February 25, 2014
Crown denial sets fire under claim
The negotiator for Auckland iwi Te Kawerau a Maki says the hardest task was convincing the Crown the tribe still existed.
The northernmost Tainui iwi signed a $6.5 million settlement on Saturday that recognises its relationship to Waitakere and gives it most of the Riverhead Forest and a site at Hobsonville to build a marae.
Te Warena Taua says he gave evidence with his aunt Hariata Ewe to the Manukau Claim in the early 1980s, which gave them the impetus to mount a comprehensive historic claim.
"The hard case thing was it didn’t matter what sort of evidence we had, the crown was not going to recognise us at all. They said we’d been subsumed by others prior to 1840 and that we’d ceased to exist as a tribe. That just set us on fire," he says.
Te Warena Taua says there is still unfinished business over the Kopironui Block in the Woodhill Forest, where his grandmother was cleared from the last Kawerau village in 1951 under the Public Works Act.
A cross claim by Ngati Whatua has been referred to the Maori Land Court for resolution.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH TE WARENA TAUA CLICK ON THE LINK
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