December 2016 Māori Law Review

Legislation – Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill – Select Committee report on Bill – Whiringa-ā-rangi 2016

The Māori Affairs select committee of the House of Representatives has issued its report on Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill.

Download the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill as reported back with commentary (24 Whiringa-ā-rangi 2016 November).

Overview

The Government introduced a Bill to give effect to a settlement of historical claims relating to the Whanganui River. After receiving and hearing submissions the Māori Affairs select committee has issued its report on the Bill.

Background

For background information see the earlier articles by Linda Te Aho describing the preceding settlement of historical claims and analysing the Bill as introduced: (2016) August Māori Law Review and (2014) May Māori Law Review.

Discussion

The Committee recommends the Bill is progressed and passed with the amendments suggested in its report.

The Committee examined several issues arising from the settlement the Bill will give effect to.

First the Committee remarked that the Bill is "unusual" because it declares the Whanganui River as Te Awa Tupua. This appears to collapse what the Bill is doing in both recognising Te Awa Tupua (cl 12) and declaring Te Awa Tupua has the status of a legal person (cl 14). The Committee then described this as "unique" when noting Te Awa Tupua will be supported by a legal framework - Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua.

Some groups with traditional customary associations with these waterways expressed concerns about protection of their interests as a result of this settlement. The Committee concluded it was satisfied iwi and hapū with interests in Te Awa Tupua can exercise "and potentially enhance" their kaitiakitanga. The Committee also expressed itself satisfied that historical claims of other groups would not be settled by this settlement.

The Committee recommended measures to ensure care is taken around the definition, for the purposes of this settlement, of the groups comprising Whanganui iwi.

Finally, in terms of settlement issues, the Committee recommended that after the first Crown nomination of a member of Te Pou Tupua, subsequent Crown nominations should be made by the Minister for the Environment.

The detailed changes recommended by the Committee's report are not set out here, but can be seen in the version of the Bill reported by the Committee.

What is set out here is the commentary comprising the Committee's report (first in te reo Māori and then in English):

Te Pire o Te Awa Tupua (mō Te Whakataunga o Ngā Kerēme e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui)

Pire Kāwanatanga

129—2

Tā Te Komiti Whiriwhiri Take Māori i whakatakoto

Ngā kōrero

Tūtohutanga

Kua āta tirohia e Te Komiti Whiriwhiri Take Māori Te Pire a Te Awa Tupua (mō Te Whakataunga o Ngā Kerēme e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui), ā, tūtohu ai kia whakaaetia me ngā whakatikatika kua oti te whakaatu.

Ngā mōhiohio mō ngā kōrero ō-mua

Te Awa o Whanganui me Te Iwi o Whanganui

Ko Te Awa o Whanganui te awa roa rawa atu e whakaterea ana e te waka i Aotearoa, taketake mai ai i Te Maunga Tongariro, mutu ai i Te Moana-tāpokopoko-ā-Tāwhaki. He roa te hītori o Te Awa e hoatu tautoko ana ki Te Iwi o Whanganui me ōna hapū mōi te tinana me te wairua.

E ai ki tērā i tautuhitia i rara 8, ko Te Iwi o Whanganui, ko ia tangata tērā:

  • Kua whakamahia ngā tika papatū me ngā haepapa e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui; ā,

  • He uri i heke iho mai i a Ruatipua, Paerangi, Haunui-ā-Pāpārangi rānei.

Ka uru atu ai anō hoki ngā kohinga rohe tūpuna, hapū o Te Iwi o Whanganui.

Kei roto i ngā rara 1 me te 2 o Te Kupu Āpiti 1 ngā kohinga nei e takoto ana. Kua kite mātou, kāore te takune o ngā kohinga i whakarārangihia i te kī, he tangetange ngā kohinga.

He maha ngā iwi i tua atu i Te Iwi o Whanganui, he pānga ō rātou i roto i Te Awa o Whanganui me ōna kautawa. Ka whakarārangi te pire i ēnei iwi ka whai ake:

  • a Ngā Rauru Kītahi

  • a Ngāti Apa

  • a Ngāti Maniapoto

  • a Ngāti Maru

  • a Ngāti Rereahu

  • a Ngāti Ruanui

  • a Ngāti Tūwharetoa

  • Te Iwi o Whanganui.

Nā, mō te karangatanga “iwi me hapū he pānga ō rātou i roto i Te Awa o Whanganui,” kōrero ai tēnei mō ngā iwi nei, me tētahi hapū o ēnei iwi he pānga ō rātou i roto i Te Awa o Whanganui.

Te Pou Tarāwaho i raro i Te Ture (Te Pā Auroa) kua marohitia.

