Speech by Hon Pita R Sharples - Signing of Deed of Settlement with Ngā Mana Whenua O Tamaki Mākaurau

It was a year ago tomorrow when the eyes of the world turned to the Waitematā and Tāmaki Makaurau.

Published: Wednesday, 12 September 2012 | Rāapa, 12 Mahuru, 2012

E ngā rangatira o te ipukara o Maki! Tāmaki Nui. Tāmaki Herenga Waka. Tāmaki Makaurau. Te pai me te whai rawa o Tāmaki! Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

It was a year ago tomorrow when the eyes of the world turned to the Waitematā and Tāmaki Makaurau.

On the eve of the Rugby World Cup, aerial shots of our waka, our waters and lands were broadcast around the planet, showcasing the beauty and the bounty of our home.

A region so desired that a millennia ago, tūpuna gave to it a name that alikened these lands to earthly passion:

Tāmaki Makaurau. Tāmaki of a hundred lovers.

Te pai me te whai rawa o Tāmaki.

I am particularly pleased to see the original names of Tāmaki Makarau returned as part of this agreement.

Some have said in recent times, “What’s in a name?”.

But my response is that a name, a history, a whakapapa: is everything!

In a city with few modern Māori landmarks – it makes it even more important to ensure our ancestral Māori landmarks carry the names and heritage of the mana whenua of this region.

The journey it has taken to get to this day has been long. Two thousand and nine was when the proposal to settle Tāmaki, Kaipara and Hauraki claims was first received. A framework agreement was signed in twenty ten.

As we gather today atop Pukekawa Maunga, we honour the past and we prepare for the future together, the Crown alongside Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau.

I would like to congratulate the Tāmaki Collective for the way you have worked together and shown skill, humility and leadership:

  • Ngāi Tai ki Tamaki
  • Ngāti Maru
  • Ngāti Paoa
  • Ngāti Tamaoho
  • Ngāti Tamatera
  • Ngāti Te Ata
  • Ngāti Whanaunga
  • Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara
  • Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei
  • Te Akitai Waiohua
  • Te Kawerau A Maki

The legacy you create today will live on not just in your descendents but in all of us who call Tāmaki Makaurau home.

The legacy you create today will live around the motu as a collective example to other iwi who are yet to resolve issues of mandate, overlapping interests and governance.

This is by far the best way to move forward. You have pursued your goals with passion, resolved your differences with mana. By working as one you have achieved a far greater outcome than if you had not.

I would like to acknowledge the members of the Ngāti Whātua rōpū: Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua. Without your patience, we would not be here today. The Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Agreement in Principle was originally signed in two thousand and six. I commend your persistence and determination, which is also reflected by the fact that two members of your rōpū have now signed their Deeds of Settlement with the Crown and their respective legislation has just gone through their first and second readings at Parliament. Kia kaha, you are almost there!

I would also like to acknowledge the Marutūāhu rōpū which has been instrumental to the collective approach in Tāmaki. In its report on the Tāmaki Makaurau Settlement Process, the Waitangi Tribunal acknowledged the perseverance of Marutūāhu who worked hard to provide evidence that their hapū and iwi have mana whenua and mana moana in these lands and waters. Since then, Marutūāhu has continued to be a key driver for the collective process.

Finally, I wish to acknowledge the members of the Waiohua rōpū. As some of the earliest inhabitants in Tāmaki, you have a strong connection with the land and the environment. As such, your commitment to finalising the redress in this deed has been key. Your willingness to receive the redress collectively with the other iwi and hapū of Tāmaki Makarau has also been instrumental in us reaching this point. I also acknowledge Waiohua and Marutūāhu and your connection to Tainui: you stand here today with the blessing of the King and the Kauhanganui to sign this Deed.

For me, the main achievement through this collective settlement is the transfer of ownership of fourteen tūpuna maunga to Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau. This is significant redress whereby each of the iwi/hapū will have the opportunity to record on the land title for each maunga your respective spiritual, ancestral and cultural association with the maunga.

Today is a huge step forward in terms of the relationship between the iwi and hapū of the Tāmaki Collective iwi/hapū and Auckland Council. Mana whenua in Tāmaki will now be involved in making decisions affecting the tūpuna maunga. More importantly, your mana and kaitiakitanga over these maunga is now recognised by the Council, the Crown and all the people of Auckland and Aotearoa.

Today we are not just witnessing the signing of a legal document. Today we are witnessing whanaungatanga and manaakitanga in action.

Importantly today, we are witnessing rangatiratanga in action.

As the ancient whakataukī inscribed on this memorial goes:
Ko ngā kuri purepure o Tāmaki e kore e ngaro i te pō

The determined and loyal rangatira of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Ensuring their people are recognised, protected, honoured.

Tāmaki Herenga Waka

Tamaki Herenga Waka.

Tāmaki that binds many canoes.

Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki:

Bound by whakapapa, forever bound by history and today, bound by justice.