Iwi sign declaration over Tauranga rights disputes

8:10 pm on 14 December 2017

Auckland and Hauraki iwi Ngāti Paoa will sign a declaration with two Tauranga iwi to clarify rights disputes in the Tauranga area.

Hundreds of people turned out to protest the signing of a treaty settlement between the government and a collective of Hauraki iwi.

Hundreds of people turned out to protest the signing of a treaty settlement between the government and a collective of Hauraki iwi. Photo: RNZ / Justine Murray

This Saturday a ceremony will be held to mark the signing between Ngāti Paoa and the Tauranga iwi Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Ranginui.

Tensions arose between the two Tauranga iwi and the Hauraki Collective, a group of 12 Hauraki iwi, over the collective claiming rights in Tauranga where they had not traditionally lived.

The largest iwi in the collective, Ngāti Paoa grew unhappy with the collective's behaviour and decided to sign a declaration based on tikanga and respect with Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Ranginui.

Ngai Te Rangi chairman Charlie Tawhiao said the declaration showed how iwi should be working together - with honesty and integrity.

"In (Treaty of Waitangi) cross claims processes we have reached the end of the usefulness of the legal process that is by nature adversarial and able to be misused.

"From here we need traditional systems of dispute resolution to take over which are based on respect for the mana of each iwi or hapū and for the people within those groups who are our whanaunga, our relations."

The signing ceremony will be held at Maungatapu Marae in Tauranga.

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