I rerekē ai Te Pire o Te Awa Tupua (mō Te Whakataunga o Ngā Kerēme e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui) nā te mea, whakapuaki ai he āhuatanga Te Awa Tupua, (Te Awa o Whanganui), “e kore taea te wehewehe, e ora katoa ana, ā, e whakakomokomo ana i te katoa o ōna pūmotu [Wāhanga 2(“Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua – Te Pou Tarāwaho nā Te Awa Tupua”),Wāhanga tuarua 2, Rara 12] tinana, hanga tinana ki roto.” Ko tērā ka hua mai i tēnei whakaritenga rerekē, ko te marohi a te pire i tētahi pou tarāwaho i raro i ture, kia mōhiotia ko Te Pā Auroa, hei tautoko i Te Awa Tupua.

Ka marohi te pire ki te whakatū i Te Pou Tupua (te kanohi tangata o Te Awa) hei māngai mō Te Awa Tupua. E rua ngā māngai ka kopoua mō Te Pou Tupua. Ko tētahi mā Te Karauna e kōwhiri, ā, ko tētahi atu mā ngā Iwi, he pānga o rātou i roto i Te Awa e tīpako. Nōnā nō Te Pou Tupua te haepapa mō te tiaki me te oranga o Te Awa Tupua, tae atu ki te āta titiro ka mau tonu ngā whanaungatanga i te taha o ngā iwi me ngā hapū katoa he pānga ō rātou i roto i Te Awa Tupua.

Ko te koronga, kia whiwhi kohinga whakamāherehere hei tautoko i Te Pou Tupua, ā, ka karangahia ko Te Karewao. Mā Te Iwi me Te Hapū e kopou he mema o Te Karewao ka whakaaroaro ana te kohinga, ka pā he take ki tō rātou ake takiwā noa iho o Te Awa. Ka whiwhi māngai anō hoki ngā mana whakahaere ā-kāinga i roto i Te Karewao.

Hoatu wāhi ai te pire mō te whakatū kohinga rautaki mahitahi, ka karangahia ko Te Kōpuka. Māna mā Te Kōpua e whakahiato, e pupuri tētahi tuhinga, ka mōhiotia ko Te Heke Ngahuru mā Te Awa Tupua. Me kanorau ngā pānga o ngā māngai e hiahiatia ana e Te Kōpuka, kua oti rā te tautuhi i roto Wāhanga 2, wāhanga tuarua 4 o te pire.

Kupu Whakataki

Marohi ai Te Pire o Te Awa Tupua (mō Te Whakataunga o Ngā Kerēme e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui), kia whakatūria tōna ake tuakiri (Te Awa Tupua) i raro i te Ture. Mā te pire e whakamana Te Whakaaetanga Whakataunga mō Te Awa o Whanganui (Te Ruruku Whakatupua), nā Te Karauna me Te Iwi o Whanganui i haina. Whakatatū ai tēnei Whakaaetanga i ngā kerēme hītori mō Te Tiriti o Waitangi o Te Iwi o Whanganui e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui. Tuhia anōtia ai hoki i roto i te pire ngā whākinga me te whakapāha a Te Karauna i tukua rā e ia ki Te Iwi o Whanganui e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui.

Pā ai te nuinga o te māharahara mō ngā kerēme hītori o Te Iwi o Whanganui ki ngā mahi me ngā hapa o Te Karauna i te wā i riro atu ai te mana o Te Awa ki a ia. Ka uru atu ki tēnei te tangohanga atu o ngā kohuke me ngā whakatakotoranga tuku iho o Te Awa māna, te hanganga ture i whakamanatia i ngā rau tau 19 me te 20, ā, me te mahi whakakaupare i ngā hōkikitanga o Te Awa mō ngā take mahi hiko.

Whakatakoto ai a Wāhanga 1 o te pire i ngā tono tuatahi. Ka uru atu ki ēnei, te tautuhi ko wai ka āhei hei “iwi o Whanganui” mō ngā take e pā ana ki te pire, ko ēhea kerēme hītori i roto i te pire ka whakatatūhia, ā, te tautuhi i te koronga mō te pire.

Whakamana ai a Wāhanga 2 i Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua, te pou tarāwaho hou i raro i te ture, tērā ka hoatu wāhi ai mō te rangatiratanga ki ngā mahi ā-ture katoa, ngā mana me ngā tāke e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui.

Meingia ai e Wāhanga 3 o te pire ngā āhuatanga e pā ana ki te whakatika hapa ahurea.

Whakatatū ai a Wāhanga 4 o te pire i ngā kerēme hītori a Te Iwi o Whanganui e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui.

Whaiwhaitia ake ai e Wāhanga 5 o te pire te whakahoutanga o ngā pūnaha whakahaere o Te Awa o Whanganui, tae atu ki te whakakorenga o Te Whiringa Muka Trust, Te Whanganui River Māori Trust Board me Te Pākaitore Trust .

