Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has filed papers in court to seek clarification over the Crown’s process in negotiating Treaty of Waitangi settlements in Auckland.
Deputy Chair Ngarimu Blair says in a statement that the intention of the hapū is to get clarity on the Crown’s policy regarding ‘overlapping claims’.
“This is about protecting our settlements, not stopping anyone else’s.
“Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has been very accommodating, constructive and flexible in its approach to achieve a settlement for wider Auckland.
“We want all iwi in Tāmaki to settle with the Crown. However, the Crown has a responsibility to settle grievances honourably, without undermining existing settlements.
“Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has maintained ahi kā roa here for centuries. We cannot support the Crown in its proposed transfer of land within our rohe to other iwi,” says Mr Blair.
The statement goes on to say Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has applied for a declaratory judgement relating to the Crown’s negotiation process with Ngāti Paoa and its proposed transfer of land within central Auckland.
The legal action was a “last option” move, but Mr Blair says it will benefit all iwi in the long run.
“At the heart of this issue is the Crown’s approach to settling overlapping claims.
“Central Auckland has already been settled with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and other iwi through a shared ‘Right of First Refusal’ agreement.
“As we’ve seen over the past week, some iwi have bought into the Crown’s process which sets Māori against Māori by making new claims over Auckland.”
“Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei wants the correct process to be recognised, to prevent ongoing and numerous claims.
“We have attempted to work through this matter face to face, but as a Trust, we have a duty to protect the interests of our members, and our mana.
“Our disagreement is with the Crown, not other iwi.”