Iwi settle Tauranga rights disputes

Te Tatau Pounamu - celebrating peace between Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Pukenga and Ngati Paoa. Photo: Moana Radio 98.2FM.

Three iwi joined together in Tauranga to sign a declaration resetting their relationship, following turbulent times earlier this year.

The largest iwi in the Hauraki Collective Ngati Paoa signed a ‘Mana Enhancing Declaration’ with Tauranga iwi Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Ranginui that clarifies the rights dispute in Tauranga Moana.

Tensions arose between the two Tauranga iwi and the Hauraki Collective, a group of 12 Hauraki iwi, over the collective claiming rights in Tauranga where they had not traditionally lived.

Ngāti Paoa grew unhappy with the collective’s behaviour and decided to sign a declaration based on tikanga and respect with Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Ranginui.

Ngai Te Rangi chairman Charlie Tawhiao says the declaration showed how iwi should be working together with honesty and integrity.

"In Treaty of Waitangi cross claims processes we have reached the end of the usefulness of the legal process that is by nature adversarial and able to be misused.

"From here we need traditional systems of dispute resolution to take over which are based on respect for the mana of each iwi or hapu and for the people within those groups who are our whanaunga, our relations."

“For hundreds of years, marae have been the centre of tribal diplomacy so it’s vital those tried and true processes are used.

The signing of the declaration and exchange of Tatau Pounamu took place on the Maungatapu Marae at 10am.

The agreement sets out the way the iwi intend to deal with each other that is based on respect for tikanga and the mana of each other.

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