Kei roto i te pire aua wāhanga anake o te whakatika hapa i roto i te mōkihi whakataunga e hiahiatia rā whakamanatanga ā-ture. Whakatakoto ai Te Whakaaetanga Whakataunga i te katoa o te whakatika hapa i hoatu ki Te Iwi o Whanganui hei whakatatū i te katoa o ōna kerēme hītori mō Te Tiriti o Waitangi e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui.

Kapi ai i te kōrero nei ngā tautohe whakataunga i whakaaroarohia e mātou me te huhua o ngā whakatikatika hangarau nā mātou i tūtohu ki te pire.

Te whakawhāitanga i roto i Te Awa Tupua

Kua kite mātou, i whakaputa māharahara ētahi kohinga pērā i a Ngāti Maniapoto, i a Ngāti Hāua, ā, me aua hunga kua whakakapia rā e te mana kōkiri o Uenuku Charitable Trust, he itiiti rawa ō rātou mana i roto mahi whakahaere o Te Awa Tupua. Ka mihi mātou ki ngā pānga o ngā kohinga e haere tonu nei kia whakamahia ō rātou rangatiratanga e pā ana ki te rohenga wai o Te Whanganui inarā, mō aua kohinga kīhai anō ō rātou ake whakataunga i te taha o Te Karauna kia tutuki. Ko tō mātou tūmanako, tatū ana ngā pānga o Maniapoto e tō rātou whakataunga, kātahi anō te roanga atu o tō rātou whai wāhi ki roto i te mahi whakatakotoranga whakaaro mō te rohenga wai ō-runga ka whakamāramatia.

Nā, ko te whakamaherehere ki a mātou a Te Tari Whakatau Take e pā ana ki Te Tiriti, ka whakahuatia e Te Pā Auroa te huhua o ngā momo huarahi wehe kē kia mōhio tūturu ai Te Iwi o Whanganui me ngā iwi katoa, he pānga ō rātou i roto i Te Awa Tupua, ka whai wā rātou ki te whakawhāiti atu ki roto i ngā mahi whakahaere me te tiaki i Te Awa, inarā:

He herenga tō Te Pou Tupua ki te a whakapuāwai, ki te pupuri onu ki ngā whakawhanaungatanga i te taha o ngā iwi me ngā hapū katoa, he pānga o rātou i roto i Te Awa.

Ka whakamaranga tonu Te Pou Tupua i te Tupua te Kawa (ngā uara o Te Awa). Nōna te haepapa hei whakatūturu e whakatairangatia tonutia ana te oranga o Te Awa Tupua me te tiaki mā tētahi huarahi e whakaatu pai ana ko ngā pānga pai ērā o te iwi me te hapū, he pānga o rātou i roto i Te Awa.

Ka whai wā te iwi, he pānga o rātou i roto i TeAwa, ki te kopou mema ki Te Karewao, te rangatōpū tuku whakamāherehere o Te Awa. Kei a rātou anō hoki te tika ki te whakawhāiti atu ki roto i Te Kōpuka, tērā e tuku ai i a rātou kia whakawhāiti atu ki roto i te mahi whakatakoto rautaki mō te whakahaere o Te Awa.

Nā, mō Te Iwi he pānga ō rātou i roto i Te Awa, kei a rātou anō hoki te tika ki te tono ki Te Korotete (he tahua kairapu e $30 miriona) mō ētahi tahua i kō atu hei tautoko i te hauora me te oranga o Te Awa Tupua.

E ngata ana mātou, mā ngā tātai ine nei e hoatu i te kaha ki ngā iwi me ngā hapū katoa, he pānga ō rātou i roto i Te Awa Tupua, kia haere tonu ai tā rātou whakamahi me te whakanikoniko i ō rātou kaitiakitanga kia torohū ai pea.

Ngā māharahara mō te whakataunga

Nā ētahi hunga whakatakoto tāpaetanga ētahi ngā māharahara i whakaara ake ka raru pea i te pire nei ētahi āhuatanga o ngā wā mō tā rātou whakataunga i ngā rā āpōpō. Ka rapu whakamaherehere mātou i Te Tari Whakatau Take e pā ana ki Te Tiriti o Waitangi mō ngā māharahara nei.

Hei horopaki i te kōrero, kua kite mātou he ahurei ngā whaiawa i tukua roto i te pire nei i te mea, i tukua kēngia ki Te Awa Tupua. Nā runga i tērā, ka noho mai Te Awa Tupua hei tino hinonga i raro i te ture, motuhake mai i Te Karauna rāua tahi ko Te Iwi.

