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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tamaki iwi sign framework for volcanic ownership

It was smiles all round at Old Government House in the grounds of Auckland University today as representatives of 12 iwi and hapu with interests in Tamaki Makaurau put their tohu on a framework agreement to share ownership of the city's volcanic cones.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei chair Grant Hawke says his hapu made significant concessions to allow the agreement to go ahead, including giving up exclusive ownership of three of the maunga.

He says Ngati Whatua is happy to share assets with the iwi who married in to it over the centuries, but it's not dropping its claim to the preeminent position.

“The conquest in 1740 by Tupiriri and others was conclusive. Utu was a way of life in those times, We gained the mana whenua, we gained the mountains of Kiwi Tamaki but now we are having to re-share those with our whanaunga but for the benefit of the future, this can lead to something good.
Mr Hawke says.

As well as the framework agreement, Ngati Whatua signed a agreements in principle to settle its outstanding claims at Hikurangi, Tupiriri's pa on the flanks of Maungakiekie-One Tree hill.

MINISTER PRAISES GENEROSITY OF NGATI WHATUA

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says Ngati Whatua has shown extraordinary generosity in setting aside its earlier agreement in principle to allow other mana whenua iwi to join a comprehensive settlement process.

The rethink came in response to a scathing Waitangi Tribunal report into how the Office of Treaty Settlements excluded other iwi from negotiations.

Mr Finlayson says it's been a long hard road to today's signings.

“I think a lot of people were feeling pretty bruised after the 2007 Waitangi Tribunal report but Ngati Whatua have put that behind them, they’ve made some very generous concessions and as a result have helped kick start the comprehensive settlements,” Mr Finlayson says.

He hopes to bring the settlements to final deed stage this year.

TWO DEGREES GETS TO 206,000 ACTIVE USED IN SIX MONTHS

Maori money managers may have some regrets today after mobile phone operator Two Degrees reported it has gained more than 206,000 active users in its first six months, including 50,000 who brought their numbers over from other networks

The Maori stake in Two Degrees dropped below 20 percent after spectrum company Hautaki failed to bring in new investors, despite a comprehensive marketing effort among iwi and land trusts.

Two Degrees chief executive Eric Hertz says there will be other opportunities for Maori to invest.

“The thing about this one is a little different from more traditional investments in that you put a fair amount of capital in before it starts to generate positive cash flow so it you have to be prepared for that in this kind of investment. Over the long term, it does pay off, it’s proven in the track record, so it’s a bit of a different investment,” Mr Hertz says.

He says on current trends Two Degrees should be cash flow positive in 18 months, and its average return per user is already substantially well above Telecom's published figures.

MARUTUAHU PLEASED TO BE IN SETTLEMENT

Auckland iwi have moved into a new phase in relations between themselves and with central and local government.

Representatives today signed a framework agreement that will give 12 iwi and hapu shared ownership of at least 11 volcanoes in the region.

It replaces an earlier agreement that would have give Ngati Whatua o Orakei exclusive ownership of three maunga, as well as a right of first refusal over surplus Crown land on the isthmus.

Paul Majurey from Marutuahu says it's taken a lot of work by a lot of people over the past year.

“The solution was always there. It was articulated and ventilated in the Waitangi Tribunal report of 2007 and very simply that was a shared approach. Not a process where you recognise only one group and first up, best dressed but where you recognise all the interests.

“Credit for this achievement is multifaceted, it is to the leadership of the tangata whenau especially, the compromises by all the iwi and hapu of tamaki because everyone have compromised to recognize the shared interests as well as the Crown and the people it has brought to bear such as Sir Douglas Graham, Michael Dreaver under the auspices of minister Finlayson,” Mr Majurey says

Marutuahu is pleased to have its kaitiaki role in Tamaki Makaurau acknowledged, and to participate in the new political and economic opportunities the deal will enable.

SIR DOUGLAS GRAHAM WISHES SETTLEMENT LUCK

Former treaty negotiations minister Sir Douglas Graham says the settlement should give Aucklanders a more comprehensive view of the history of their city.

Sir Douglas was brought in as a facilitator to get the various iwi and hapu with claims to Tamaki Makaurau working together.

“Well they had to accept there we overlapping interests, Some found that difficult to do but we were going back 500 years, not 150, and if you look at it that way there were overlapping interests and they had to be recognised. They have and this is a very positive way forward so good luck to them all,” Sir Douglas says

He says it was great to see the iwi in the same room for the signing at Old government House at Auckland university.

KARANGA ADDED TO KAPA HAKA JUDGING

Judges at this Sunday's Tainui Regional Kapahaka competitions at Mystery Creek near Hamilton will take a hard look at the quality and pronunciation of language used.

Organiser Paraone Gloyne says reo quality will be a factor in the aggregate scores, and there will be special emphasis on the karanaga or calls of welcome that form part of each team's performance.

“The whaikorero wouldn’t exist on the marae if the karanga wasn’t there first so in line with tikanga Maori we thought it wuld be a good idea to include the kanga in the judging and we look at perpetuating karanga and whaiukorero within the competition,” Mr Gloyne says.

The top three roopu will represent Tainui rohe at next years Te Matatini national championships near Gisborne.

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