December 04, 2013
Whakahemo swept up in OTS net
A former associate treaty negotiations minister says the doors are closing on his iwi as it attempts to get back land taken almost 100 years ago.
Tenders close today for a 400 hectare Landcorp farm with five dairy units at Pukehina in the Bay of Plenty.
Mita Ririnui says Ngati Whakahemo, which he chairs, has been trying to get the land back since it was taken in the 1920s.
He says it rankles him that the Office of Treaty Settlements cleared the land for sale because it says the iwi was included in the Te Arawa Affiliates settlement, despite not having any part in the negotiations.
"Somehow in the closing stages of the signing of the deed of settlement the Crown as it usually does through the Office of Treaty Settlements threw out its net and pulled in all the other fish that unsuspectingly didn’t want to be caught. That’s been the situation with us and any attempt by myself and others of our iwi to rectify the situation has just fallen on deaf ears," Mr Ririnui says.
Ngati Whakahemo’s connections to the land are through its Mataatua whakapapa rather than any Te Arawa connections.
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