Ngā māharahara o Te Maniapoto Māori Trust Board

I rongo mātou he māharahara tō Te Maniapoto Maori Trust Board, tērā pea ka raru i te whakataunga o ngā kerēme hītori e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui, ngā wā whakataunga mō Ngāti Maniapoto i ngā rā āpōpō. Ko te māharahara a Te Poari, tērā pea ka kore wātea mai te whaiawa i tukua rā i raro i te pire, tae atu ki tērā i roto iho o te rohe o Ngāti Maniapoto, mō nga whiriwhiringa whakataunga a tōna wā. Ko tā Te Poari anō hoki, ka ngaro pea tā rātou whakatika hapa i whiriwhiria rā e rātou, ka rere ana te awa ki wāhi kē āpōpō.

Kua kite mātou, e whā ngā hapū o Ngāti Maniapoto i whakatakoto kerēme ki Te Taraipiunara o Waitangi i te tau 2014. He rite anō ngā tautohe i whakaaratia e te kerēme nei ki ērā i whakaaratia i roto i te tāpaetanga a Te Poari. Whakapuaki ai te kerēme ka kapi e te whakataunga o Te Awa o Whanganui ngā rerenga wai o Te Awa o Whanganui, nā Ngāti Maniapoto i tōna katahi anake i whakahaere. Ko te mea kē, i whakaurua ngā arawai nei me te kore whakamanahia e Ngāti Maniapoto.

Nā te tono “tukunga aunoa” o Te Awa Tupua, tērā i hoahoatia rā kia uru atu ai he wāhi mō ngā panonitanga ao tūroa noa nei ki te ara o te awa, kia whai wāhi ai mō ngā panonitanga ao tūroa ka puta mō te ara rere o Te Awa, ka kore te whenua i tukua i roto i te whakataunga i ahatia. Ko tētahi whenua Karauna anake ka ahatia e te “tukunga aunoa”. Ko tētahi whenua tūmataiti pērā i te whenua ka hoatu hei whakatika hapa ki te iwi, ka katia atu ki waho i raro rara 46(2) (b) tukunga whenua.

Ko te whakamaherehere ki a mātou, mārama ana te whakapuaki a te pire, kīhai te pire e whakatatū i ngā kerēme hītori o Ngāti Maniapoto mō te Awa (i ngā kerēme rānei a tētahi atu iwi kerēme rānei he pānga ō rātou). Kua kite mātou, kāore ngā whiriwhiringa i raro i te ture a Ngāti Maniapoto me Te Karauna e katia e te pire, mō whākinga me ngā whakaaetanga whakamihi mō Te Awa o Whanganui me ōna hikuawa. Tua atu ki tērā, ko te whakamaherehere ki a mātou a Te Tari Whakatau Take e pā ana ki Te Tiriti o Waitangi, ka herea te whakatika hapa a Ngāti Manaiapoto a tōna wā ki ngā whakaritenga o te hātepe mō ngā kerēme inaki. Ka whakawhāiti mai Te Iwi o Whanganui ki roto i tēnei rapunga whakamāherehere, ā, kua oti tana tūtohi i mua atu kē, e tuwhera ana a ia ki te whakawhāiti mai ki roto i te hātepe nei.

Ngā māharahara o Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Maru

He rite anō ngā māharahara i whakaarahia ake e Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Maru ki ērā o Te Maniapoto Māori Trust Board. Rite anō ki a Ngāti Maniapoto, kāore Te Whakataunga o Te Awa o Whanganui e whakatatū i ngā kerēme hītori a Ngāti Maru.

I roto i te pire kua mōhiotia a Ngāti Maru, he “iwi he pānga ōna i roto i Te Awa”. Whakatūturu ai tēnei i tōna tūranga i roto i te whakahaerenga o Te Awa Tupua ka haere tonu.

Te tūranga o Te Whanganui River Māori Trust Board āpōpō

Ka tūtohi Te Whanganui River Māori Trust Board tautoko ai a ia i te pire. Heoi, ka mea ake i te mea ka whakakorea Te Poari e te pire, he pai kē kia karohia te hiahia kia whakatūhia ētahi atu kōwhiringa pōti mō Te Poari i mua o te pire e tīmatanga ana. I te mea kua oti te nuinga o tōna tūranga, ā, e hāngai kē ana te aro ki te mahi whakakorenga me te mahi whakawhitinga, ko tāna ka tautohe, he itiiti noa te uara mō kōwhiri mema hou. Ka karohia anōtia hoki e Te Poari ngā whakapaunga utu nunui mō te whakatū kōwhiringa pōti kē atu.

Ka whakaae mātou he huarahi mahi matawhāiti pai tēnei, ā, ka whakatau kia whakaurua atu he rara hou hei whakamana i tēnei. Heoi, ko te whakamaherehere ki a mātou, mō tētahi momo whakatikatika pērā, ka hiahiatia he whakaaetanga mai i Te Minita nōna te haepapa mō Te Māori Trust Boards Act 1955. Kīhai tēnei whakataunga i taea te rapu i mua mai o te wā e whakatakoto pūrongo ai mātou ki mua i te aroaro o Te Whare. Kua kite mātou ka taea pea te whakamahi i tētahi Pepa Whakataunga Tāpiri hei whai ake i te take nei.

