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Denise Roche speaks on the Raukawa Claims Settlement Bill, Third Reading

"The deed of settlement and the bill itself set out the agreed historical account, where the breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi occurred, and it is fair to say that Raukawa were punished for both their political convictions—their involvement in the Kīngitanga movement—as well as their involvement in the wars in the Waikato and Tauranga in the 1860s".
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Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. Tēnā koutou katoa. Tēnā koe, Mr Deputy Speaker. E te Whare, tēnā koutou katoa. Whakataka te hau ki te uru, whakataka te hau ki te tonga. Kia mākinakina ki uta, kia mātaratara ki tai. E hī ake ana te atākura, he tio, he huka, he hauhunga, tihei mauri ora. E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e rangatira mā, e ngā iwi e huihui nei, tēnā koutou. Ngā rangatira o Raukawa, koro mā, kuia mā, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

[Greetings to you all the House. Cease the winds from the west, cease the winds from the south. Let the breezes blow over the land, let the breezes blow over the ocean. Let the red-tipped dawn come with a sharpened air, a touch of frost, a promise of a glorious day. Behold the breath of life. To the authorities, languages, leaders of a hundredfold and the tribes gathered here, greetings to you collectively. To the esteemed leaders, elderly women, and menfolk of Raukawa, greetings, salutations and acknowledgments to you all.]

I am speaking with my back to the gallery where my whanaunga are. However, I do just want to take this moment to acknowledge all the people who are in the gallery and the people who are at home watching. I am too afraid to name them personally because I might miss someone out, so I would like to take this moment just to thank them all for being here to watch this last passage of the Raukawa Claims Settlement Bill come through the House.

I am delighted to speak on this third and final reading on behalf of the Greens. On behalf of myself, I am also delighted to be part of this historic occasion today. I wanted to start my kōrero with a karakia tīmatanga, because it is such a lovely and hopeful prayer. It is also the karakia that I said last week at the tangi of my Auntie June, who is married to my Uncle Ken. I think it is right to acknowledge the many rangatira who have passed away—not just those who have been involved in the struggle to get to this stage and the years that it has taken to do that, but also the ones who have been fighting for this for decades. My understanding is that the fight for justice for Raukawa has been going on since the late 1860s.

Tēnā koutou. Tēnā koutou te hunga mate, nō reira, haere e ngā mate. Haere ki te wā kāinga, haere ki te kāinga tūturu o tō tātou Matua i Te Rangi, haere, haere, haere.

[Greetings to you collectively and to you the ones who have passed away, farewell. Return to the true and real home of our heavenly Father. Depart, journey on, goodbye.]

As early as 1868 our Raukawa ancestors were attempting to use the legal processes that were imposed on them by the Crown through the Native Land Court to right the blatant land grabs that happened to them. The deed of settlement and the bill itself set out the agreed historical account, where the breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi occurred, and it is fair to say that Raukawa were punished for both their political convictions—their involvement in the Kīngitanga movement—as well as their involvement in the wars in the Waikato and Tauranga in the 1860s.

As well as loss of life—and this has been spoken about today by the Minister Tariana Turia—they suffered raupatu, land confiscation, after the wars in Waikato and Tauranga in 1863 and 1864 and the bush campaigns in 1867. I have got to get my century right—the 1800s. The introduction of the Native Land Court, which Raukawa were not consulted on, resulted in Raukawa being further alienated from even more land. The return of confiscated land to individual Māori resulted in the breaking down of collective ownership, basically because it is difficult to shift collectively owned land to private individuals. It says in Part 1, clause 9, subclause 7 of the bill that "the operation and impact of the native land laws, in particular the award of land to individual Raukawa and the enabling of individuals to deal with that land without reference to iwi or hapū, made those lands more susceptible to partition, fragmentation, and alienation. This undermined the traditional tribal structures, mana, and rangatiratanga of Raukawa, which were based on collective tribal and hapū custodianship of the land. The Crown failed to protect those collective tribal structures, which had a prejudicial effect on Raukawa and was a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles."

From my understanding, it is around this time that the Crown, through the Native Land Court, despite a legal challenge from the iwi, excluded the tūpuna Raukawa from the tūpuna associated with the Taupō-nui-a-Tia block. There is much, much more in the historical accounts that record the breaches of the Treaty that separated Raukawa from their land. The bill outlines that the Crown acknowledges that by 1910, the Crown and private purchasers had alienated Raukawa from more than three-quarters of their land holdings, and that before 1900, private parties and the Crown had purchased around 80 percent of the land. That is around 800,000 acres within the whole of the Waikato Basin. In the legislation, it states that "The Crown failed to protect Raukawa from becoming virtually landless. This restricted their ability to participate in new economic opportunities and contributed to the economic, social, and cultural impoverishment of Raukawa."

When we take just these issues of land loss—and that is aside the loss of life—it is apparent that Raukawa are extremely generous with this settlement. The redress package does not and cannot fully compensate for the harms that were done to them, and this is one reason why the Greens maintain that we do not believe this is a full and final settlement. The settlement itself is made up of both commercial and financial redress and cultural redress. I know that the cultural redress includes the birthplace of the ancestor Raukawa himself, the common ancestor of all Raukawa iwi.

Like others, I want to congratulate the negotiation team and the leadership of Raukawa for the tightrope they have walked to deliver this settlement bill. In my second speech, I revisited some of the overlapping interests, as others have done. As Raukawa have shared areas of interest and association with Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tainui, Te Arawa, and Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, and there are many more. It is not surprising that there are overlapping concerns because Māori do not live in a jar. As it has been noted by Raukawa themselves in their written submissions to the Māori Affairs Committee, it is a finely balanced settlement to acknowledge those joint associations and interests. Raukawa have sought creative solutions in the settlement. As an example, there are the unusual protections of Maniapoto interests over the right of first refusal for Waikeria Prison.

The settlement also covers significant commercial and financial redress. When it comes to commercial redress, I always feel a bit nervous even mentioning it, basically, because of the hate speech by the ignorant who frequently describe Treaty settlements as a "gravy train". Minister Finlayson referred to that. There is a woeful lack of education or understanding from the general public about Treaty settlements and about Te Tiriti generally. As a country, we have been suffering from cultural amnesia. We more often than not forget that Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the document, ensured that every non-Māori citizen has the right to live here, that this country was not taken by force, and that the breaches of the Treaty, as outlined in both the settlement deed and the more abridged version in the legislation itself, seriously undermined a sovereign people. They have suffered to this very day.

The ignorance of our history is actually taught in schools. My daughter, Matariki, is 15. Last year she attended a training seminar on the Treaty of Waitangi that was led by real Treaty educators. When she came back home she was absolutely incensed. As soon as she got back to school she hit up her social studies teacher, handed over some resources, and told him that he had been teaching it all wrong. She did do it tactfully, I think, which might be a Raukawa trait rather than a Roche trait. My daughter has had the benefits of bilingual education for her first 6 years at school, and before that she was at a kōhanga reo, yet in all her time within the education system she has never heard the true story of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. So it is now wonder, then, that so often our rangatahi suffer isolation and dislocation from their culture. The true history that connects them to their land is hidden. How can a young person step confidently into their future if their past is unknown? My daughter is here today. She is in the gallery. Her father and I decided that attending this historic occasion contributes more to her education as a young woman of Raukawa than her school could provide.

I want to congratulate Raukawa, because this settlement carries them forward into the future to look after all their rangatahi, and they will do that with pride and from a sound economic base. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

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