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Denise Roche speaks on the Ngati Toa Rangatira Claims Settlement Bill and Haka Ka Mate Attribution Bill

This is a day to celebrate. We offer our congratulations to Ngati Toa Rangatira and every success.
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E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā rangatira, e ngā iwi e huihui nei, tēnā koutou. Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Whare Pāremata, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

[To the authorities, voices, leaders, and tribes assembled here, greetings to you. Welcome to Parliament House, welcome. Salutations, acknowledgments, and congratulations to you all.]

It is a pleasure to speak on behalf of the Greens on these bills, the Ngati Toa Rangatira Claims Settlement Bill and the Haka Ka Mate Attribution Bill, not just because this is the most positive experience of Parliament that I have ever had, but also because for me personally, as I said in my first speech on the omnibus legislation, I whakapapa to the great warrior Te Rauparaha through his mother Parekōhatu and the Raukawa line. So I am grateful to have the opportunity, in my privileged position as an MP, to read the true histories of Aotearoa through these settlement deeds.

The story of Ngati Toa Rangatira is perhaps one that is more widely known than most iwi, due to the famous ancestor Te Rauparaha and his fierce reputation as a warrior, and, of course, in his role as the composer of the haka Ka Mate! I note that as part of the settlement outlined in the claims legislation, the Haka Ka Mate Attribution Bill will also be passed today, to ensure that the intellectual property rights of the iwi are acknowledged and that the haka is recognised as a taonga belonging to Ngati Toa Rangatira and their ancestor Te Rauparaha as the composer whenever their haka is performed. The legislation has taken a long time to get to this House. The deed of settlement was signed in 2012. However, the legal action goes right back to the actions of the New Zealand Company in the 1830s, when the first dodgy dealings with that company resulted in the first large tracts of land in the South Island being alienated. Given their warlike nature, there is no way that Ngati Toa Rangatira was ever going to relinquish their landholdings without a fight.

There have been many over the generations who have carried on that fight. The original claims for this settlement were made in 1986, and I want to also acknowledge the kuia Tiratū Williams in the gallery today and also acknowledge those who have passed on—the other 13 claimants. It has taken 28 years to get to this place. The settlement relates to the gradual alienation of nearly all of the original 4 million hectares that were in Ngati Toa Rangatira's area of interest. That interest includes both the lower part of the North Island and the top of the South Island. It goes from the Rangitīkei in the north and includes the Kāpiti coast, Hutt Valley, and Wellington areas, as well as Kāpiti Island and Mana Island. It includes large areas of the Marlborough Sounds and much of the northern South Island. How Ngāti Toa were alienated from that land is outlined in the legislation, in the deed of settlement. The methods used include the dodgy land sales, war, duress, the Crown awarding land to individual Māori, and exclusion. These tactics were used with many iwi across Aotearoa in the land-grabs of the 1800s. I use the term duress in this case to describe the dubious land sales that occurred while Te Rauparaha was being illegally detained by the Crown for 18 months, and his nephew, the leader Te Rangihaeata, was in exile in the Horowhenua.

In this settlement for the first time the Crown apologises for that wrongdoing and I am going quote from the settlement deed the apology, which says: "The Crown unreservedly apologises for the breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi … and its principles which have hurt and caused prejudice to Ngati Toa Rangatira. The Crown is deeply sorry for its actions that intentionally undermined the mana and rangatiratanga of leading Ngati Toa Rangatira chiefs. In particular the Crown apologies for its indefinite detention of Te Rauparaha, and deeply regrets that it has failed, until now, to acknowledge this injustice in an appropriate manner."

In light of the huge land losses and the loss of resources that Ngati Toa Rangatira had once utilised, like the whaling industry and the flax trade, the compensation package is modest and that is also acknowledged in the settlement. The financial and commercial redress is about $72 million and some of that is tagged for express purposes and by accepting this Ngati Toa Rangatira are being generous. They are generous with the cultural redress package as well. Ngati Toa Rangatira will have 20 sites vested in them with another three sites that will be jointly vested with other iwi from Te Tau Ihu. That means that public access and conservation values will be maintained. In total the amount of land comes to about 267 hectares and I note that the area of occupation—the area that was originally occupied by Ngati Toa—was estimated at about 2 million hectares. Kāpiti Island will symbolically be vested in the iwi and then they will return it to the Crown after 10 days. They will return it to the people of New Zealand and the iwi will work alongside others to develop the management plans and conservation of that area. This is incredibly generous—to receive their rightful land and then to give it to the people of New Zealand.

I am mindful that with many settlements that come before the House there is a lack of public understanding about the history: the history of the iwi and the breaches of Treaty of Waitangi that they have suffered. I am mindful also that this bill attempts to address some of them. Too often we hear, when these settlements are published, the racist comments that this part of a gravy train and whenever I hear that I am enraged. We must do more to educate the people and I support the Hon Pita Sharples in that call.

The Greens' position is—and I must make this point—that this is not a full and final settlement and we will say this on every settlement bill and in every speech. Undoubtedly, the journey to this day has been hard won and it should be celebrated. I want to acknowledge the Treaty negotiation team who must be congratulated on the intricacies of the settlement and how they have maintained a delicate balance between overlapping claims and those different from others. But our stance stems from the fact that this is the best the iwi could possibly get at this time but the compensation, of course, is not full and that is acknowledged. We do not believe it is final, because we do not know yet how these historical claims will impact on the generations of Ngati Toa Rangatira yet to come. One thing is for sure, though. Undoubtedly, Ngati Toa Rangatira will be on a surer economic footing as a result of this settlement and they can chart a future for their rangatahi and whānau.

This is a day to celebrate. We offer our congratulations to Ngati Toa Rangatira and every success. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

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