May 19, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views


1 min read

In the article below Professor Margaret Mutu examines the relevant sections of each of the Deeds of Settlement of Te Aupouri, Rarawa and Ngai Takoto to demonstrate how they individually and collectively attempt to disenfranchise the whanau and hapu who make up those iwi. An increasing number of whanau, hapu and iwi are now distancing themselves from these deeds and actively opposing them. They cannot be forced to cede the mana and sovereignty they inherited from their ancestors, either by the iwi corporate bodies or by the Crown. Instead this article demonstrates that the Deeds show that it is the iwi corporate bodies who inexplicably cede their own mana and sovereignty, reducing themselves to a subservient role as loyal subjects of the British Crown.

Feedback on this article can be made either here or directly to Professor Mutu at [email protected]


  1. The article by Margaret is a serious mis-interpretation of reality, anyone can do an analysis of a document and present their views on it….its needs to put into its proper context of the discussions and understandings that were had in the negotiations with the crown, various departments, and the Te Hiku Iwi which consisted of x5 Iwi Ngati Kuri, Ngati Kahu, Te Rarawa, NgaiTakoto, and Te Aupouri over a period of 3 years. Ngati Kahu withdrew from that Iwi collective in 2010 to “write up and pursue” its own “partial settlement” document with the Crown (which the crown rejected). By withdrawing from the collective, Ngati Kahu also chose not to participate in any further ongoing negotiations that involved the common interest issues that pertain to all Iwi in Te Hiku, i.e., Korowai – Agreement for co management with DoC, Social Development Accord, Statutory Beach Board (Te Oneroa a Tohe) so its inappropriate to try and interpret the components of a settlement that 4 iwi developed, and agreed upon.

    Like everything, its not what’s written in documents that determines the outcomes…its what you do in applying those outcomes into practical realities for our people that determines how it works, and we are not at that stage yet. As for signing away our sovereignty and Mana…please… lets not be that silly in such allegations, far more was achieved in the last 3 years that was ever achieved in the last 26 years of the Muriwhenua claim and its clear that people want to be able to move forward into the future without being “sold out” so we achieved that as close to, as we could.

    What Margaret has failed to identify or clarify, is her role as the Chief Negotiator for the Ngati Kahu Land Claims and as well her role as the Ngati Kahu Runanga Chairperson (Ngati Kahu “Corporate”) who receive and manage the Sealord’s Fisheries Settlements on behalf of Ngati Kahu whanau, hapu, iwi.

    Ngati Kahu have signed two Agreements in Principle with the Crown in regards to their Land claims, the first quite controversially at Kareponia Marae 2009 whereby the Minister for Treaty Settlement had to jump the fence to get into the marae, whilst Ngati Kahu security and protesters fought outside… The second was at the x5 iwi collective at Ahipara in 2010 so what went wrong for Ngati Kahu… why is it now advocating for a different track in which to travel..? only Ngati Kahu can answer that, and at present it has gone back to the Waitangi Tribunal (another crown creation) seeking binding recommendations to getting “all its land back”, whatever that may mean…

    Im all for people making a stand for what they believe in, however their are those (within all iwi) who hold strong views on Te Tiriti issues and He Whakaputanga matters who position themselves within those “government established corporate entities” that manage Treaty settlements on behalf of whanau. hapu and iwi, and remain highly critical of everything about settlements or crown processess…I look forward to the day that they themselves dis-establish such entities, return any settlement proceeds and become the leading example for all other Iwi to follow….

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