< February 2019 newsletter

Supreme Court decision gives weight to the ‘principles’ of the Treaty

An Auckland iwi, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust, has won a Supreme Court case giving it the right to re-apply for exclusive rights to conduct commercial operations on Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands, (situated in the Hauraki Gulf). The main issue was the interpretation of section four of the Conservation Act, "to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi".

The iwi claims rangatiratanga, (interpreted as exclusive rights), to conduct commercial tours on the Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands for at least five years. In its appeal the iwi said economic opportunities should be preserved for iwi. It argued the Treaty principles of partnership, active protection, right to development, and redress meant it was neither appropriate nor in accordance with tikanga for other groups to be providing guided tours on the islands.

On winning the appeal, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust chair James Brown claimed that the decision had national implications.

"This is not just Ngāi Tai and DoC, I think it has national reach for all Māori, especially those with Treaty settlements," he said.

Last month the iwi signed a Conservation Relationship Agreement relationship agreement with the Department of Conservation, which gives them a role as mana whenua in influencing policies, looking after the whenua (land) and taonga species, providing visitor information and protecting waahi tapu (sacred sites).

James Brown told Waatea News "We're wanting to partner in the true sense with our DOC agent, a true treaty partnership and an example of that is how we could partner on Motutapu Island. That is our hope and our preference. We're fast arriving at a point where we are no longer asking for our desires for a treaty relationship, we are almost demanding these days as opposed to asking as we have for 179 years,"

Mr Brown says Motutapu is the largest farm in Auckland and the largest waahi tapu.

The iwi had its own commercial, cultural and customary plans, Brown previously told the Herald. They would be happy to work with other operators, as long as the process properly took into account Treaty principles.

Now that all the hard work has gone into this…….

Motutapu Island Restoration Trust volunteers have gifted countless hours to the ecological restoration of the island these past 25 years. Under the Motutapu Restoration Plan, over 500,000 trees have been planted on the island, and now a native forest that is almost canopy level. Other activities included restoring wetlands, as well as historic site preservation, restoration and interpretation, walking tracks and a visitor centre. Currently the Trust has a five-year concession to conduct small-scale tours of the island.

Media coverage

NZ Herald: Auckland iwi Ngāi Tai to argue in Supreme Court for exclusive rights to Rangitoto, Motutapu

NZ Herald: Auckland iwi Ngāi Tai wins Supreme Court case in stoush over Rangitoto, Motutapu commercial rights

Waatea News: Ngāi Tai takes reins at Motutapu

NZ Herald: Auckland iwi Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki lays out bikes and beds plans for Motutapu

Further recommended reading:

Go back to the February 2019 newsletter


The Treaty of Waitangi – a force for unity or division?

The anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February is an appropriate time to reflect on the Treaty, and what it means for New Zealand today. Continue reading

Recommended reading - ONE SUN IN THE SKY

‘ONE SUN IN THE SKY - The untold story of sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi’ by Ewen McQueen, presents an evidence-based perspective on the question of sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi.  Continue reading

The indoctrination of our children through fake history

Many of us have grave reservations about the content the new, soon-to-be-compulsory history curriculum. As political commentator Chris Trotter writes in Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story:  “If Maori nationalist historians can seize control of the new, soon-to-be-compulsory, history curriculum, then the necessary ideological preparations can be made for a radical constitutional transformation”. We have a right to expect a fair view of our history that it will be taught in a factual and unbiased manner. However, our hopes are already being dashed - the indoctrination of children through fake history is already being realised. Continue reading

Treaty settlements over the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, and the Hauraki Gulf

There is a very real danger co-governance arrangements like the Tūpuna Maunga Authority are being considered for the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, and the Hauraki Gulf. Continue reading

Urgent: Coastal claims update - can you help?

Countering the Coastal Claims Campaign is seeking to contact people who know the history of the stretch of coastline in the southern Hawke’s Bay from Whangaehu to Cape Turnagain, which is being claimed under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, (claim no. CIV-2011-485-789). If you, or anyone you know is familiar with the coastline, please email [email protected]. This is an urgent request, as statements of evidence from interested parties must be filed and served on Ms Clarkson, (on behalf of the applicants), the Attorney General, and the overlapping claimants by 16 January 2019. Continue reading

North Head now controlled by Tupuna Maunga Authority

As part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, 14 volcanic cones were given to 13 iwi and hapū of Auckland when the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Deed passed into law in 2014. North Head (Maungauika) is the last of these to come under the control of the Tupuna Maunga Authority (TMA) - when it was transferred from the Department of Conservation on January 18.  Continue reading

Implementation of Treaty settlements creating significant cost pressures

The Waikato Regional Council’s draft submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Local Government Funding and Financing reveals that the implementation of Treaty of Waitangi settlements creates significant cost pressures for Council. The submission states that “the Council wishes to work with its iwi partners in partnership but notes that the costs to do so is significant to its ratepayers”. Continue reading

Bruce Moon talks on the Treaty

Bruce Moon, a retired physicist and avid historian, was invited by the Nelson Institute to give a talk at Nelson’s Elma Turner Library, on 8th April. He chose to speak on New Zealand's "fake history" related to Treaty of Waitangi issues, billed as “Twisting the Treaty and other fake history”. Continue reading

The widespread re-writing of our history – lies, lies and more lies!

In an article published on Breaking Views on November 14th Bruce Moon, a retired computer pioneer and author of ‘Real Treaty; False Treaty - The True Waitangi Story’, laments the insidious effort to erase our true history, accounts of which appear in the news media almost every day. Continue reading

Lies, lies And More Lies - Challenging The Propaganda

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell, 1984 The media and iwi appear to be on a crusade to ‘appropriate’ the truth. For instance, over the past couple of weeks both Radio NZ and the East & Bays Courier have featured items whereby there have been claims made that Ngati Whatua Ōrākei gifted the land for the establishment of Auckland. Continue reading

Waikato Tainui Pushing For The Next Stage Of Treaty Settlements

In May 1995 the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement with Waikato-Tainui that included cash and land valued at $170 million (since topped up with an additional $260 million, with more to come). The public was told at the time the settlement was "full and final". However, full and final it does not appear to be as the iwi moves beyond negotiating for economic benefits to pushing for statutory power through co-governance arrangements, seats at the council table, and the RMA. Continue reading

The Waitangi Tribunal – a corrupt system?

Dr John Robinson, in an open letter sent to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations on November 25th, is highly critical of the Waitangi Tribunal, and is calling for a new approach. Dr Robinson has based his proposal on his personal experiences and observations. Continue reading