September 19, 2019
Ihumātao fix out of treaty process
A Mana Whenua member and co-founder of Save Our Unique Landscape says the stand off over Ihumātao has highlighted the need to move beyond the treaty settlement process.
Qiane Matata-Sipu says the announcement by Kiingi Tuheitia that mana whenua now want the land returned to them is a great outcome to the past six weeks of discussion, and puts the pressure back on the Government to take action.
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters has given a lukewarm response to a suggestion the Government should buy the land from Fletcher Residential and return it, saying it needed to have to look at whether it was setting a precedent for all Treaty settlements.
Qiane Matata-Sipu says Ihumātao has showed there are systemic failures by government and councils that have been happening for generations.
"If the settlement process and the settlement system isn't working, then it should be changed, but we have always said this is not a treaty settlement issue. The treaty was never meant to be settled. It was meant to be honoured. So how do you honour the history of Ihumātao and its cultural significance, its significance to Aotearoa, its significance to Tāmaki Makaurau. There is no other archaeological space currently in Aotearoa that has what Ihumātao has," she says.
Qiane Matata-Sipu says Ihumātao is unique, as its hapū have already made huge sacrifices for Auckland, with their maunga quarried for the city's roads and airport runway, its awa and moana taken for the wastewater treatment plant, and its earmarked for the airport's second runway.
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