the people of this iwi, right through until today. The first thing we must do, of course, is to face up to the wrongs that were done: the waging of war; the use of a scorched earth policy involving the destruction of villages, a culture, and a civilisation; the loss of life, including that of unarmed children; the imprisonment of members of the iwi following the passive resistance campaign at Parihaka; and the confiscation of the iwi’s land.
On any list of infamies those actions rate highly. We say they were perpetrated by the Crown, but the point I would like to bring to the attention of Parliament today is that, in truth, it was not the monarch—who was far off, 12,000 miles away in England—who initiated and undertook those deeds, but the people of this nation, with the backing and authority of the New Zealand Parliament. Therefore, as a Parliament, we need to recognise that it is appropriate that today we are the ones who are settling this matter. I will come back to that point in a moment.
It is a very, very healthy, wholesome step forward for a nation to face up to past wrongdoings, and it is the first step in working towards settlement and restitution for those deeds. Today in this debate we are clearly saying that, yes, we are facing up to the past—a past that none of us was involved in personally but one that has had devastating consequences for the people of this iwi from that day to this. Therefore, the process that we go through in a settlement claim, and moving on to the question of restitution for those past wrongdoings, is itself fraught with huge difficulty.
Those who were killed are now in the hands of God. The land that was taken is, for the most part, now in the private ownership of others. So we are left with a limited range of ways in which we can make restitution and put the wrongdoing of the past right to the greatest possible extent. Today I do not want to get into quibbling about the amount of the settlement or the way it has been agreed, or to look at it just from the point of view of arithmetic in terms of how many cents in the dollar it represents, and issues of that sort. What we should agree on is that this is a tangible action taken by the people of New Zealand through their elected representatives to try at least to acknowledge the wrongs of the past and to make some measure of restitution. It can never be enough, because one cannot measure the actions that I have mentioned from just an economic or financial point of view. It obviously goes way, way beyond that.
That is why the apology, which is also tendered in this settlement deed, is of such tremendous significance. It represents a plea, I believe, by the people of New Zealand and this Parliament for forgiveness. The members of the Ngāti Mutunga iwi, as others have mentioned, have been immensely generous in this matter. We acknowledge that generosity. We also acknowledge the shortcomings in our ability to make restitution, but, nevertheless, our apology and request for forgiveness I hope will be reciprocated in a similar way in the spirit of generosity and acceptance, because that is the only way that I know of that may help us in the healing of this matter. How else do we heal the past?
I have never ever agreed, for instance, with the examples we have seen in the United States of America when someone suffers an accident or a death and a court gives them millions of dollars by way of compensation. In some ways that is a futile and easy thing to do. It is more difficult to dig a little bit deeper into our hearts and souls and come to a situation where we are prepared to apologise and forgive, and then work together for our joint future.
Settlements, from my point of view and from United Future’s point of view, are, if you like, beacons on the roadway to a brighter future—for the iwi, certainly, but, because the iwi are no more than part and parcel of our nation, for our nation as a whole. All parts of our nation are strengthened when we come to a settlement of this sort. All parts of our nation were weakened when we failed, for so many years, to address the issue and when we tried to ignore it. Today, as I have said, we are at least facing up to the deep hurt and the harm that were caused.
As I said a moment ago, in addition to the Crown’s apology, as a member of Parliament I would also like to express my apologies. As the Hon Nanaia Mahuta and the Hon Georgina te Heuheu know, I believe that the New Zealand Parliament at some stage in our future, perhaps when all the settlements have been completed, also needs to apologise, because it was the New Zealand Parliament that actually took these actions.
The Crown is apologising because it is the other party to the Treaty. But, as we all know, under our form of constitutional democracy, it is not, in fact, the Crown that governs; it is the people who govern through elections. So all of us to that extent have been involved in these wrongdoings, and I hope we will see the day when, in addition to the Crown apologising, Parliament itself can also acknowledge its role in these matters. In the meantime, I look forward to a bright future for the Ngāti Mutunga iwi. I wish them well. I hope they will invest the money that is being settled through this bill shrewdly and wisely for the benefit of future generations.
