Heads of Agreement between the Crown and Ngati Ruanui

Doug Graham Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

General Background

Ngati Ruanui is one of eight generally recognised iwi of Taranaki. It is located in Southern Taranaki.

The history of Ngati Ruanui's interaction with the Crown has been detailed in the Waitangi Tribunal's Taranaki Report published in 1996. An account of the historical background agreed between the Crown and Ngati Ruanui is included in the Heads of Agreement. A summary of this is included in the attached material. The claim relates in general terms to breaches by the Crown of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and in particular the waging of war resulting in loss of life, the confiscation of land and other land dealings

Negotiations on a settlement package with Ngati Ruanui began in April 1999. The Heads of Agreement signed today is an agreement in principle and not legally binding. The Heads of Agreement records the main components of the settlement. After further discussion with Ngati Ruanui on the details of the settlement provisions there will be a formal Crown offer to Ngati Ruanui. This offer will then be put to iwi members for their consideration. If the iwi ratifies the formal Crown offer, the two parties will then sign a binding Deed of Settlement conditional only on the approval of Parliament to the settlement legislation.

Ngati Ruanui was represented by the Ngati Ruanui Muru Te Raupatu Working Party in negotiations. The Office of Treaty Settlements headed by Ross Philipson and Chief Crown Negotiator Hekia Parata, with the support of Treasury, Ministry of Fisheries and the Department of Conservation, represented the Crown in day to day negotiations. The Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Sir Douglas Graham chaired the Ministerial group that represented the Crown in high level negotiations with Ngati Ruanui.

Summary of Historical Background to the claims by Ngati Ruanui

Ngati Ruanui traded extensively with European settlers and overseas traders in the 1840s and 1850s. They resisted the opportunity to sell land and, in the 1850s, made a pact with other Taranaki iwi and those elsewhere to oppose further land sales. By 1860 no Ngati Ruanui land had been sold and Ngati Ruanui provided active support to Te Atiawa and Nga Rauru resistance to land sales in their rohe, particularly the sales of the Waitara and Waitotara blocks. This support was deemed an act of rebellion by the Crown and, when the Crown commenced hostilities in the province in 1860 to enforce the purchase of the Waitara block, Ngati Ruanui entered the war on the side of Te Atiawa.

Subsequently, through a chain of fortifications supported by military settlements, the Crown occupied (without formal confiscation or purchase) all of the rohe of Ngati Ruanui. Formal confiscation of over 89,000 hectares of Ngati Ruanui's rohe occurred in 1865. Land was taken whether or not the owners and occupiers had fought against the Crown. In a series of scorched earth campaigns involving the destruction of villages and crops, the Crown hoped to reduce the fighting ability of those considered rebels. These campaigns led to much loss of life and property for Ngati Ruanui.

At the end of the war in 1869, 233 Pakakohi men, women and children of Ngati Ruanui surrendered following promises they would not be harmed. Ninety six were tried for treason and 74 sentenced to death. The latter sentences were commuted to seven years imprisonment in the South Island under harsh conditions, including hard labour.

As with other Taranaki iwi, compensation made to Ngati Ruanui under the NZ Settlements Act 1863 was inadequate, ignored customary law and was awarded to individuals. By 1880 no compensation awards had been implemented. Crown attempts between 1874 and 1881 to pay for land inside the confiscation area did not follow even the established Native Land Court processes for the determination of owners. Purchases of land in the same period outside the confiscation boundary also proceeded without a full investigation of customary title. For example, the Kaitangiwhenua block of 92,000 acres, customary lands for two large iwi, was sold after title was awarded to just seven people. Very few reserves were promised to land sellers in this period and none had been created by 1880.

Most of Ngati Ruanui's productive coastal land was retained by the Crown. Land returned was done so under individual title. And, as with Northern Taranaki, reserves were placed under the control of the Public Trustee and much was later farmed by settlers under perpetually renewable leases. Title amalgamation in 1963 meant owners no longer had specific interests in customary land but in all reserves throughout Taranaki.

Acts of passive resistance to the confiscations by the ploughmen and fencers organised by Te Whiti were followed by the invasion of Parihaka in the Taranaki iwi rohe by an armed force of more than 1500 in 1881. More than 1500 men, women and children were arrested, crops were burned and homes destroyed. Ngati Ruanui was also adversely affected by this conflict.

