If renegotiating #Ihumatao means unjust settlements are re-investigated – GREAT


Mana whenua reach decision on Ihumātao land

The announcement was made this morning, with Kiingi Tūheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero VII saying he had successfully guided mana whenua of Ihumātao to a unified position.

“Mana whenua agree they want their land returned, so they can make decisions about its future,” he said.

“Kiingitanga has conveyed the views of mana whenua to the government and urged it to negotiate with Fletchers for the return of Ihumātao to its rightful owners.”

The fear now is that any renegotiation will open up previously negotiated claims as well.

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Let me be clear.

If renegotiating Ihumatao means unjust settlements are re-investigated – GREAT – the pittance the state has paid Māori for confiscation and theft of their land has added to the injustice, not healed it!

Māori lost 95% of their land within a century and the settlement process is a spiteful, cruel joke masquerading as a solution. If the next Generation are cognitive of this, thats progress.

The Treaty needs to be honoured, not settled.


  1. The trouble is that there is no land in New Zealand that no maori ever had an attachment to, and no land that was ever transferred to european ownership without some maori disputing the authority of the vendor to treat.
    That’s apart from transfers like this that no incumbent was likely to have agreed with at the time. Of which I am sure there are plenty of other examples.
    From the perspective of the maori king and the other interested leaders in a situation like this their responsibility is to their people , no one else, so of course they must claim and argue for the maximum benefit to their people that the situation and political climate seems to invite. To do anything else would be a dereliction of duty.
    It’s up to the government to make clear consistent rules . If they fail to do so the issue will never end. There is none of NZ that Maori would not want back or could not mount some claim over.
    If we decided to give the whole country back, who is going to decide which tribe or iwi should have which piece? That would be another problem. But I suppose it would not be the government’s any more.
    D J S

    • So the fact that so much wrong has been wrought is reason to just flap your arms hopelessly? If you are going to rape and pillage make sure you burn the villages and murder the children? The usual rule is that the extra murder and pillage counts against the perpetrator. The answer is not what an ostrich does. Maori continue to fill all the wrong statistics in disproportionate statistics. Either you believe that this is somehow in their nature or that some great wrong has been committed against them. There is no half way. I believe it is the latter. Our dna is identical. Time to stop further poisoning of the water. Give back Ihumatao.


      • Spikeyboy: “So the fact that so much wrong has been wrought is reason to just flap your arms hopelessly?”

        You do understand that the wrong was wrought long before any of us was born, right? Surely you’re not suggesting that any of us now living was responsible for the wrongs of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Those injustices cannot now be fully remedied; the best that can happen is that the government makes such reparation as it can, within the limitations of the country’s ability to pay. Those payments constitute cash and such land as has not already passed into private ownership.

        “Maori continue to fill all the wrong statistics in disproportionate statistics. Either you believe that this is somehow in their nature or that some great wrong has been committed against them.”

        What: are you suggesting that Maori have no agency, that things are just done to them, without their say-so? I find it hard to believe that anybody seriously thinks that.

        We’re all aware of the crime reports around the country. Maori disproportionately commit crime. However, that’s not because they’re Maori (skin colour is an extrinsic characteristic only), or because of colonisation, but because the drivers of crime – in particular poverty, with all that that entails – disproportionately affect Maori. Not all Maori commit crime: the middle classes and the elites don’t.

        Ditto disproportionately poor health and education outcomes, along with the disproportionate number of Maori babies taken into care by OT: the drivers for that inequity are the same as for crime.

        The arrival of neoliberalism over 30 years ago was particularly negative for Maori, in that, almost overnight, it destroyed a huge chunk of the Maori economy: thousands of jobs gone, and not replaced by anything substantive by way of employment. It was bad for many of the rest of us, of course, but particularly for the working classes, the majority of whom were Maori. Then we had the swingeing benefit cuts of the early 1990s, along with the increasing use of drugs. Then the arrival of P, at the beginning of the 21st century; all of these things took a terrible toll on Maori society. Look to these things, not colonisation, for what ails Maori today.

    • David Stone: “It’s up to the government to make clear consistent rules . If they fail to do so the issue will never end. There is none of NZ that Maori would not want back or could not mount some claim over.”

      I agree with you, and with the rest of your comment.

      I’d add that – were the government to cave in to Maori demands over Ihumatao – that would create a precedent, such that there would be nowhere in NZ completely safe, where property owners – Maori, pakeha or more recent migrants – could have quiet enjoyment of what they lawfully own and bought in good faith. They’d be forever looking over their shoulders, fearful that their land would be next to be subject to a demand for its return to whichever iwi decides that it wants that land back.