Kua kite mātou ka whakawhitia ki Ngā Tāngata Tiaki ngā hua nō mai i Te Whiringa Muka Trust, ā, ko ia anō nei kei te whakahaere i te whakataunga Fisheries (i raro i Te Māori Fisheries Act 2004).

Te Whare Herehere o Waikune

He pae whare herehere kei te nohoa e te tangata, Te Whare Herehere o Waikune, e tū rā i Te Papa Rehia o Te Motu i te pūtake o Ruapehu Maunga. Kei roto te whare herehere e tū ana i te takiwā pānga o Uenuku Charitable Trust. I te wā nei, kei roto te whare herehere i ngā ringaringa o te pēke whenua o Toitū Te Whenua ēngari, nō mai anō i te tau 2002 e rīhitia ana e Te Whanganui Māori Trust Board.

Kua kite mātou i te māharahara kua whakapuakinatia e Te Uenuku Charitable Trust, tērā pea, ka kore te pae nei e wātea mai mō āna whakataunga a tōna wā. Ka whakatūturu mātou i Te Trust, kua whiwhi whakamaherehere mātou mō te take nei. Ki tō mātou mōhio, nā te mea kei runga whenua Karauna e pupuritia ana i te pēke whenua o Toitū Te Whenua, te whare herehere e tū ana, kei te wātea mō ngā whakataunga tiriti a tōna wā. Ka noho ngā whakataunga nei i runga i ngā whiriwhiringa i te taha o Te Karauna me te hātepe mō ngā kerēme inaki

Ngā panonitanga kua tūtohua ki te pire

Te whakamāramatanga o Te Iwi o Whanganui mō ngā take e pā ana ki te pire nei

Ka tono Te Uenuku Charitable Trust mō te taha o Uenuku me Tamahaki, kia whai whakaaro te pire i tō rātou tūranga hei iwi – ka mahara te kōrero he hapū rātou o Whanganui. He rite anō ngā māharahara i whakaarahia e Te Charitable Trust o Te Iwi O Ngāti Hāua, mō te raweke i a Ngāti Hauā i roto i te pire.

Ko tā mātou kua kite, taketake mai ai te whakamāramatanga o te pire mō te iwi o Whanganui mai i te rārangi ingoa o aua hapū e kori ana i te wā o Te Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Bed of the Whanganui River i te tau 1950. Mō te whakataunga anake o ngā kerēme e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui te whakamāramatanga, kāore mō tētahi atu take.

Heoi anō rā, ka tūtohu mātou kia whakamahukitia Te Pitopito Kōrero Whakamahukitanga i Kupu Āpiti 1, kia kore ai e pōrarutanga a tōna wā. Inarā, ka whakaurua a Ngāti Tamahaki ki roto i ō mātou whakatikatika, hei tauira mō tētahi kohinga i whakahono atu ki Te Iwi o Whanganui ahakoa, kīhai i āta tautuhia. Ka tūtohu anō hoki mātou, kia tino arotia ngā kohinga i whakarārangitia i roto rara 1 o te kupu āpiti 1, ka uru atu Ngāti Uenuku me Ngāti Hāua, tērā pea ka arotakea hei iwi i roto i te horopaki whānui o “Whanganui Iwi”.

Ngā kopounga o Te Pou Tupua

I te wā rapunga whakamaherehere mō te pire nei, ka mārama ake mātou ki tētahi takarepa i roto i te hātepe kopounga o Te Pou Tupua. Nā te mea, kāore te tūranga o Te Minita mō Ngā Whiriwhiringa e pā ana ki Te Tiriti o Waitangi e tū mō ake tonu atu, ka tūtohu mātou kia whakatikaina a rara 20(1)(b). Ka tūtohu mātou e tika ana kia hoatu e te rara he wāhi kia riro ai e Te Minita mō Ngā Whiriwhiringa e pā ana ki Te Tiriti o Waitangi te haepapa mō te kopounga tuatahi anake o tētahi māngai Karauna ki Te Pou Tupua. Ka tūtohu mātou kia noho ki Te Minita mō Te Taiao te haepapa mō ngā kopounga ka whai ake.

I tūtohu ai mātou i tēnei Minita nā te mea he rangatōpū wai māori Te Awa Tupua, ā, i te nuinga o te wā whakahaerea kēngia ai e Te Resource Management Act 1991.