A subsequent investigation of the confiscations by the Sim Commission of 1926-27 was limited. The Commission recommended an annuity of 5000 pounds to compensate all of the iwi of Taranaki for the confiscations. A sum of 300 pounds was paid to compensate for loss of property at Parihaka. These payments were not discussed with iwi, nor did they accept them as adequate. Sums due in the early 1930s were not fully paid. The compensation was enshrined in the Taranaki Maori Claims Settlement Act 1944 which states that Maori had agreed to accept the sums as full settlement for the confiscations and the actions of the Crown at Parihaka. There is no evidence iwi agreed to this and the settlement sums, as with the rents on reserved lands, were not protected from the effects of inflation.

Heads of Agreement - Ngati Ruanui

The Ngati Ruanui Heads of Agreement is made up of a package which includes;

  1. An agreed historical account (the basis for the Crown Apology),
  2. Cultural redress,
  3. Commercial redress.

No private land is involved in the redress, only Crown assets.

The benefits of the settlement will be available to all members of the iwi wherever they may live.

Crown Apology

The Crown will apologise to Ngati Ruanui for past dealings which breached the Crown's obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and left Ngati Ruanui largely without land in spite of the iwi's desire to retain land. Much of the land returned to Ngati Ruanui was, as a result of the perpetual leases imposed by the Crown, no longer under the iwi's control.

Cultural Redress

  1. Restoration of Ngati Ruanui access to traditional foods and food gathering areas, including;
  2. 1(a). Customary Fisheries

    Ngati Ruanui will be appointed an Advisory Committee to the Minister of Conservation and the Minister of Food, Fibre Biosecurity and Border Control. These Committees will provide advice on the management of fisheries in the Ngati Ruanui rohe, including the customary interest of Ngati Ruanui in those fisheries and in a specified list of taonga species contained in those fisheries.

    Specific provisions are

  • The Ministry of Fisheries will consult with Ngati Ruanui and safeguard Ngati Ruanui's existing customary fishing rights if the numbers of specified customary or taonga species (Blue Mussel, Kuku/Greenlipped Mussel, Piharau/Lamprey, Pipi, Waikaka/Mudsnail, Pupu/Catseye and Kina) rise to levels that make a commercial catch possible.

  • The Minister of Conservation will consult with Ngati Ruanui on all matters concerning the management of taonga freshwater fisheries by the Department of Conservation.

  • De-commercialisation of fishing for Waikoura and acknowledgement of the existing prohibition on Piharau/Lamprey as a target species

  • A Right of First Refusal to buy a proportion of surplus Crown quota for surf clams and kina in the quota management area covering Ngati Ruanui's rohe if these species become part of the quota management system.

  • Should tendering for coastal space for marine farming occur, Ngati Ruanui will have the preferential right to buy, at the tender price, authorisations to apply for up to 10% of the allocated space. Ngati Ruanui retains the right to participate in other tenders for coastal space authorisations.

  • A commitment from the Crown to consider a proposal from Ngati Ruanui to apply a prohibition on commercial fishermen using trawl nets and set nets to certain parts of Ngati Ruanui's rohe.

  • Provision for the taking of undersized tuna (eel) as part of stocking or re-stocking of waterways and aquaculture projects.

  • Protection of Ngati Ruanui's customary non-commercial interest in paua should this species become commercially viable in the Ngati Ruanui rohe.

1(b). Camping licences or Nga Ukaipo.

These are areas of up to one hectare near a waterway which give access to traditional sources of food. Ngati Ruanui members will have the right to use these entitlements for non-commercial, lawful fishing and food gathering for up to 210 days a year. The licences do not affect existing public access to waterways. There are four.

  • Recognition of Ngati Ruanui's traditional, historical, cultural and spiritual association with places and sites owned by the Crown within their rohe. This allows the Crown and iwi to protect and enhance the conservation values associated with these areas and sites and includes;
  • 2(a). Statutory Acknowledgements

    These register the special association Ngati Ruanui has with an area and will be included in the settlement legislation. They are recognised under the Resource Management Act and the Historic Places Act.

    There are to be six such acknowledgements; Nga Waka Taurua Hukatere (part of an existing conservation site), Otoki Gorge Scenic Reserve, the Coastal Marine Area adjoining the Ngati Ruanui rohe, the Tangahoe River, the Whenuakura River and the Patea River.