      Every Maori needs to remember that nobody now alive was responsible for the large-scale land confiscations and alienation ofthe 19th and early 20th centuries. Taking from anyone nowadays, land that they legally own and bought in good faith, simply creates another injustice. It solves nothing. Even were the government to pay compensation (always assuming that it’s equivalent to market value), it cannot compensate for the loss of the intangibles that come with owning a particular piece of property. And then there’s the hassle of having to find another property, only to run the risk of that being taken as well.

      Another thing for everyone to think about is that, if the government is cowed into buying out Fletcher, that will be taxpayers’ money being used.

      Right now, Fletcher is doubtless being bullied into giving up what it legally owns. If Maori want the land back, the iwi must buy it from Fletcher at an agreed price. Tainui likes to boast about its wealth; here’s an opportunity to use that wealth to benefit its people. If it is not prepared to do that, then everyone should back off and let Fletcher do with its property what it has permission from Auckland City Council to do.

  2. The settlement merry go round could go on forever. At some stage it needs to be accepted the British invaded the land and to the Victor goes the land this is how history works. It is time to draw a line in the sand and for Maori to progress with the assets they have. Ngai Tahu have shown they are as smart as anyone else at growing their business and in so doing have helped advanced the dreams of many in their tribe . Life is not always fair there will always be winners and losers the choice of which you are is up to you not the government in power

      • Michelle: “We are drawing a line in the sand trev and we have said collectively we want our land back so give it back”

        No. It was bought and paid for in good faith. You cannot rectify injustices by stealing other people’s land.

    • I get the logic that the invading population won and to the victor goes the spoils, that’s how Europe got to where it is today and conquest was going on before Europeans got here too. I’ve even seen the phrase “right of conquest” used when working out who has historic rights to certain parts of the country.

      The problem is that this would also justify a group of people using violence to get their land back today. Now we all know that this would end in disaster for anyone who tried right now but at some point in the future white people are no longer going to be the majority in this country and who knows what will happen then.

      So if the moral arguments for dealing with historic grievances don’t appeal to you perhaps the thought of your grandchildren one day being surrounded by a really angry non-white majority might give you pause for thought. And while Maori may never be the majority in this country remember that just about every non-white immigrant will have come from a country that at some point in it’s history has been seriously f**ked over by white invaders.

      • Aaron: “….your grandchildren one day being surrounded by a really angry non-white majority might give you pause for thought.”

        Let me get this straight: you’re suggesting that non-white people will resort to violence, once they’re in the majority? Crikey…I’d be seriously offended at the implications of that, were I a brown person.

        “….just about every non-white immigrant will have come from a country that at some point in it’s history has been seriously f**ked over by white invaders.”

        That’s a helluva trip you’re putting on said immigrants, if I may say so. Then of course there’s Europe: seriously f**ked over – as you so delicately put it – by non-white invaders. Go look at history.

    • To the Victor goes the land??? WTF??? You clearly haven’t been watching since the eviction cos clearly this fight aint over! #Pillock

  3. I have a great deal of respect for Winstone (unlike many others) but when it comes to Maori issues nah! which is why i never vote for his party he is bit younger than my father but the difference between him and my dad is my dad was raised with tikanga and my dad was raised by his kuia and he had two full blooded parents so i can sort of see where Winstones’ thinking comes from, his generation who would have been told not to learn to speak Maori it is a waste of time. Ihumatao is either going to make or break the Labour Party as the foreshore and seabed did.
    I believe this can be settled it will not be easy but if we can protect Kate Sheppards’ home for 4.5 million we can give out free money to private building owners to fix heritage buildings 12.5 million and we can pay out south canterbury finance 1.2 billion and we can fund herceptin (john key did despite the process) and we can fund millions on m bovis for privately owned farms and we can change laws at a whim for drinks for the Rugby World cup and we can change our employment laws ( the hobbits) for overseas corporate movie makers and I am sure others could come up with many other examples then surely we can do something about Ihumatao. So far from our government I haven’t heard what I want to yet just the same old barriers and rhetoric.