I would like to say one last thing, which is that in some ways, as the late Bishop Max Māriu pointed out on the occasion of the Tainui settlement, this process needs to be accompanied by a great deal of aroha—of love. That is something we cannot legislate for but it is something that we can all attempt to express in our relationships, and it is a powerful force on which we can build a nation.
I want to begin this first reading speech this afternoon by recounting an incident that occurred in the lobby earlier this afternoon. I was trying to find the Hansard debate on the special legislation that provided for the imprisonment without trial of the leaders of Parihaka. One of the messengers asked me what I was doing, clambering up a ladder, and when I told him he informed me that his great-grandfather, a Welshman called Llewellyn Gwilliams, had been involved in the Parihaka incident when he served in the British Army. That incident turned his great-grandfather into a pacifist, and he subsequently became very friendly with the Māori of the area. It is a small reminder that this country is, indeed, rather small, and that links to Parihaka exist even in the precincts of this Chamber. So it is really a very great honour to be asked to speak in this debate, and I am delighted that at last some of the ghosts of the past may be put to rest by this settlement. I welcome the representatives of Ngāti Mutunga to Parliament for this first reading debate. I congratulate them on the settlement, and on all the work they have done so that this bill can reach the stage where it can be introduced today.
I think it is always useful to remind ourselves of the importance of historical settlements, because some people say that people simply have to move on and let go of the burdens of the past, yet this is a fundamentally flawed approach to historical settlements in this country. The rationale for the historical treaty settlements was, I think, best expressed by Sir Douglas Graham in this place, during the second reading of the Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Bill, when he said: “In 1991 the Government embarked on a comprehensive attempt to address the longstanding claims by Maori against the Crown. It had concluded that a future that allowed Maori to remain in grievance over claims that were just was no future at all—not only for Maori but for all of us. Indeed, we should be thankful that Maori have always been prepared to seek justice through negotiation in a spirit of goodwill, rather than resort to other means as has occurred so tragically in other countries.” That importance and that approach is certainly exemplified by this bill.
The history of the Waitangi Tribunal’s claim process is set out in the bill itself—in the preamble—and I will not repeat it, suffice to say that the claim began in 1990 and went on to 1995, and then in June 1996 an interim report was published. I do not think the Government does enough to publicise these reports. I can think of many great reports that have been written by the tribunal over the years that should be read by as many New Zealanders as possible. An example I can think of is the Muriwhenua claim, which I had the privilege of reading when I was involved in a lot of the fisheries litigation leading up to the 2004 settlement. This Taranaki report is also a “must read”. The negotiations then continued for almost 10 years before this legislation could be introduced—[Interruption] In answer to Mr Jones I ask what we are to learn from this. Well, the first point is that the Treaty settlement process takes too long. It has been 15 years of involvement for Ngāti Mutunga in tribunal litigation, and then negotiations. I say that that is unfair. I also say that the tribunal is underfunded, which is why it so often has to resort to stop-start hearings. This Government has kept the tribunal underfunded over the past 7 years, and has allowed negotiations to go on and on.
The National Party in Government will pursue Treaty settlements with vigour and determination, just as Sir Douglas Graham and Mr Jim Bolger did in the 1990s. When I mention the name Jim Bolger, I am sure he would very much like to join with the National Party in welcoming this settlement because, as I understand it, he grew up in that area and had very many contacts with the people of Ngāti Mutunga. Apparently Matiu Rata reportedly once said to Ben Couch that Māori like it when “you lot are in power because you get things done.” I promise not only Ngāti Mutunga, but the other Māori of this country, that that is exactly what we will do after the next election.
I want to spent some time on the apology, because again some people do not like apologies; they think they are weasel words. But I happen to think they are very important. Again, the rationale for apologies is spelt out in the speech of Sir Douglas Graham in the second reading of the Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Bill. He acknowledged that some people feel uncomfortable about apologies, and said: “But how can a wrong be righted without an acknowledgment of the wrong and an expression of regret that it occurred? How can the relationship prosper in the future if the settlement now concluded is accompanied with a denial of liability?”, as so often happens in the settlement of, say, commercial litigation. So apologies are very important. But whether apologies should be recorded in statute is something that I have a few doubts about.