    2(b). Deeds of Recognition

    Obliges the Crown to consult Ngati Ruanui and have regard for its views regarding Ngati Ruanui's special association with a site and specifies the nature of Ngati Ruanui's input into management of those areas by the Department of Conservation and/or the Commissioner of Crown Lands.

    There will be four deeds, covering the Otoki Gorge Scenic Reserve, the Tangahoe River, the Whenuakura River and the Patea River.

    2(c). Special Areas or Nga Poipoia o Ngati Ruanui

    This is an additional status for some existing conservation areas which acknowledges Ngati Ruanui's traditional, cultural, spiritual and historic values and associations.

    Special Area status requires the Minister of Conservation and Ngati Ruanui to develop and publicise a set of principles which will assist the Minister to avoid harming or diminishing Ngati Ruanui values in each of the Special Areas. The NZ Conservation Authority and Taranaki/Wanganui Conservation Board will also be required to have regard to the principles and consult with Ngati Ruanui.

    There are two such areas proposed for the Ngati Ruanui rohe; Wai-ariki, part of the Waitotara Conservation Area, and Tahekeroa, part of the Tarere Conservation Area.

    2(d). Protocols with Government Departments and Third Parties

    The Heads of Agreement also provides for the establishment of protocols to develop a good working relationship between Ngati Ruanui and the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Fisheries and the Department of Conservation on cultural matters of importance to Ngati Ruanui.

    The Crown has also agreed to facilitate the development of protocols between Ngati Ruanui and Regional and District Councils, the Taranaki/Wanganui Conservation Board and Taranaki Fish and Game Council.

    The protocols with Government departments will be developed in detail between the signing of the Heads of Agreement and the final deed of Settlement.

    Ngati Ruanui will also be able to express their views to the Ministry for the Environment on the application of the Treaty and relevant parts of the Resource Management Act in Ngati Ruanui's rohe. The Ministry will also monitor the performance of Local Bodies in Ngati Ruanui's rohe in relation to these matters.

    2(e). Placenames

    One place name will be changed (Lake Kaikura to Lake Pipiri, the spelling of one name will be changed (Mangimangi Stream to Mangemange Stream) and three sites currently without official names will be named (Whitikau, Maraeroa and Te Ramanui).

    Ngati Ruanui will also be notified by the New Zealand Geographic Board about future name proposals in their rohe.

    2(f). Sites Transferred to Ngati Ruanui

    Four areas of significance to Ngati Ruanui, the Rehu Village Conservation area, land adjacent to the Waingongoro River, a Pa site within the Otoki Gorge Scenic Reserve and the Omoana Quarry Reserve, will be returned to the iwi. These sites total approximately 10 ha.

    Two other areas of significance to Ngati Ruanui will be vested in the iwi to administer under the Reserves Act. These are the Makino Scenic Reserve, and the Kaikura Conservation Area.

    The Crown will also discuss with the Stratford District Council and the South Taranaki District Councils the status of the Turuturu Mokai Historic Reserve and the land on which the Whakaahurangi Marae is located.

    Commercial Redress

    This redress recognises the economic loss suffered by Ngati Ruanui arising from breaches by the Crown of its Treaty obligations. It is aimed at providing Ngati Ruanui with resources to assist it to develop its economic and social well being. It includes;

    1. The return of certain Crown or SOE owned lands as selected by Ngati Ruanui up to a value of $41 million or a combination of land and cash.

    2. Right of First Refusal - Ngati Ruanui will also have, for a period of 50 years, a Right of First Refusal to buy, at full market value, surplus properties in the Ngati Ruanui rohe currently owned by the Crown.

    Mount Taranaki

    There is no redress proposed in the Heads of Agreement relating to the confiscation of Mount Taranaki. This matter will be addressed at a later date in the settlement process in Taranaki when all the iwi of Taranaki are in a position to negotiate on this issue.

    There will be no additional financial or commercial redress in relation to the mountain. Any cultural redress and apology agreed with Ngati Ruanui will recognise the traditional, cultural, historical and spiritual significance of Mount Taranaki to all iwi of Taranaki while recognising the interests of the people of New Zealand generally in Mount Taranaki.

    Questions and Answers

    1. What is the total cost to the Crown?

      $41 million plus interest from the date of the signing of the Deed of Settlement plus the minimal cost of the land returned under 2 (f).