Tua atu i tērā, ka tūtohu mātou kia rapu whakamaherehere Te Minita mō Ngā Whiriwhiringa e pā ana ki Te Tiriti o Waitangi rāua tahi ko Te Minita mō Te Taiao, i Te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, i Te Minita Papa Atawhai, ā, i ētahi atu Minita e hāngai ana. Mihi kau ana te whakaritenga kia rapu whakamaherehere i Te Minita Whakawhanaketanga Māori, i te hiranga o Te Pou Tupua nā runga i ngā karangatanga o te rangapū Tiriti. Mihi ai te whakaritenga kia rapu whakamaherehere i Te Minita Papa Atawhai nā te mea, e 50 ōrau tata atu o te rohenga wai o Te Awa o Whanganui he wāhanga o tētahi pānga whenua atawhai rahi.

Tapiritanga

Hātepe komiti

Nō te 24 o Haratua tau 2016 Te Pire o Te Awa Tupua (mō Te Whakataunga o Ngā Kerēme e pā ana ki Te Awa o Whanganui) i tonoa ai ki te komiti. Ko te 6 o Hōngongoi tau 2016 te rā katinga mō ngā tāpaetanga. I whiwhi, i whakaaroarohia e mātou ngā tāpaetanga e 20 nō mai i ngā kohinga whai pānga me te hunga takitahi. I rongo taunakitanga ā-waha mātou nō mai i te hunga whakatakoto tāpaetanga e tekau mā tahi i ngā whakawātanga i Whanganui me Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara.

I whiwhi whakamahere mātou nō mai i Te Tari Whakatau Take e pā ana ki Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Ko ngā mema o Te Komiti, ko

Tūtehounuku Kōrako (Heamana)

Hōnore Chester Borrows

Mārama Davidson

Kelvin Davis

Mārama Fox

Joanne Hayes

Hōnore Nanaia Mahuta

Pita Paraone

Metiria Turei

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Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill

Government Bill

129—2

As reported from the Māori Affairs Committee

Commentary

Recommendation

The Māori Affairs Committee has examined Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill and recommends that it be passed with the amendments shown.

Background information

Whanganui River and Whanganui iwi

The Whanganui River is the longest navigable river in New Zealand, originating at Mount Tongariro and ending in the Tasman Sea. The river has a long history of providing physical and spiritual support to Whanganui iwi and their hapū.

Whanganui iwi, as defined in clause 8 of the bill, is defined as every individual who:

  • has exercised customary rights and responsibilities in respect to Whanganui River; and

  • is descended from Ruatipua, Paerangi, or Haunui-ā-Pāpārangi.

It also includes the hapū and tūpuna rohe groups of Whanganui iwi.

These groups are set out in clauses 1 and 2 of Schedule 1. We note that the listed groups are not intended to be exhaustive.

Several iwi, including Whanganui iwi, have interests in the Whanganui River and its tributaries. The bill lists these iwi as follows:

  • Ngā Rauru Kītahi

  • Ngāti Apa

  • Ngāti Maniapoto

  • Ngāti Maru

  • Ngāti Rereahu

  • Ngāti Ruanui

  • Ngāti Tūwharetoa

  • Whanganui iwi.

The term “iwi and hapū with interests in the Whanganui River” refers to these iwi, and any hapū of these iwi, who have interests in the Whanganui River.

Proposed Legal Framework (Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua)

Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill is unusual because it declares the Whanganui River as Te Awa Tupua, “an indivisible and living whole, incorporating all its physical and meta-physical elements”. [Part 2 (“Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua—Te Awa Tupua Framework”), subpart 2, clause 12.] As a result of this unique arrangement, the bill proposes a legal framework, known as Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua, to support Te Awa Tupua.

To represent Te Awa Tupua, the bill proposes establishing Te Pou Tupua (the human face of the river). Te Pou Tupua would consist of two nominated representatives. One representative would be chosen by the Crown, and the other would be selected by iwi with interests in the river. Te Pou Tupua would be responsible for the care and well-being of Te Awa Tupua, as well as maintaining relationships with all iwi and hapū with interests in Te Awa Tupua.

There is intended to be an advisory group called Te Karewao to support Te Pou Tupua. Iwi and hapū would appoint a member of Te Karewao if the group considers business that is only applicable to their specific area of the river. Local authorities would also have a representative in Te Karewao.

The bill also provides for the establishment of a collaborative strategy group to be called Te Kōpuka. Te Kōpuka would develop and maintain a strategy document, known as Te Heke Ngahuru, for Te Awa Tupua. Te Kōpuka would require representatives with diverse interests, defined in Part 2, subpart 4 of the bill.

Introduction

Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill proposes to establish the Whanganui River as its own legal personality (Te Awa Tupua). The bill would give effect to the Whanganui River Deed of Settlement (Ruruku Whakatupua) signed by the Crown and Whanganui iwi on 5 August 2014. This deed settles the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Whanganui iwi in relation to the Whanganui River. The bill also records the acknowledgements and apology of the Crown offered to Whanganui iwi in relation to the Whanganui River.

