April 22, 2014
Hapu members to share returned land
Parliament’s Maori Affairs has insisted members of Tauranga hapu Ngai Tukairangi be included in a new trust that will hold land being handed over by an Anglican trust.
The New Zealand Mission Trust Board (Otamataha) Empowering Bill will transfer the land to the newly created Otamataha Trust.
The 8000 square metre landholding in central Tauranga is a remnant of the large block acquired by the Church Mission Society in 1838 in a transaction that has always been disputed by local tribes.
Since 1896 it’s been held in a charitable trust for the purpose of spiritually benefiting and instructing Maori.
In 1998 the Anglican Church stopped appointing trustees and gave the task to Ngati Tapu and Ngaitamarawaho.
In its report on the bill, the select committee says Ngai Tukairangi chose to withdraw from involvement in the trust at that time, but the Waitangi Tribunal has subsequently confirmed it has an interest in the land.
Rather than make the hapu a third beneficiary, members will benefit through their whakapapa links to the historical hapu of Te Materawaho, which has been included in an expanded definition of Ngati Tapu.
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