March 05, 2014
Hapu plea for unique identity
Labour’s Maori spokesperson Shane Jones says there is much food for thought in submissions over the Tuhoe Settlement Bill.
The Maori Affairs Select Committee yesterday heard submissions from iwi and hapu that their property and customary rights, including part-ownership of Lake Waikaremoana, would be compromised or extinguished by the new structures being set up for Ngai Tuhoe.
Mr Jones says the submission of Upokorehe elder Toopi Wikotu in Maori raised important questions about whether it should be included with Tuhoe in the settlement.
Upokorehe is a cluster of five hapu and marae along the coast between Ngati Awa and Whakatohea.
"The old koroua said never overlook the fact that Upokorehe are the Takitimu people, we are the descendants of Kahungunu, although we have got connections with Mataatua, and we want to find a way to maintain our distinctive rights and identity just as their neighbours Ngai Tai, who belong to the Tainui waka, have also managed to do," Mr Jones says.
He will talk to the Treaty Negotiations Minister and officials about the issue.
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