The historical claims of Whanganui iwi that relate to the Whanganui River largely concern Crown actions and omissions in gaining control of the river. This includes the removal of minerals and traditional structures from the river, legislation enacted in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the diversion of the headwaters of the river for hydroelectric purposes.

Part 1 of the bill sets out the preliminary provisions. These include defining who qualifies as “Whanganui iwi” for the purposes of the bill, defining which historical claims are settled in the bill, and defining the purpose of the bill.

Part 2 of the bill gives effect to Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua, the new legal framework which provides for the exercise of all statutory functions, powers, and duties in relation to the Whanganui River.

Part 3 of the bill deals with cultural redress.

Part 4 of the bill settles the historical claims of Whanganui iwi in relation to the Whanganui River.

Part 5 of the bill addresses the reorganisation of the Whanganui River’s governance systems, including the dissolution of Te Whiringa Muka Trust, the Whanganui River Māori Trust Board, and Pakaitore Trust.

This bill includes only those parts of the redress in the settlement package that require legislative authority. The Deed of Settlement sets out, in full, the redress provided to Whanganui iwi to settle all its historical Treaty of Waitangi claims in relation to the Whanganui River.

This commentary covers the settlement issues we considered and several technical amendments that we recommend to the bill.

Involvement in Te Awa Tupua

We note that some groups, such as Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Hāua, and those covered by the Uenuku Charitable Trust mandate, expressed concern that they would have limited influence over the governance of Te Awa Tupua. We acknowledge these groups’ interest in continuing to exercise their kaitiakitanga in relation to the Whanganui catchment, particularly for those groups that have not yet reached their own settlements with the Crown. We expect that once the Maniapoto interests are resolved by their settlement, the extent to which they participate in decision-making for the upper catchment will be clarified.

We were advised by the Office of Treaty Settlements that Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua would outline several different mechanisms to ensure that Whanganui iwi, and all iwi with interests in Te Awa Tupua, would have opportunities to be involved in the governance and care of the river. In particular:

  • It would be an obligation of Te Pou Tupua to develop and maintain relationships with all the iwi and hapū with interests in the river.

  • Te Pou Tupua would uphold Tupua te Kawa (the river values). It would be responsible for ensuring that Te Awa Tupua’s wellbeing is promoted and protected in a way that best reflects the interests of iwi and hapū with interests in the river.

  • Iwi with interests in the river would have the opportunity to appoint a member to Te Karewo, the river’s advisory body. They would also have the right to participate in Te Kōpuka, allowing them to be involved in developing the river strategy (Te Heke Ngahuru). This would also provide an opportunity to work towards advancing the health and well-being of Te Awa Tupua.

  • Iwi with interests in the river would also have the right to apply to Te Korotete (a $30 million contestable fund) for additional funds to support the health and well-being of Te Awa Tupua.

We are satisfied that these measures will provide all iwi and hapū that have an interest in Te Awa Tupua with the ability to continue to exercise, and potentially enhance, their kaitiakitanga.

Settlement concerns

Some submitters raised concerns that this bill would compromise aspects of their future settlement opportunities. We sought advice from the Office of Treaty Settlements about these concerns.

To provide context, we note that the riverbeds vested in this bill are unique in that they are vested in Te Awa Tupua. Te Awa Tupua would be a distinct legal entity, separate from both the Crown and iwi.

Concerns of Maniapoto Māori Trust Board

We heard that the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board has concerns that the settlement of the historical claims regarding the Whanganui River could compromise Ngāti Maniapoto’s future settlement opportunities. The board is concerned that riverbed vested under the bill, including riverbed within the Ngāti Maniapoto rohe, would become unavailable for future settlement negotiations. The board also submitted that its negotiated redress could be lost in the future if the course of the river changes.

We note that four hapū of Ngāti Maniapoto filed a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in 2014. This claim raised similar issues to the issues raised in the board’s submission. The claim stated that the Whanganui River Settlement covered offshoots of the Whanganui River that were exclusively managed by Ngāti Maniapoto or its hapū. It claimed that these waterways were included without Ngāti Maniapoto’s mandate.

Te Awa Tupua’s unique “automatic vesting” provision, designed to account for natural changes in the river’s course, will not affect land vested through other Treaty settlements. Only Crown land would be susceptible to “automatic vesting”. Private land, such as land provided to iwi as redress, would be excluded from vesting under clause 46(2)(b).