    • Can it really be settled with money Michelle? I don’t think so. And neither would I settle for money if I was in the position of having a claim on land. Money is created as debt to someone by the stroke of a computer key. There is no cost in it’s manufacture and no limit to it’s production. Land is finite and precious and theres a reason it’s called “real” estate. It’s the only thing that is real in terms of permanent value.
      If you have a concept of how the problem can be resolved , even if it is expensive, lots of people would listen.
      Cheers D J S

      • Far out David, you’ve summed it up in a manner befitting of the great philosophers or set an example for a politician or two. The old western staples of money and legality, often roman, are no longer fit for purpose. We need to look at not private property titles or certain privileges as the means of progress but our collective capacity to provide for ourselves in a way that the environment is shared, cared for and respected so that our grandkids can do the same. Ngā mihi my man

      • I already said how it could be solved give it back and back off its called Tino Rangatiratanga something promised in the TOW but we have never received it and we have never had a true partnership either. The crown does not want to devolve its power nor has it ever shared its power it has been a my way or the highway.

        • Michelle: “land is not finite not anymore”

          Of course it’s finite. Especially constrained in this country, which is on the small side with regard to usable land.

          You got another planet up your sleeve, about which you’re not letting on?

      • David Stone: “I don’t think so.”

        Judging by reportage, neither do I.

        “And neither would I settle for money if I was in the position of having a claim on land.”

        Indeed. And the boot is on the other foot, in respect of those with private property rights over land. Money isn’t what motivates people to hold on to land and to refuse to sell, even when they’ve had a handsome offer for it.

    • History shows the Labour party has never been a real friend of the Maori and they are taken for granted. They say the right words but fail to act .It was the same with those that voted Labour or NZFirst thinking they would stop TPPA. That did not go well did it. The Maori Party did well by going with the Nats for 9 years. The reason they lost in the last election was because the new leaders indicated they would go with Labour so those that voted thought they might as well cut out the middle man and vote Labour.

  4. Where do things now stand at Ihumaatao?
    Before and during the just-ended hiatus the Crown, and many left-wing bloggers and commentators were arguing that this was an issue to be resolved “by Maori for Maori” with the implication that Pakeha should stay out of the dispute.
    Now Tuheitia has delivered a Maori consensus. The land should be “returned”.
    The Crown, in the person of acting Prime Minister Winston Peters demurs. Maori have come up with a solution that requires the Crown to get involved and act to break the deadlock at some financial cost to the Crown. Mr Peters won’t have it, and his boss, Ms Ardern is non-committal.
    We now see that despite what it said at the time, “lack of consensus among Maori” was never the problem for the state.
    Nor is the financial cost. The state has just expended $4.5million purchasing the house in which women’s suffrage pioneer Kate Shepherd lived. This house will become a national memorial which triumphantly celebrates the progress of liberalism and the colonial state.
    The problem with the land at Ihumaatao is that its history presents a challenge to colonial values. The people of Ihumaatao were dispossessed for refusing allegiance to the British Queen. To this day, our people are denied the right to take up a seat in Parliament, or even to gain citizenship, if they refuse to give the same oath of allegiance.
    A national memorial to Kate Sheppard is possible because the colonial state now embraces women’s suffrage, and all the values represented in Kate Sheppard’s life.
    A memorial to the heroes of Ihumaatao would be problematic because the state which persecuted them for their patriotic affinity continues to discriminate against their spiritual aitanga to this day.
    Yet regardless of where the Crown stands, Ihumaatao must become a national memorial reserve.
    The coming final confrontation at Ihumaatao must be clearly and visibly what the occupation has always been in essence: a struggle of all our peoples against the Crown and a campaign to uphold our true and indominatable national spirit.
    Kotahitanga of Maori, Pakeha and tauiwi.
    We no longer tolerate the Crown’s policy of divide and rule.
    We reject the Crown’s claims that this is just about one or two hapu, just about Tainui, or just about Maori.
    It is about all of us. It is about justice, honour, courage, integrity and fraternity. It is about what it takes to be a nation.

  5. Winston Peters is technically correct in asserting that Ihumaatao was “part of a treaty settlement process” because a treaty settlement process, such as that conducted by Tainui, is deemed to cover all cases of grievance and past injustice, and the confiscation of the land at Ihumaatao clearly is and was one such case.
    But “treaty settlement” is not a judicial process. A judicial process of redress would have bankrupted the Crown many times over.
    Under the rule of the British Crown the Treaty cannot be possibly be “honored”. Breaches can be compensated by a political “settlement”, but settlement is only for a time. Settlements have been based on the perceived negotiating strength of the respective parties, the Crown and iwi. Political power bases shift over time, and with them political demands, so political settlements have no permanence.
    The only way to permanently resolve deep political and social divisions is to either remove or institutionalize them at a constitutional level.
    If the Crown becomes the sticking point in rather than an emollient of race relations, then it may as well go. We have no need of it. The Crown does not represent Maori, and it does not represent Pakeha. It is consistently failing to deliver the kind of decent life we all expect for our tamariki and mokopuna. And right now at Ihumaatao it is bent on dividing Maori from Pakeha and tauiwi, and that is utter unconscionable.