My friend Georgina te Heuheu referred to the New Zealand First bill that was debated last night that seeks to delete all references to “principles of the Treaty” from all legislation.
Absolute foolishness. I heard the words of the New Zealand First speaker earlier in this debate but ask him to reflect on clause 7 of this bill, because the effect of what he said would be to delete chunks of that bill. Is that really what he wants? I am not too worried about that legislation, because I believe that the Justice and Electoral Committee will be able to tidy it up. But how can Parliament responsibly interfere with the text of a settlement with Māori? I do not believe it can.
Frankly, there is much to apologise for to Ngāti Mutunga, and I certainly refer to the very well written and quite emotional parts of the preamble that talk about Parihaka. I do not intend to elaborate on the story in this speech—we all know what happened there. We all know, or should know, that it is a real blot on the nation’s history.
As an aside I can tell the House that some years ago my former law firm, Bell Gully, was a co-sponsor of an art exhibition called Parihaka. It was one of the most powerful art exhibitions I have ever seen. It certainly puts the Constable exhibition way down the ladder of importance.
I think I called it chocolate-boxy the other night. As the then chair of the Arts Board I was very keen to tour that exhibition but as usual I was thwarted by the bureaucrats in Creative New Zealand, who I think were more interested in touring donkeys braying in toilets.
In this debate I am not going to dwell on other elements of the settlement. I simply conclude my remarks by saying I am delighted that Ngāti Mutunga have reached this stage in their history. It is certainly time that the reality of what happened at Parihaka was recognised by this Parliament, which passed that dreadful legislation in the early 1880s. I conclude by reflecting on a visit I had a couple of months ago to Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia. I saw a statement of position that had been developed by the provincial Liberal Government in its dealings with indigenous peoples. I think there is a lot in Canada that we could adopt here. The statement of position essentially said that whatever the past, whatever wrongs happened in the past, we are all here to stay, so let us work together to undo the burdens of the past and move forward for the sake of our country and for each one of us here. That is what historical settlements are all about. It is certainly what this settlement is all about. I congratulate all concerned on getting the legislation to this stage.
Tēnā koe te Koroheke o te Pouwhare nei, koe e noho mai i runga i tō Tūru e rongo atu i ngā kōrero whakaputa i tēnei wā. Kā tū mai ahau i konei nā, ka kimikimi hoki he kōrero mai i te pātaka kōrero, mai i te pātaka maumahara ki a rātou. Nā, ka puta tētehi wāhanga o te waiata “Te Piukara”. Ka pēnei mai: “E piki mai, Pungarehu, ka tangi mai te piukara.” Mai i te tangi mai o te piukara i tēnei wā, arā, ngā hoariri me o rātou nei hōio. Ka tangi mai anō te piukara. Tītoki ki te Rau o te Huia, ngā huki o te iwi o Mutunga. Koutou e noho ngātahi i te taha o Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Tama, arā, te Rau o te Huia ki Onukutaipare. Tātou katoa ngā uki o te waka Tokomaru. Tētehi o ngā maunga o ngā waka e noho mai rā i runga i te tihi o te maunga tapu Taranaki, tēnā koutou.
Tēnā koutou e kai kawe mai tā koutou nei kaupapa i mua i te aroaro o te Pouwhare nei engari, kua whakaae au i te kōrero o te tangata mai i Te Arawa. Ahakoa ngā piki me ngā heke, te uauatanga, ka mau koutou i tētehi o ngā kōrero mai i te poropiti a Te Whiti i tōna wā, me tana kī ki te iwi: “E te iwi, whakaraupō i a koutou, i te riri mai o te hau, ka piko. Ki te mutu o te riri mai te hau ka tū anō.” Tēnā koutou ngā uki, haere mai nei nā kā tū anō.