We were advised that the bill explicitly states that it will not settle Ngāti Maniapoto’s historical claims to the river (or the claims of any other iwi with interest). We note that the bill would not stop Ngāti Maniapoto and the Crown from negotiating statutory acknowledgements and deeds of recognition over the Whanganui River and its tributaries. Furthermore, the Office of Treaty Settlements advised us that Ngāti Maniapoto’s future redress would be subject to an overlapping claims process. This consultation would involve Whanganui iwi, who have already indicated that they would be open to being involved in this process.

Concerns of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Maru

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Maru raised similar concerns to those of the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board. As with Ngāti Maniapoto, the Whanganui River Settlement will not settle the historical claims of Ngāti Maru.

In the bill, Ngāti Maru is recognised as an “iwi with interests in the river”. This ensures their role in the ongoing management of Te Awa Tupua.

Future status of Whanganui River Māori Trust Board

The Whanganui River Māori Trust Board indicated that it supports the bill. However, it suggested that, as the bill would dissolve the board, it would be sensible to avoid the need to hold further elections for the board before the commencement of the bill. As the board has largely completed its role, and is focusing on transitional and disestablishment work, it argues that there is limited value in electing new members. The board could also avoid the significant costs of holding another election.

We agree that this is a prudent course of action, and considered inserting a new clause to this effect. However, we were advised that such an amendment would need agreement from the Minister responsible for the Māori Trust Boards Act 1955. It has not been possible to seek this decision before we are due to report back to the House. We therefore have not recommended amending the bill. We note that a Supplementary Order Paper could be used to address this issue.

We note that the assets from Te Whiringa Muka Trust, who administer the Fisheries settlement (under the Māori Fisheries Act 2004), will transfer to Nga Tangata Tiaki.

Waikune Prison

Waikune Prison is an occupied prison site located in the Tongariro National Park, at the base of Mt. Ruapehu. The prison is located in the Uenuku Charitable Trust’s area of interest. The prison is currently held within the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) landbank, but has been leased to the Whanganui Māori Trust Board since 2002.

We note the concern expressed by Uenuku Charitable Trust that this site may not be available for its future settlements. We seek to reassure the Trust that we have received advice on this point. We understand that, because the prison is Crown land held in the LINZ landbank, it is available for future treaty settlements. These settlements would be subject to negotiation with the Crown and an overlapping claims process.

Recommended changes to the bill

Definition of Whanganui iwi for the purposes of this bill

The Uenuku Charitable Trust, on behalf of Uenuku and Tamahaki, requested that the bill reflect their status as iwi—rather than referring to them as Whanganui hapū. Te Iwi O Ngāti Hāua Charitable Trust raised similar concerns about the treatment of Ngāti Hāua in the bill.

We note that the bill’s definition of ‘Whanganui iwi’ originates from the list of those hapū that were active in the 1950 Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Bed of the Whanganui River. The definition is not intended for any use other than the settlement of the Whanganui River claims.

Nonetheless, we recommend clarifying the Explanatory Note in Schedule 1 to avoid confusion in the future. Our amendments specifically include Ngāti Tamahaki as an example of a group affiliated with Whanganui iwi, even though it is not expressly identified. We also recommend emphasising that the groups listed in clause 1 of Schedule 1, which include Ngāti Uenuku and Ngāti Hāua, may also be viewed as iwi within the broader context of “Whanganui iwi”.

Uenuku Charitable Trust, Ngāti Hāua Trust, and Ngā Tāngata Tiaki indicated to our advisers that they support the intent of these suggested changes. We note that advisers are investigating potential risks.

Te Pou Tupua appointments

During the consultation on this bill, we became aware of a flaw in the Te Pou Tupua appointment process. As the role of Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations will not exist indefinitely, we recommend amending clause 20(1)(b). We recommend that the clause should provide that the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations is only responsible for the first nomination of a Crown representative to Te Pou Tupua. We recommend that, subsequently, the Minister for the Environment should be responsible for nominations.

We recommend this Minister because Te Awa Tupua is a body of fresh water predominantly managed by the Resource Management Act 1991.

Furthermore, we recommend that both the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and the Minister for the Environment should be required to consult with the Minister for Māori Development, the Minister for Conservation, and any other relevant Ministers. The requirement to consult with the Minister for Māori Development recognises Te Pou Tupua’s importance in terms of the Treaty partnership. The requirement to consult with the Minister of Conservation recognises that nearly 50 percent of the Whanganui River catchment is part of a large conservation estate.

Appendix

Committee process

Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill was referred to the committee on 24 May 2016. The closing date for submissions was 6 July 2016. We received and considered 20 submissions from interested groups and individuals. We heard oral evidence from 11 submitters at hearings in Whanganui and Wellington.

We received advice from the Office of Treaty Settlements.

Committee membership

Tutehounuku Korako (Chairperson)

Hon Chester Borrows

Marama Davidson

Kelvin Davis

Marama Fox

Joanne Hayes

Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Pita Paraone

Metiria Turei