    2. Is there any private land involved?


    3. Are the public's rights affected?

      Generally, no, but

      • Camping license sites or Nga Ukaipo, which are similar to other concessions granted by the Department of Conservation, will be for the exclusive use of Ngati Ruanui for up to 210 days a year. Each site is up to I hectare in size and there are a total of 4 sites. This does not affect public access to waterways.
      • Approximately 10 hectares of land currently protected under conservation legislation will be transferred to Ngati Ruanui.

    4. What is a Camping licence or Nga Ukaipo?

      It is a licence to temporarily occupy a piece of land of up to one hectare near a traditional Ngai Ruanui food gathering area such as a river or a lake. It is set back from the marginal strip and does not impede public access to or along a waterway. It is the same concept as a nohoanga in the Ngai Tahu settlement.

    5. What is a Special Area or Nga Poipoia o Ngati Ruanui?

      A Special Area classification recognises the cultural, spiritual and historical values of a site or area. It gives Ngati Ruanui the right to be consulted in the management of an area or site but does not override existing classifications or protections, such as National Park status. It is the same concept as a topuni in the Ngai Tahu settlement.

    6. What is a Statutory Acknowledgement?

      These acknowledge areas or sites with which Iwi have a special relationship and will be recognized in any proceedings under the Resource Management Act. This provision aims to avoid past problems with land development for roading and other purposes when areas of significance to Iwi, such as burial grounds, were simply cleared or excavated without either permission or consultation. It does not give Iwi any specific property rights.

      A Deed of Recognition sets out an agreement between the administering Crown body (The Minister of Conservation or the Minister of Crown Lands) and the Iwi which recognises the Iwi's special association with a site as stated in a Statutory Acknowledgement and specifies the nature of the Iwi's input into the management of the site.

    7. Are any place names changed?

      One existing Maori place name will be changed (Lake Kaikura to Lake Pipiri), one existing spelling will be changed (Mangimangi Stream to Mangemange Stream) and three sites currently without names will receive them (Whitikau, Maraeroa and Te Ramanui). Ngati Ruanui also sought name changes which are under the jurisdiction of local bodies and the Crown has agreed to facilitate discussions between Councils and Ngati Ruanui on this subject.

    8. What about Mt Taranaki?

      Because of the significance of the mountain to all eight Taranaki Iwi the question of an apology and redress for the unjust confiscation of the mountain is to be deferred until all eight Iwi are in a position to negotiate. Redress in relation to the mountain will consist of an apology and cultural redress. No further financial or commercial redress is involved.

    9. Are any National Parks affected in the Settlement?


    10. What happens to memorials on private titles?

      The settlement will remove the legislative restrictions (memorials) placed on the title of Crown properties and some former Crown properties now in private ownership.

    11. Does the Settlement create any special rights for Ngati Ruanui

      No new rights are being created. Provisions in relation to conservation, such as Statutory Acknowledgements and Special areas, give practical effect to existing provisions of both the Resource Management Act - section 6 - and the Conservation Act - section 4 - which provide for Maori participation in conservation and planning matters.

    12. Does Ngati Ruanui have the right to come back and make further claims about the behaviour of the Crown in the 19th Century?

      No. If the Heads of Agreement signed today proceeds to settlement both parties agree it will be a fair and final settlement for all historical or pre 1992 claims. The settlement legislation, once passed, will prevent Ngati Ruanui from re-litigating the claim before the Tribunal or the Courts. The Heads of Agreement does not cover the question of compensation for loss of rentals since the mid 1970s to the owners of Maori reserved land, represented in Taranaki by the Parininihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation.

      If approved, the settlement package will still allow Ngati Ruanui or members of Ngati Ruanui to pursue claims based on the continued existence of aboriginal title or customary rights, or claims against the Crown for acts or omissions after 21 September 1992 that are based breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi or of aboriginal title or customary rights. The Crown also retains the right to dispute such claims or the existence of such title rights.

    13. What about the Taranaki Claims Settlement Act of 1944 ? Wasn't that final?

      The settlement of 1944 was made unilaterally, without agreement with Ngati Ruanui. Taranaki Iwi have never regarded the 1944 Act as adequate redress for Treaty breaches. The Crown also accepts the compensation under the Act was inadequate.

    14. What happens next?

      The Heads of Agreement are an agreement in principle and are not legally binding on either party. The next step for the Crown and Iwi is to negotiate a formal Deed of Settlement which, if ratified by the full Iwi membership, will be enshrined in a Bill to be submitted to Parliament for its approval.

    15. Who benefits from the settlement?

      All members of Ngati Ruanui, wherever they may now live.