19 Mar 2015

Far North tribe refutes land claims

10:35 am on 19 March 2015

A Far North iwi leader says he has evidence to refute claims by a neighbouring tribe that it has rights over Ngāi Takoto lands in the Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill.

Rangitane Marsden, the lead Treaty Negotiator for Ngāi Takoto

Rangitane Marsden, the lead Treaty Negotiator for Ngāi Takoto Photo: Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Takoto

At a Māori Affairs Select Committee meeting held in Kaitāia last month Margaret Mutu claimed that her iwi, Ngāti Kahu, is being excluded from its own whenua.

However, the lead Treaty negotiator for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Takoto, Rangitāne Marsden, has since told MPs that the settlement was a comprehensive one and included Ngāti Kahu interests.

He said when it came to Ngāti Kahu claiming further territory on the Muriwhenua Peninsula, the claim over who the rightful custodians were had already been ruled by the Waitangi Tribunal.

"The whole Te Hiku Settlement is geared towards recognising the Mana Whenua [land authority] and the mana [prestige] of Ngāti Kahu without taking anything away from them.

"And so Margaret's arguments are absolutely unfounded when she says that, 'Oh, I suddenly forgot there was another hapū of Ngāti Kahu, Te Pātu, who suddenly own all the Ngāi Takoto lands,'

Margaret Mutu

Margaret Mutu Photo: Supplied

"Well, that's not true either, and we've proved that in front of the Waitangi Tribunal".

The Hiku Claims Settlement Bill involves addressing claims by five Far North iwi: Ngāti Kurī, Te Aupōuri, Ngāi Takoto, Ngāti Kahu and Te Rārawa.