Ngaitamarawaho and the Office of Treaty Settlements: Aligning the Hapu Raupatu grievance to the settlement process
Winiata, Piripi Dennis
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Ngaitamarawaho is the Hapu of Ngatiranginui from Tauranga who suffered the greatest loss of land at the hands of Governor Grey. In generations past, the Tupuna stated categorically, Queen Victoria took our land, Grey created the Raupatu and Ngaiterangi were the kupapa that made it possible. This Hapu belief originated from the time Paraone Koikoi (the fighting chief of the day), was transported from the Taumata, to the CMS Mission Station and forced to watch Ngaiterangi cede the Hapu land to Governor Grey (1864). The Crown had previously drawn a confiscation line from Kawhia to Tauranga bisecting the rohe into what the hapu refer to as the “north and south blocks”. The “north block,” was confiscated in 1865 under the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863, while the “south block,” (from the confiscation line to the Mangorewa Gorge), formed what Waitangi Tribunal Researchers now refer to as the aftermath. The Crown gave Ngaitamarawaho lands to other Hapu for political reasons, awarded Hapu in contiguity Ngaitamarawaho lands, compressed many people into small blocks and embargoed names for forty years of others left landless. Having had the Waitangi Tribunal Hearings during 1998 and 2000 and the Report of the Findings and Recommendations released in 2004, the Hapu was then ready to leave the discovery and recognition phase of the Tribunal, for the redress and settlement process controlled by the Office of Treaty Settlements (OTS). The study occurred during the first year of this transition and focussed on the frustrations associated with a lack of definition and clarity. For example the Report, “Te Raupatu O Tauranga Moana” failed to define the meanings and the relationships between the words Raupatu, Confiscation and Treaty Breach – the key issues of the whole project or even to attempt to unravel the Raupatu. Ngaitamarawaho allege the reason the Raupatu (as a policy), was able to be maintained for more than a century was due in large measure the Crown’s ability to create stabilising devices for its policies and use its monopoly and power to equivocate.