December 14, 2022
Wairarapa settlement creates new treaty breach
The chair Wairarapa Moana Incorporation says by removing legal pathways to pursue a claim for land under a Waikato River dam the crown has ensured the fight will continue into the next generation.
Parliament yesterday passed the Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua Claims Settlement Bill, covering claims from Danneverke and Cape Turnagain down to Cape Palliser.
Kingi Smiler says Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little forced the iwi to also include WAI 85, which covers the Pouakani lands near Mangakino which were given as part of a swap for Lake Wairarapa and then taken again to build the Maraetai hydro power station.
He says there are cases such as Wakatu where the crown settled with iwi groups while allowing an incorporation to pursue unrelated claims on behalf of owners.
“The crown, because they were concerned about the return of the land to Wairarapa Moana through the resumption order of the Waitangi Tribunal, forced the iwi group to include it within the claim settlement so they don’t have to deal with it, and now they have just kicked another treaty breach down the road to be addressed in another 30 years time,” Mr Smiler says.
Kingi Smiler says parliament’s action means important questions about the land and Wairarapa Moana’s status will remain unresolved with no further access to the courts or the Waitangi Tribunal.