[Greetings to you the Deputy Speaker of this House sitting there in your Chair and listening to the debate. I stand here pondering over what I can extract from the storehouse of talk and from the database in my mind. And what comes to me is part of a lament called “The Bugle” that goes like this: “Rise up, Pungarehu, the bugle sounds.” From the time the bugle sounds, there is the enemy and their horses. The bugle sounds again. Ah! It is Tītoki of the Huia Feather, the descendants of the Mutunga people. You people living side by side with Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Tama, and indeed the Feather of the Huia collective at Onukutaipare. All of us of the Tokomaru canoe, the canoe of all canoes, sitting on the tip of the sacred Mount Taranaki. Greetings to you.
Greetings to you for bringing your matter before this House. I concur with the member from Te Arawa, who stated that despite the highs, lows, and difficulties, you have held fast to one of prophet Te Whiti’s sayings, when he uttered; “People, make yourselves like the bulrush. In times when the wind vents its wrath, the bulrush does not fight it but rather bends with it. When the wind is at peace with itself, the bulrush stands majestically once more.” So, greetings to you the relatives. You have come and are now standing tall once again.]
In the song I sang as an introduction, ko te ingoa, ko “Te Piukara”, the bugle was blown from Pungarehu going up to Parihaka, and it was blown by ngā hoariri, which means, of course, the enemy. But let me be very, very clear about the Land Wars in Taranaki. In a previous speech those people were referred to as thieves, rapists, and other such low lives. Let me tell the House that they did not come alone. We know ko wai e hīkoi ngātahi ai i te taha o ngā tāngata me kī [who walked side by side with]thieves, rapists, and others. I will leave it there.
To think otherwise is to have some fantasy about the reality. It is to have some fantasy that those who came to Parihaka, i te pāhua o Parihaka [to rob Parihaka], were all white. I just thought, in the context of a previous discussion, that I would make that point very clear. I am not talking about the tribal wars, I am talking about the other war—te pakanga ā whenua . So to Mutunga, me ō koutou nei wāi wairua, arā, a Puke Whakamaru, a Pōkura, a Urenui, a Maruehi, Te Kāweka, a Taumutu hoki me ērā atu, koutou e whakatutuki ai i ngā moemoeā o ō taueke ā-pakeke mai i te ao tawhito hekeheke iho nei ki a Pōmare, ki a Te Rangihīroa, ki a Koro Raumati, a hāmiora, a Wīremu, ngā kuia taueke katoa. Tēnā koutou e kaikawe mai i taua kaupapa mamae, haehae mai i te kaingākau ō tātou.
[and your spiritual waters: namely, Puke Whakamaru, Pōkura a Urenui, Maruehi, Te Kāweka, Taumutu as well, and all the others, including you who ensured that the wishes of those old ones from way back were fulfilled, and down the years to the era of Pōmare, Buck, Koro Raumati, Hāmiora, Wīremu, and all the dear old wise ladies. Greetings to you submitters in respect of that hurtful and extremely painful matter from within ourselves.]
I have heard that there has been some meaning given to that raukura. There are three parts to the raukura. Korōria ki Te Atua i Runga Rawa, maungarongo ki runga i te whenua, wakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa.
[Glory to the Almighty above, peace upon the land, and goodwill to all mankind.]
But there is also another piece to it, which goes: ka uru te kino ki te pai. [evil enters good.]
Two people present in this House grew up in Parihaka. They are two people who had a life experience that was significantly raw and extraordinarily difficult, because, at that time, 90 percent of Aotearoa New Zealand people did not know that Parihaka actually existed, let alone knew its stories. In my view it was a purposeful cleansing of a history that needed to be told.
I would also like to pay tribute to te kuia morehu ō koutou e noho mai rā ki Pukeariki. [your surviving residing matriarch, Pukeariki.]
