Waikato Tainui calls on PM to show courage over over Declaration

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Waikato-Tainui Te Arataura Chair Tukoroirangi Morgan today briefed United Nations Special Rapporteur James Anaya on the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act and associated issues.

In a presentation delivered at the Waikato-Tainui College for Research & Development, Mr Morgan said he was hopeful that the Governments recent ratification of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples heralded a new era of reconciliation between the Crown and Maaori.

Waikato-Tainui has finally been allowed to get up off its knees and stand tall once again, after the humiliation of the Raupatu of the 1860s, said Mr Morgan.

We applaud this Governments decision to ratify the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but must also note with not a little sadness that not a single one of the recommendations contained on in the previous Special Rapporteurs comprehensive review of New Zealand has been adopted by this, or the previous, government.

The determinations of the Waitangi Tribunal should be granted legally binding powers to adjudicate Treaty matters and given more resources to do its work. The Treaty of Waitangi should be entrenched constitutionally. These were just three of the recommendations contained in the Report by Professor Anayas predecessor, back in 2006.

If John Key is serious about building meaningful and lasting relationships with Maaori, these things should be done as first steps. It is not the time to rest on laurels, rather he needs to seize the opportunity and show courage.

Many iwi are still having to expend considerable resources to research and substantiate claims through the Waitangi Tribunal and even this tribe still has outstanding claims to be negotiated around Kawhia harbour and other inshore areas.

We also echo UN Special Rapporteur James Anayas observation that debate around the Declaration must be free from vague assertions that the Declaration is not obligatory. (statement of UNSR Prof. James Anaya, 15 July 2010, attached)

Self-determination and economic independence are not concepts to be feared by non-Maaori, but principles based on giving Maaori greater control over their own destiny, said Tukoroirangi Morgan.

4 COMMENTS

  1. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR’S WORDS NEED HEEDING

    A leading member of the Maori Council, Maanu Paul, says the Government mustn't ignore the recommendations of the United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous issues, James Anaya, who was in the country last week talking to Maori and Crown officials.

    E kii ana a Maanu Paul o te Kaunihera Maori, e kore e taea te karo nga raruraru o te Maori.

  2. Iwi tells UN envoy of bond with river

    Merania Karauria /http://www.wanganuichronicle.co.nz/have-your-say/news/iwi-tells-un-envoy-of-bond-with-river/3917839/

    Members of Whanganui iwi spoke about their special relationship and concerns around their tupuna rohe with the visiting United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People.

    Professor James Anaya spent Friday morning at Putiki Marae, where he listened to the iwi and heard about its river claim – the longest-running Waitangi Tribunal claim.

    Professor Anaya told iwi members at the end of their presentations that he would make a public statement about his findings.

    "I have more of an understanding in knowing about the Maori people and I am open and willing to receive information."

    Professor Anaya said he was authorised to act on that information if appropriate.

    Turama Hawira opened the iwi presentations to Professor Anaya with an explanation and description of the inter-relationship of the iwi to the mountains and rivers.

    Che Wilson and Raana Mareikura presented Te Kahui Maunga and the impact on the sacred peaks, landscapes and places, and Gerrard Albert presented Mana Awa Mana iwi and the settlement of WAI 167, the Whanganui River Claim.

    An iwi panel spoke on the indivisibility of the mountains, rivers and sea before Professor Anaya delivered his closing remarks.

    Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru from Taranaki said it was a

    wonderful opportunity to make comment to Professor Anaya.

    Dr Waikerepuru said there were fears and concerns for the future generations, Maori and Pakeha.

    "The colonial systems have to change. Pakeha are beginning to participate at our level and on our terms."

    Professor Anaya is visiting New Zealand at the invitation of the Government to follow up on the 2005 visit of the previous Special Rapporteur, Dr Rodolfo Stavenhagen. He came to assess the human rights situation of Maori following the enactment of the foreshore and seabed legislation.

  3. RECOMMENDATIONS OF PAST RAPPORTEUR STILL LANGUISHING

    The United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous rights winds up a week-long visit to New Zealand today, with Maori he has met with hoping for strong words on issues like the foreshore and seabed, resolution of claims to radio spectrum and recognition of tino rangatiratanga.

    Tukoroirangi Morgan, the chair of the Waikato-Tainui executive, says James Anaya is an acknowledge expert in international law as it relates to indigenous peoples, and his words will carry weight outside this country.

    He says it would be a mistake for the government to treat his report like that of his predecessor Rudolfo Stavenhagen, whose 23 recommendations were ignored.

    “Notable in those recommendations were three elements that go to the heart of our treaty settlements: that the Waitangi Tribunal should be given legally binding powers; that the Waitangi Tribunal should be given significant resources; and that the Treaty of Waitangi should be entrenched as part of this country's constitution,” Mr Morgan says.

    http://waatea.blogspot.com/

  4. UN RAPPORTEUR CONCERNED AT TREATY PROCESS

    The United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous rights says he will be raising concerns about the treaty settlement process in his report on New Zealand.

    James Anaya spent last week meeting with Maori and Crown officials, including the Minister for Treaty Negotiations and some of the lead negotiators.

    He says while some progress has been made on his predecessor Rudolfo Stavenhagen’s recommendation to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act, there are clearly problems with the way claims are settled.

    “I do note certain initiatives by the government to improve the process. There seems to be a resolve by the government to move forward with those. I do have concerns, questions about that and I will be addressing that in my report,” Professor Anaya says.

    He says the Treaty of Waitangi is a unique model of co-existence and self-determination which puts New Zealand in a better position than many other countries.

    http://waatea.blogspot.com/

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