2. WAI303 CLAIMS UPDATE
WAI 303 UPDATE:
Tame Te Rangi – Treaty Claims Advisor
The negotiation meetings to date have focussed on striking an agreement with the Crown on lifting the cash quantum from the $5M offered in 2010. To date that has lifted to $7.25M. The conclusions from that May 2019 update to uri confirmed that this $5M quantum offer would not be supported at the point of deed of settlement ratification. The submissions made to Crown negotiators for further considerations to a cash quantum increase await Ministerial approval. Crown officials advised a new date for that Ministerial decision from Nov 30 2019 to the end of Feb 2020 at the final 2019 negotiations meeting in Dec.
A long list of Crown-owned properties has also been submitted for consideration as part of the commercial redress option. Two properties within that long list have been submitted as part of the cultural redress considerations. Decisions are also expected with the Ministers response in Feb 2020.
A critical component of this strand is that the negotiations with the Crown for Kaipara Moana sits outside of the realm of historical treaty negotiations. A whole of cabinet has been sought for this proposal of remediation at pace for Kaipara Moana. The negotiators implore Kaipara Uri to come to terms with this historical component of the negotiations with the Crown. This context is encapsulated within the following statement:
E kore e mōnehunehu te pūmahara ki ngā whēinga o neherā nā rātou nei i toro te nukuroa o Te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa, o Te Moana Tāpokopoko ā Tāwhaki me Papa-horo-nuku. Ko a rātou tapuwae kua kākahutia ki te kiri o Papa-tū-ā-nuku e hora nei – Kaipara Moana he tawhiti tōna roa, he manatunga, he taonga, he tapu...he ngaru nui mā te tauihu o te waka e wāwāhi...
•Kaipara Moana is an ancient bastion of nature, alive with history of days, of eras past; its bounty is its inherent beauty; it’s waters, beaches, banks, streams and seabed, including both the submerged and exposed natural minerals combine to depict the taonga value of Kaipara Moana;
•Kaipara Moana a place of spiritual value, a space with its own mauri and identity imbued with a mana of its own; and,
•Kaipara Moana brands itself, inspiring its people to commit to its care. Kaipara Moana with its mauri represents the essence that binds the physical and spiritual elements of all things together, generating and upholding all life and well-being.
An indicative business case was submitted in Sept 2019 to the following Ministers of the Crown within their respective cabinet positions:
• Hon David Parker, Minister for the Environment;
• Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister for Agriculture;
• Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister for Conservation;
• Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Local Government;
• Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development; and,
• Hon Andrew Little, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
This submission focussed on the value of Kaipara Moana to Kaipara Uri to all New Zealanders as follows:
Kaipara Moana prized by many for the acknowledged special associations as well as the customary interests within;
Kaipara Moana prized by New Zealanders as a place of outstanding national value and intrinsic worth;
Kaipara Moana is respected for its natural value as an estuarine ecosystem containing some of the rarest ecosystems in New Zealand including sand dune, sea grass, freshwater and estuarine wetland ecosystems;
Kaipara Moana provides for fishing, shellfish gathering, swimming, diving and exploring to all New Zealanders. It is recognised for its cultural, commercial and recreational fisheries resources; and,Kaipara Moana is home to thousands of migrating birds and is the habitat to the critically endangered Fairy Tern.
The Kaipara Moana Negotiations Reference Group, mandated to coordinate negotiations between Kaipara Uri and the Crown is comprised of Ngā Maunga Whakahī o Kaipara, Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei, Te Roroa, Te Uri o Hau as well as Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua. At a point where the Crown confirms an interest in partnership with Kaipara Uri and Councils to remediate Kaipara Moana, Kaipara Uri will undertake further decision-making through contact with Kaipara Uri.
The negotiations have emphasised that the environmental remediation of Kaipara Moana is of deep concern to Kaipara Uri, as well as to marae and hapū communities across the wider Kaipara catchment. Kaipara Moana is the largest harbour and estuary in Aotearoa. Degradation of the moana has occurred unchecked for an extensive period tracking back to the earliest days of colonial settlement, with the felling of the great kauri forests the Kaipara previously held. For many decades through the twentieth century the Crown promoted pastoral farming in the Kaipara catchment, including incentives for bush clearance and wetland drainage. All of this has contributed to the problem of sediment we have today.