I talk here about Matarena Rau Kupa and those other kuia who kept the messages alive for me. Those kuia worked at Parihaka and they represented every iwi of Taranaki. Ko te nuinga kua mate. Kua mate noa atu engari, anei te tohutohu mai rātou ki a au: [The majority have died long ago, but here is advice from them to me:] “Whāngai mai te hoariri.If I may translate that, that means feed thy enemies. What an extraordinary philosophy to have, given whence they came. It is extraordinary, yet, for some reason, these kuia held to it. I suppose that would be the biggest, most significant, issue, because it is putting into practice something called passive resistance. It is not that I adhere to that particular philosophy, by the way—I do feed people—but I admire it, not only for its articulation but also because it was held to in spite of challenges to it.
So today is significant not only because there is a claim before us in this House but also because this claim engenders a whole range of memories that some of us share. One of the outcomes of my Parihaka experience was that it took me about 16 years to relay it to anyone who was not Māori. That is part of the process of going through that experience that Ururoa put so well about the effects that these things have, not only culturally in terms of language loss and whenua kua riro [land taken] but also that stuff in the head. It took me 40 years to get past it—40 long years full of adventure in trying to do so. I am past it, but that does not mean to say one forgets it.
So, to those old people, those people who did not live to see this happen, those people kua tīraha rā ki te taumata mai ō koutou iwi me ngā iwi katoa o Taranaki; a rātou rā e whakakopekope mai i runga i te marae o Parihaka, waiata, kōrero ai, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou.
[who lie outstretched at the pinnacle that your people and the whole of Taranaki strive for; those ones swaying to and fro upon the marae of Parihaka, singing and talking, greetings to you, greetings.]
If Marge is listening today, I send her our collective blessings, because, as I said, she is the kuia morehu he mau pirikaha ai ki ngā kōrero a Te Whiti rāua ko Tohu, te mutunga ki a koutou, koutou kua uhia mai ō koutou nei pōkohiwi i te kākahu ō rātou, nau mai. Kore tēnei tū e tū wakapōrearea mai i ō koutou nei moemoeā. Kua tautoko katoa Te Rōpu Reipa i ō koutou nei kaupapa nei, me rātou rā me te katoa pea ahakoa e toru ngā mema o te Rōpū Māori e kore e tukuna.
[surviving kuia who clings steadfastly to the preachings of Te Whiti and Tohu, and what remains is draped over your shoulders for you to follow up. I am not going to impede this dream of yours. All of Labour is supporting this matter of yours, as well as those ones over there, and the majority, perhaps, even though three members of the Māori Party are not.]
As a conclusion, I acknowledge New Zealand First. It does not happen very often. New Zealand First, in its coalition agreement with National in 1996, had as a key priority to address the issues surrounding reserve lands. That party had the political courage and commitment to address an issue that had been sitting around politically for many, many years. I have to acknowledge that, because those lands that were confiscated, kua raupatungia, went into reserve as well. Ka mihi mai ahau ki a koutou, because what it has done for Paranīnini ki Waitōtara, and Māwhra, and Whakatū has been to free them up from the economic constraints they suffered from after receiving peppercorn rents for so long. What an iniquitous, totally unacceptable, and scandalous regime!
So on that very high note, I say that one of the other significant things about the mutunga settlement is that the old people tukuna atu te mana ki ngā uki nei a rātou rā e mau ngā pukenga i runga ringaringa kia awhi atu, kia mahi ai te huarahi tika. Ehara i te rangatahi, he pūru taitama hoki nā koutou. Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou me kī pēnei: “Nā wai te poipoi e poia mai te niko na”, ara, “Nā hau nei e Te Ati Awa. Titi ai tō raukura, auē ka titi, auē ka titi, titi ka titi, ka titi a auē, ka pai rā.” Ka rauna i te Whare tēnā koutou, tēna koutou, kia ora mai tātou katoa.
[give the authority to these descendants who have the skills but support them in their efforts. They are not youngsters, but rather your young warriors. So greetings to you, and greetings to you. Let me put it like this: “Who does that poi belong to that is beating towards me? Alas, it is yours, Te Āti Awa, with your adornments of feathers, oh how wonderful.” So to you around the House, greetings to you and good health to all of us.]
I move, That the Ngāti Mutunga Claims Settlement Bill be referred to the Māori Affairs Committee.