Crown And Ngati Awa Sign Heads Of Agreement

  • Doug Graham
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

The Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Rt. Hon D.A.M. Graham, today presented members of Ngati Awa with the Crown's proposal for a full, final and comprehensive settlement of all Ngati Awa's historical claims.

The Heads of Agreement was then signed by the Minister and representatives of Ngati Awa.

Ngati Awa's grievances arose from confiscations, imprisonments and the loss of land dating back to the 1860s.

In making the offer, Mr Graham paid tribute to the efforts of many generations of Ngati Awa to seek redress for the claims.

'This has involved years of work researching the claims, presenting them to the Waitangi Tribunal and negotiating with the Crown,' he said.

'This offer recognises the efforts of those people, honours their work and the dignity with which they presented Ngati Awa's case.

'It also looks to the future in the hope that it can enhance the mana and economy of the iwi for the generations yet to come.'

Mr Graham paid tribute to the Whakatane District Council's assistance in reaching the position where an offer could be made to Ngati Awa.

'The Council, along with Environment Bay of Plenty and ECNZ, recognise that this is a chance to build a positive relationship with Ngati Awa and I am very grateful to those organisations for their support and assistance,' he said.

'This offer represents a broad acknowledgement by the Crown that Ngati Awa has suffered historical injustices which must be redressed.

'Our hope is that through a fair and final settlement, an enduring relationship can be established between the Crown and Ngati Awa.'

It is now up to the Runanga to seek ratification by Ngäti Awa whanui of the final offer contained in the Heads of Agreement. The Heads not only records the terms of the proposal, but contains commitments to negotiate and agree on a Deed of Settlement.

The Deed will require legislation to take effect.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Karen Fisher
Press Secretary
(04) 4719 885 (w)
025 477 986)

Background

The offer contained in the Heads of Agreement represents a broad acknowledgement by the Crown that Ngati Awa has suffered historical injustices that must be redressed.

It is hoped that through a fair and final settlement, an enduring relationship can be established between the Crown and Ngati Awa, and that the mana and economy of the iwi can be enhanced.

Ngati Awa claim that in 1865 they were essentially self-governing, economically prosperous and actively engaged in trade and commerce.

In August 1865, a Crown expeditionary force of some 500 men entered the rohe of Ngati Awa to execute an arrest warrant for the killing of James Fulloon, a Crown official. This force laid siege to Ngati Awa pa at Whakatane, Matata and Te Teko.

Between August and October 1865 the Crown-led expeditionary force destroyed Ngati Awa kainga, wharenui, pataka and waka, seized cattle, horses and other property. Over 30 men were arrested and taken to Opotiki for trial by Court Martial for the killing of Fulloon and on other charges. The Court Martial found many of the accused guilty and sentenced them to death.

In May 1866, Ngati Awa accused were taken to Auckland to be tried before the Supreme Court for murder and on other charges. The Court found that all those who had been tried were guilty and they were sentenced to imprisonment or execution. Five were subsequently executed and four others died in prison.

In 1866, Bay of Plenty tribes were deemed to have been in rebellion and approximately 440,000 acres of land were confiscated. Ngati Awa claim that approximately 245,000 acres were within their rohe. A Special Commissioner, responsible for dealing with the allocation of confiscated lands in the Bay of Plenty, later awarded 77,870 acres in the form of reserves to Ngati Awa.

Since 1867 Ngati Awa have sought redress for the wrongs inflicted on the iwi by the Crown. Several petitions were sent to the Crown relating to the confiscations, imprisonments and the loss of land.

Ngati Awa's case was heard before the Sim Commission in 1925 but the Commission did not find in favour of the general Ngati Awa claim. The Commission did find, however, that there were insufficient reserves for Ngati Rangihouhiri and Ngati Hikakino and recommended the award of some land at Matata, but this never eventuated. As a result of the Sim Commission other iwi had annuities paid by the Crown and Trust Boards were established for some raupatu iwi, but not Ngati Awa.

The responsibility for seeking redress has passed through many generations of Ngati Awa. Following the petitions of the 1920s, the next significant effort occurred in 1980 with the establishment of the Ngati Awa Trust Board.

In 1988 Ngati Awa lodged its claims with the Waitangi Tribunal to investigate its Treaty Grievances. In 1988 the Crown, at the request of Ngati Awa, enacted Te Runanga o Ngati Awa Act establishing the runanga. This included a statutory pardon for those involved in the events of 1865.

In 1990 the Crown transferred to Ngati Awa the Ngati Awa station with $197,000 to enhance the commercial viability of the station. Further cash payments of $200,000 were made in 1989 and 1990.

In July 1994 Ngati Awa began its Waitangi Tribunal case, completing the presentation of its evidence about the raupatu in December 1995.

In May 1995, the Waitangi Tribunal issued a memorandum observing that although the Crown had yet to be heard, Ngati Awa had demonstrated significant and compelling claims that were likely to require substantial compensation from the Crown to remedy past breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

In August 1996 Ngati Awa and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement to return the carved meeting House Mataatua to Ngati Awa.

Heads of Agreement

The Heads of Agreement records the final agreement of the parties to the essential principles upon which they will proceed to negotiate a Deed of Settlement. It sets out those negotiating principles and the agreed redress package in general terms.

Finalisation of a Deed of Settlement depends on the resolution of cross claims. Good progress is being made in negotiations with these iwi.

Redress

1. Crown Apology

The cornerstone of the settlement offer is the Crown apology and acknowledgements. These will refer to:

the raupatu as it occurred in the eastern Bay of Plenty being unjust and a breach of the Treaty
the loss of life, devastation of property and loss of lands and property
the relocation of hapu, devastation of social structure and rangatiratanga and labelling as tangata hara
the significant contribution made by land confiscated from Ngati Awa to the wealth and development of New Zealand
a further reduction of Ngati Awa's lands under the Compensation Court, Native Land Court system and Public Works takings.
lack of Crown recognition of the grievance until 1988
loss of the wharenui Mataatua
the 1988 statutory pardon.
2. Money and Property

The fiscal value of the agreed settlement offer is $42.39 million, including payments made to date totalling $3.24 million.

The settlement quantum can be taken as cash or used to purchase Crown owned lands including blocks in the Rotoehu and Kaingaroa forests. within the Ngati Awa rohe-

[The Crown will offer to sell to Ngäti Awa the Crown's residual interest in the Whakatane airport land. This is the right, subject to Public Works Act clearance, to the airport land if ever its existing status as land reserved for airport purposes is revoked under the Reserves Act 1977. This proposal will have no effect upon the existing or future operations of the airport.]

4. Conservation and Cultural

The Crown also offers cultural redress to Ngäti Awa to recognise Ngäti Awa's traditional and continuing associations with various key sites and areas within the region. This redress includes nohoanga sites, various reserves, Statutory Acknowledgements and Deeds of Recognition over Crown owned sites, protocols with Departments and access to some culturally important minerals.

Ancillary Claims

Three ancillary claims within the rohe will be negotiated alongside, but separate from, the broader Ngati Awa claim. They are: Wai 79 concerning Awakeri Springs and the Pukaahu Domain; Wai 247 concerning the quarry site in the Waiohau C26 black and Wai 248 concerning the quarry site in the Rangitaiki 60C block. The Crown has allocated up to $1 million for the settlement of these claims.