The negotiations have also emphasised that Kaipara Uri are acutely aware of the impact sediment is having on Kaipara Moana. Many of our marae sit next to the moana. In recent generations we have witnessed the loss of taonga species, reclamation of large areas of the foreshore, the rapid encroachment of mangrove forests, and an overall reduction in fisheries and shellfish. There are large parts of the moana where once abundant shell-fish beds and seagrass meadows are now absent, replaced by a desert of mud. Marine scientists tell us parts of the moana are very close to environmental tipping points, from which it will be difficult, if not impossible to recover. We have also witnessed the degradation of our freshwater environments throughout the catchment, with a dramatic decline in tuna, kōura, kākahi, and other species.
This puts the mauri of the moana and its catchment fundamentally at risk. To date, Kaipara Uri have had little or no say in managing these issues, and our role as kaitiaki has been largely ignored. It is only in the last two decades that the Crown and the wider public has come to understand the pressure Kaipara Moana is under and the need to act. Kaipara Uri have provided leadership on this. In 2005 the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group [IKHMG] was formally established by kaumātua of Ngā Kaitiaki Tai Ao o Kaipara and Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust, along with other Kaipara Uri, local government staff, and members of the Kaipara community. The IKHMG works to promote an integrated and catchment-wide approach, underpinned by kaitiakitanga with an inter-face between te ao Māori and western science world views.
Since 2014, when Kaipara Uri and the Crown signed the Kaipara Moana Framework Agreement, our Treaty settlement negotiations have provided further impetus. Kaipara Uri are committed to settling our historical grievances relating to the moana with the Crown. Fundamental to this is the establishment of a co-governance body in partnership with local government [and the Crown]to provide vision and direction into the future.
We appreciate current Crown policy means wide-scale environmental remediation work is not funded through Treaty settlements. It is on that basis the Kaipara Moana Negotiations Reference Group have worked with councils since late 2018 to develop the Kaipara Moana Remediation IBC. The IBC explains why action is required. It maps out a decade-long project of work for Kaipara Uri and Councils in partnership with the Crown, to support change on the ground, and within a wider co-governance framework.
For this programme to be successful we need Crown funding. We also need to work closely with communities and at the marae and hapū level across the catchment, where delivery of remediation efforts will take place, and where opportunities arise for economic development. Recent findings of the Waitangi Tribunal in the National Freshwater and Geothermal Resources report are relevant.
The Tribunal states: ‘the scale of clean-up resources does not match the scale of damage done, and still being done, to our waters’. These words ring true for Kaipara Moana, particularly the Tribunal’s conclusion that:
… despite the Crown’s current funding regime, there remains a clear need for committed, long-term funding to address water quality issues on a local and national scale. The Treaty standard of active protection will not be met until such larger-scale, longer-term funding has been dedicated to restoration of these highly vulnerable taonga. Further, decisions around exactly how funds are designed and distributed need to be made in partnership with Māori, rather than resting solely within the purview of the Crown. (p.483)
Kaipara Uri also need to partner with the Crown on fisheries management. The Kaipara Moana Remediation IBC aims to reduce sediment and allow the marine environment to heal itself. But if the fisheries are not well-managed, our efforts will be largely wasted.
Kaipara Uri recognise and appreciate the time Ministers have spent visiting Kaipara Moana, including Minister Andrew Little, Minister David Parker, and Minister Eugene Sage. We also acknowledge the recent visit by the Prime Minister to the Booth Farm at Titoki in Aug 2019. Kaipara Uri are happy to host further visits to show first-hand the environmental impacts on the moana.
Importantly we need action now, and we need the Crown, as our Treaty partner, to support us and the wider Kaipara community to achieve lasting environmental benefits for Kaipara Moana. We need a sustainable, productive and healthy Kaipara Moana, with prosperous and connected communities that draw their livelihoods from the moana and the wider catchment.