Picture: Ngāti Maru host the Crown at Tarata Marae
Ka tiu he toroa a uta, ka hoka he toroa a tai. Mari ripiripi o te rangi, te ana kohakoha o te rangi.
Ko te rangi pununui, ko te rangi puroroa, ko te rangi hauora.
Hauora ki tupua, hauora ki tawhito, hauora ki nga uri mokopuna o te kahui maunga, o Ngāti Maruwharanui.
“Maru kai atu, Maru kai mai”. Nei ra te mihi maioha ki a koutou. Tena koutou katoa.
This is the first of what will become regular updates from the negotiation team in our e-Panui. We have been providing regular updates at our bi-monthly waananga and monthly reports to the Runanga. However, I hope this format will reach more Ngāti Maru and especially those who are unable to attend the waananga. Tihe i a Maru Ora.
Firstly, I would like to introduce our negotiation team. The Lead Negotiator is myself, Anaru Marshall. Nathan Peri and Holden Hohaia are our other Negotiators. Pare Hayward is the claim Iwi Researcher. Emma Gardiner is Project Manager. Our Specialist Advisor is Jamie Tuuta and Indiana Shewen provides administrative support to the team.
The negotiations are currently at a very busy stage. We are in what is known as the “Agreement in Principle” phase. Securing an Agreement in Principle with the Crown is when both parties agree on what the settlement will basically achieve. It is not the final settlement package but it is close enough for us all to agree that we will achieve settlement. Most of our work involves assessing commercial opportunities, identifying strategic assets, developing relationships with government entities and carrying out significant historical research. The results of all of these work streams will assist us to make decisions regarding the claim content and feedback for Iwi.
This month we hosted the Chief Crown Negotiator David Tapsell and his staff from the Office of the Treaty Settlements at Te Upoko o te Whenua. They were accompanied by officials from the Department of Conservation. They came onto our marae and were welcomed in our whare “Ngarongo”.
The purpose of this visit was to introduce the Crown to Ngāti Maru at home amongst our rivers and hills. To meet kanohi ki te kanohi on our turangawaewae with our tauheke and tamariki mokopuna also able to meet first hand with the Crown’s negotiation team. We took the visitors on a short tour of our rohe to see specific sites of significance that will feature in our negotiation discussions in the coming months. Finally, in the context of Maru kai atu, Maru kai mai, it was important for us to extend our manaakitanga to them and host them on our whenua.
The claims team also spent two days in Wellington, one day was spent holding meetings with the Office of Treaty Settlements negotiation team and a number of other government departments. These meetings allowed us to begin establishing relationships and discussing protocols that will in time become part of the settlement package that we are currently negotiating.
We also attended parliament to support our whanaunga from Nga Ruahine, Taranaki and Te Atiawa. We witnessed the third readings of their respective claims settlement legislation that in essence finalises the deal for them. It was an emotional experience for all concerned. Tears flowed from those of us in the gallery and also from the some of the speakers on the chamber floor. It was a time of reflection for many. The names of friends and relations who are no longer with us were recalled and remembered for their contributions to their own Iwi’s journey to that day of settlement. I was drawn to reflect on our own people who will not be with us to witness our settlement and it re-enforced my own belief that this is our time. I know I speak for the rest of the negotiations team when I say, Ngāti Maru are ready and we are deserving of our own day in Parliament. In fact it is overdue and we are all resolved to complete this claim for nga uri katoa o Ngāti Maru.
If you have any specific questions or would like clarification on any aspect of the claim, please email me directly at negotiations@Ngātimaru.co.nz I will respond as soon as I can. Nga mihi nunui ki a koutou. Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.