Tauranga iwi commit to resolve Treaty issues

7:54 am on 17 December 2017

Three iwi with overlapping interests in Tauranga Moana have committed to resolve present and future issues with Treaty settlements.

Tauranga Harbour

The Hauraki Collective was given rights to Tauranga Harbour. Photo: 123RF

Tensions flared last year after the Hauraki Collective, made up of 12 iwi, had their Deed of Settlement initialled by the Crown last year, giving them rights to Tauranga Harbour.

Yesterday waka arrived at Maungatapu marae in Tauranga where Ngāti Paoa, which is part of the Hauraki Collective, and Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāi Te Rangi signed a Kawenata Tapu, or sacred covenant.

Ngāti Paoa iwi trust chair Gary Thompson said they were returning to old tikanga.

"[It] allows us to just recognise the importance of our relationship first and foremost in everything.

"It's a major thing," he said.

He said the issue of the Hauraki Collective's rights to Tauranga Moana were separate and instead it was about reaffirming relationships.

"The Treaty settlement piece is definitely some work that still needs to be done. But for Ngāti Paoa we're quite clear where our relationship sits and our interest in Tauranga Moana are very much cultural and traditional."

He said five other iwi were present, interested in how the three iwi were mapping their future.

"Our future is based on our relationship," he said.

"Today in this new world, in the world of post-settlements, it's appropriate that we start the reconnections to find ways to work together."

Te Pio Kawe, from Ngāti Ranginui, also hoped other iwi would follow suit.

"The agreements that have been sanctioned today and any similar arrangements that we aim to achieve with other tribes should assist the Crown to correct any errors and make the right decision when settling the Hauraki and Tauranga Moana iwi Treaty claims."

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