  6. If Kate Sheppards’ 4.5 million dollar house paid for with my taxes is a huge taonga for New Zealand, Ihumatao must be a very huge huge taonga that need to be paid for too

  7. The problem is the same for both parties.

    When Europeans complain about more money being paid to Māori. They should remember that no amount of money will make up for the crimes committed against the Māori.

    When Māori think that their current plight will be solved by more money for the crimes they suffered they should remember that no amount of money will make up for the crimes committed against the Māori.

    Another problem that both sides suffer is that we live in a society in which everyone is essentially born homeless. In Europe the theft of land from the general populace by the rich and powerful happened thousands of years ago. For the Māori this happened almost within living history.

    It would be great if we had a society in which everyone had a right to a home without having to pay someone else (i.e. an Australian bank) a huge amount of money for the right to exist.

  8. Create the Republic of Te Maori now, and get rid of the Crown and all the liars and hangers on, revolution may be called for, but it will not come without blood.

  9. Ihumatao is a special case and all considerations surrounding it must not be generalised.
    Ihumatao is a site of special significance historically.
    Ihumatao is already recognised as such along with adjoining land.
    It is a matter of not building on Ihumatao and transferring ownership to an appropriate kaitiaki after sorting out how the land will be used. Govt ownership and joint management with iwi could be a basis for negotiation.
    A national reserve.

    • Ihumaatao is indeed a special case. I say that even though I see it in a very broad context of our national history and aspirations, and as being in many ways representative of other cases.
      But if it is any comfort to the Crown (not that it is my job to bring comfort to the Crown) the struggle at Ihumaatao will not be replicated anywhere soon, not just because Ihumaatao is uniquely important historically, not just because it is a rare natural space close to the heart of New Zealand’s and Polynesia’s largest city, but also because the scale of resources and intensity of the commitment which it has demanded from the kaitiaki could not be matched at every site in the country which has been unjustly confiscated.
      There is a misconception in some quarters that an occupation requires nothing more than a few guys with a pouwhenua, a tent and time on their hands. The truth is that it involves years of research, discussions, organization and huge personal sacrifices by all those involved.
      It has been nearly forty years since the occupation of Bastion Point. Such events tend to happen once in a generation at best.
      Mr Peters and Ms Ardern can rest easy that there will not be wholesale incursions onto previously confiscated and now privately owned land. But if they are wise, they will see Ihumaatao as a straw in the wind of freedom that is starting to blow through the land in response to two centuries of colonization and three decades of globalization. They will either bend with the wind or be broken by it.

  10. That will be loved by the vested interest groups and middle NZ, no security of land tenure and so, ffs, better emigrate.

    • “no security of land tenure”
      We are not talking confiscation any longer but a more stable act of compensation by govt for the land to be part of a national historic reserve.

  11. stop talking shit trev the maori party got a good kick up the bum for sticking with national and labour will get one too if they don’t sort Ihumatao.

  12. “If renegotiating Ihumatao means unjust settlements are re-investigated – GREAT – the pittance the state has paid Māori for confiscation and theft of their land has added to the injustice, not healed it!”

    Yes. I’m sure that you’ll think that. Right up until it’s your piece of land that’s subject to demands for its return. Then you’ll feel differently.

    Also: remember that it’s the taxpayers’ money which has paid. And paid. And paid…. No government can magic that sort of money up out of nowhere.

    • Your Hobson’s choice racist scaremongering D’Esterre is so tired, it actually looks like Don Brash.

      The pittance that has been paid for all that stolen land that has led directly to the socio-economic position many Māori are trapped in is nothing to be proud of, and you strike me as the sort of person who would scream and scream and scream if something was stolen off you.

      The idea that white NZers will be kicked onto the street to hand back land to Māori would be funny if you weren’t so serious in whipping up race fear.

      No one is talking about removing white people from the land, people are talking about real compensation, as for the money, funny how quick we could find $1billion to bail out South canterbury Finance. The money is there, we don’t have the political will to do what is right.

      And i get that it’s rightening D – NZ has built itself on the idea of stealing indigenous land and never paying for it, thankfully the next generation, those who have turned Ihumatao into the issue that it has become, won’t feel pressured by you.

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